Our veterinarian in Portland offers dental cleanings and examinations for cats and dogs to help prevent oral health problems and mouth infections.

What dental diseases can my pet acquire?

Pets can develop the same oral health problems as humans, including gingivitis, tooth decay, periodontal disease and mouth infections. If left to fester, your pet could end up with a very bad infection that could travel through your pet’s bloodstream.

What are the warning signs that my pet has gingivitis or periodontal disease?

Signs of dental disease in your cat or dog include excessive scratching or rubbing the mouth, red or swollen gums, lack of appetite, weight loss, excessively bad breath, bloody drool, and howling or whining while eating or chewing. If your pet in displaying any of these symptoms, you should call our veterinarian right away for a dental appointment.

Is there anything I can do to prevent infections and oral health problems in my pet?

The first step to preventing gingivitis, periodontal disease and mouth infections is to have your pet’s teeth regularly cleaned and examined. Getting your pet’s teeth regularly cleaned and polished removes all the plaque and tartar from your pet’s teeth. The polishing process after the cleaning helps prevent food particles from sticking to the teeth.

The second step involves brushing your pet’s teeth at least once a week. There are special pet-safe toothpastes and toothbrushes you can purchase to brush your pet’s teeth. Our veterinarian can recommend brands and give you tips and advice on how to brush your pet’s teeth at home.

In addition, you can purchase specially formulated food and toys for your cat or dog that helps clear away plaque as they chew.

How many times per year should I have my pet’s teeth cleaned?

We recommend having your pets teeth evaluated at their regular yearly or twice yearly (depending on age) Wellness exams.  Most pets benefit from having a dental evaluation and cleaning, done under general anesthesia, every 1-2 years.

Is it really necessary to give my dog or cat anesthesia for their dental cleaning?

Giving your pet anesthesia prior to his or her cleaning helps reduce pain and anxiety. It also allows our vet to thoroughly clean your pet’s teeth and gums. The majority of your pet’s tooth resides below the gum line, and scraping deeply while your pet is awake can be very traumatizing. While your pet is under anesthesia, we monitor all of his or her vital signs to reduce the chances of complications. If you are concerned about the use of anesthesia on your pet, our veterinarian would be happy to answer all of your questions.

How do I schedule an appointment for a pet dental cleaning with your vet?

To schedule an appointment for a dental examination and cleaning, please call our office at 503-941-0995. We are located at 12790 NW Barnes Road in Portland, Oregon.