What You Should Know About Your Pet’s Pearly Whites

Nothing brightens our days at Cedar Pet Clinic Lake Elmo more than puppies and kitty kisses! As a pet owner, you may notice these kisses become less pleasant, though, as our pets get older and their breath gets worse. If you’ve been avoiding your dog’s kisses due to bad breath, it’s time to take a moment to consider if your pet is due for a dental check-up and cleaning. Why? Bad breath is a common sign of gum disease which can shorten your pet’s life.

Your Pet’s Dental Health is No Small Matter

Did you know that dogs and cats are less prone to cavities? This is because they don’t eat nearly as much sugar as we do. Yet pets still suffer from other oral issues. The biggest issue pets face is gum disease.

Gum disease can decrease a pet’s lifespan, cause jaw damage, lead to lost teeth, and cause severe pain. Your pet’s body sends white blood cells to combat plaque. In the process, these white blood cells erode your pet’s gums, leaving bacteria a backdoor into your pet’s body and bloodstream. Once bacteria catch a ride on your pet’s bloodstream, they make their way to vital organs.

How to Easily Improve Your Pet’s Dental Health?

1. Know the Signs of Dental Pain and Dental Disease

If it’s been a while since you’ve had a peek at your pet’s pearly whites, it’s a good time to do so. Look for these signs of dental issues:

  • Red, swollen gums
  • Stinky breath
  • Discolored build-up along the gumline
  • White spots or an eroding tooth (cats)

Beyond this quick check, look for these additional signs that may indicate dental issues: your pet having trouble eating, pawing at their mouth, or refusing to eat, or only eating softer foods.

Dental issues worsen with time and can become acutely painful. We can diagnose your pet’s dental problem and treat it.

2. Schedule a Dental Cleaning and Checkup

Pets need dental cleanings and exams, too. During a regular cleaning, we will assess your pet’s dental needs using x-rays. Then we will remove the tartar from your pet’s teeth and perform any other procedures your pet needs like tooth extractions.

As for your pet, they will be sleeping soundly under anesthesia. Not only will they not feel a thing, but they will remain safe through their exam and cleaning.

3. Invest in Dental Chew Toys, Treats, and More

Treats and dental chew toys promote better dental health while your pet has a blast. Dental treats and toys are designed to scrape away plaque as your dog chews, chews, chews.

You can also add a drop of an anti-plaque solution to your pet’s water to boost the power of those plaque-removing toys and treats. (Ask one of our Cedar Pet Clinic Lake Elmo team members for suggestions!) These often loosen the plaque, making it easier to remove.

Commit to Your Pet’s Dental Health

Pet dental health is more important than most owners realize. When you keep your pet’s teeth clean, you’re protecting their health. It’s never too late to begin a dental routine for your pet. Please give us a call or make an appointment to schedule a cleaning today!

Photo Credit: Erik Mclean / Pexels.

After-Hours Emergencies

After Hours Veterinary Care
1014 Dale Street North
St. Paul, MN 55117
(Inside Como Park Animal Hospital just north of downtown St. Paul)
24-hour care for multiple species

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1163 Helmo Avenue N
Oakdale, MN 55128


Animal Emergency & Referral Center of MN
1542 7th St. W.
St. Paul, MN 55012
(located 2 blocks east of 35E)