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A dog chewing on a stick

Dental Care: Vital for Your Pet's Overall Health

Bemidji Veterinary Hospital educates its clients about the importance and effectiveness of pet dental care every chance we get.

Keeping your pet's teeth in excellent condition is not just about aesthetics. It's about overall health, too. Dental disease is the most common problem affecting pets.

The bad breath or inflamed gums you see in your pet's mouth may indicate much more than a need for regular brushing. It could be a sign that your dog or cat's internal organs have a serious issue, too. Untreated gum disease can cause pain, odor, and loss of teeth. In addition, bacteria can build up in the mouth of a pet that does not receive regular brushing and cleaning. These bacteria can spread through the animal's body, causing damage that often leads to heart valve disease as well as other internal issues, like kidney failure, that could have been prevented.

Stages of Dental Disease

A dog chewing on a bone

The stages of dental disease vary from minor issues, such as gingivitis, to serious periodontal disease. Gingivitis is a condition that only affects the gums, leaving them red and swollen. Periodontitis is the inflammatory response that involves the supporting bone and tooth. Bacterial infections cause pockets to form between the tooth and gum. As pockets become deeper, more bone deteriorates and sometimes surgery is needed to remove the tooth.

Services offered by Bemidji Veterinary Hospital include:

  • Teeth cleanings
  • X-rays
  • Extractions
  • Scaling and polishing
  • Fluoride treatment

Many services require your pet to be placed under anesthesia. We ask you not to feed your pet after 8 p.m. the night before a procedure.

Bemidji Veterinary Hospital has dental care products available for your convenience. Please stop in for recommendations to keep your pet's dental health, and overall health, in optimal condition. Ask us if you have nutrition questions or special food ordering needs. And it's always a good idea to set up an appointment for a regular physical exam.