Virginia Veterinary Dentistry Because pets suffer dental pain, too!

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Small Bites of Dental Information


Tooth brushing is the most effective way to control gum disease in dogs and cats. Brushing only once or twice a week, unfortunately, provides minimal benefit.

Oral Pain


  • Dogs and cats instinctively hide their pain. They will still eat even when their mouths hurt badly, so the thought that, “He’s eating OK” does not mean that, “He is OK.”
  • The “let’s watch it and see if it becomes a problem” approach is equivalent to sweeping dental pain and infection under the rug.
  • Advanced age does not prevent us from performing dental procedures in older pets. Pain and infection are more common in older pets and should be eliminated for them just as it is for younger pets. Old friends shouldn’t suffer needlessly.
  • Over 30% of adult cats have a degenerative dental condition (resorptive lesions) recognizable as an “eating away” of tooth structure that results in pain and tooth loss.


More about Resorptive Lesions in Cats



Puppies and Kittens


  • “Clipping” puppy or kitten teeth will always cause pain and infection and can endanger the developing adult tooth.
  • Puppy and kitten teeth should always fall out as the adult tooth erupts, if not, they should be extracted ASAP.
  • Injuries to puppy or kitten teeth can lead to disease of the developing adult tooth.


 Gum Disease  

  • Gum disease is the most common infectious disease of dogs and cats.
  • 85% of pets over 3 years of age need some treatment for gum disease.
  • Persistent bad breath is almost always caused by gum infections.
  • Tooth brushing is the most effective way to control gum disease in dogs and cats. Brushing only once or twice a week, unfortunately,  provides minimal benefit.
  • Antibiotics cannot control gum infections because the bacteria grow in a protective film that the drugs cannot penetrate. Antibiotics are not a substitute for thorough mechanical dental cleanings.
  • Dental cleanings done without anesthesia are incomplete, inadequate, cosmetic only, potentially dangerous, and provide little real benefit.

More about Gum Disease


      Dental Injuries

  • Natural bones, nylon bones, cow hooves, and ice cubes are the most frequent causes of broken chewing teeth.
  • Discolored teeth are almost always dead teeth and are presumed to be abscessed teeth.
  • Broken teeth that have the pulp (nerves) exposed are painful and will eventually die and abscess.  They should either be extracted or have root canal therapy.
  • Draining wounds or recurrent swellings under the eye of a dog are almost always caused by an abscessed tooth.

 More about Broken Teeth or Discolored Teeth


Oral Growths


  • Oral growths are common in both dogs and cats.
  • Most oral growths in cats are aggressive cancers.
  • Early diagnosis and surgery are the keys to controlling most oral growths.


More about Oral Growths

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Virginia Veterinary Dentistry
 Charlottesville, Virginia
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