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Dental Care

Dental disease is one of the most common problems our pets face throughout their lives. Chronic dental disease not only causes pain and discomfort in the mouth, but the chronic inflammation and infection can affect other vital organs such the heart, lungs and kidneys. San Francisco Pet Hospital focuses on your pet’s dental health as a vital part of your pet’s health, wellness and quality of life.

How do I know if my pet has dental disease?
Bad breath, red or swollen gums, discolored or loose teeth, reluctance to play with chew toys, or pain when eating can all be signs of dental disease. However, often in the earlier stages you won’t notice anything amiss, which is why regular, annual physical examinations help us identify dental disease early.

How is dental disease treated?
We take a comprehensive approach to assessing and treating your pet’s dental health. Under general anesthesia we perform a complete oral examination and take full mouth X-rays to determine if any teeth are compromised enough to warrant extraction. If extractions are necessary, then the affected teeth are removed and a flap of gum tissue is sutured over the extraction site. Local “numbing” anesthesia is used to ensure pain management during and after the procedure. All healthy teeth have the tartar removed and are polished to smooth out the tooth surface which helps to prevent the tartar from coming back.

What can I do to keep my pet’s mouth healthy?
The two best ways to prevent plaque and tartar build up are 1) Feeding a high-quality diet, and 2) brushing your pet’s teeth several times per week. Interested in learning how to brush your pet’s teeth? Our veterinarians will be happy to help you get started. If your pet won’t tolerate brushing, our veterinarians can also recommend products that will help keep your pet’s mouth healthy in between cleanings.