Pet Dental Cleaning Important for Pet Wellness Care Advises Jacksonville Veterinarians

JACKSONVILLE, N.C., Dec. 9, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Animal Hospital of Onslow County in Jacksonville, NC is educating pet owners about the importance of regular pet dental cleaning for a healthy pet. Regular cleanings can help prevent gum disease and bacterial infections. When plaque hardens into tartar, this build up can destroy gums and contribute to tooth loss. According to the veterinary clinic, periodontal disease affects three out of every four cats or dogs. The best way to prevent periodontal disease and other dental health problems is with an annual cleaning.

Jacksonville veterinarians Dr. Dave Altman and Dr. Craig Corry are reminding pet owners that an annual pet dental cleaning is important for pet wellness care. According to the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) nearly two-thirds of pets do not follow receive regular dental care, including an annual cleaning.

"Pet owners want the best for their pets, but many do not understand just how important a regular dental cleaning truly is," said Dr. Altman. "Just like for humans, dental cleanings are essential for proactive wellness care and a healthy pet. Our goal is to educate pet owners so all pets receive the care they need and deserve."

Periodontal disease is tissue and gum infection that begins with the buildup of plaque along the gum line. Since pets cannot brush their own teeth, food particles and bacteria can build up along the gums after a meal. Over time, this plaque hardens into tartar, which can push away the gum line creating pockets that are susceptible to bacterial infection.

"Regular scaling and polishing helps remove tartar build up and prevent future plaque deposits from forming on a pet's teeth," said Dr. Corry. "An anti-plaque sealant and fluoride treatment will also help strengthen teeth."

Without regular cleanings, tartar and plaque buildup can damage teeth and destroy gums. Symptoms of gum disease include swollen gums, bleeding gums, difficulty eating or drinking, and bad breath.

"A pet's breath may not the best, but if it smells particularly foul and offensive, this is a sign of gum disease," said Dr. Altman. "Advanced gum disease leads to tooth loss, which can make eating especially difficult for pets. Preventative care can avert serious oral problems."

Animal Hospital of Onslow County follows AAHA guidelines for veterinary dental care. This starts with an evaluation of young puppies and kittens for any development problems. As pets age, regular dental cleanings prevent the accumulation of plaque and tartar.

Dental radiographs evaluate a pet's oral health, identifying abnormalities that a veterinarian cannot detect during a regular oral exam. If a tooth is badly infected, it may need to be extracted in order to prevent the infection from spreading.

Following a dental cleaning, Dr. Altman and Dr. Corry will demonstrate proper at-home brushing technique. Pet owners may learn more about healthy pet dental care by visiting

CONTACT: Animal Hospital of Onslow County 888-667-5235Source:Animal Hospital of Onslow County