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Pet Dental FAQs

Pet Dental FAQs Answered by our Largo Veterinarian Team

At Midway Animal Hospital, our Largo veterinary team regularly informs pet owners of the importance of proper pet dental care for cats and dogs. We’ve provided the answers to some commonly asked questions we receive about pet dental care.

veterinarian brushing a dog's teeth

What are the Signs of Pet Dental Health Problems?

Pet dental disease can develop for a long time without signs, so seeking routine pet dental care in Largo is so important for prevention and early detection. That said, common signs of a cat or dog dental problem include:

  • Foul breath
  • Difficulty eating or decreased eating
  • Excessive drooling
  • Broken, loose, missing, or extra teeth
  • Lump or bumps in the mouth
  • Bleeding gums and teeth
  • Discolored teeth

Why is Pet Dental Care Important?

A pet’s dental health can affect its overall health. Poor dental health can literally shorten your pet's lifespan since bacteria can leach into damaged gums and teeth and go on to infect organs in the body. Dental disease, which is often painful and can make it difficult to eat, also disrupts your pet's basic comfort, dignity, and quality of life.

What are Common Problems with my Pet's Dental Health?

You may need to see a veterinarian for common pet dental conditions such as: 

  • Plaque and tartar build-up
  • Periodontal disease (gum disease and inflammation)
  • Tooth infection, decay, and abscess
  • Tooth fracture
  • Jaw bone fracture or malocclusion
  • Oral cyst or tumor
  • Cleft palate defects

Do I Really Need to Brush my Pet's Teeth? 

Our in-office and mobile veterinary team encourage you to brush your pet's teeth at least a few times per week. This reduces plaque and tartar build-up, saving you time and money at your pet's next dental exam. The earlier you begin this habit, the better! We'll teach you how to do it and what sorts of tools to use. 

What Happens During a Pet Dental Exam? 

We recommend regular pet dental exams to treat and prevent dental disease. During an exam, we'll inspect your pet's teeth and gums, scale and clean your pet's teeth, and make follow-up recommendations as needed.

Do Veterinarians use Anesthesia During Pet Dental Exams?

We stand by the  AVMA and do not recommend "anesthesia-free" pet dental exams. Here's why:

  • Without anesthesia, our pet dental vet staff can't thoroughly inspect and clean the pet's entire mouth, including below the gum line.
  • Using anesthesia is humane since it keeps pets pain-free, calm, and still during the procedure.
  • Sedating our animal patients keeps them safer and our team safer.

How Often Should I Schedule a Pet Dental Vet Visit? 

This depends on your pet's age and health status. In general, we recommend pet owner’s to schedule a dental exam at least once a year.

Is Your Pet Overdue for a Pet Dental Exam & Cleaning? Contact Our Largo Vet Today at Midway Animal Hospital 

Pet dental exams and cleanings offered at Midway Animal Hospital—serving Largo, Seminole, St. Petersburg, Dunning, and surrounding Florida communities—are performed with an experienced staff and state-of-the-art technology and equipment. To schedule an appointment with a pet dental veterinarian, or to learn more about our Largo mobile vet and in-office vet services, then contact us today at  727-391-9928.