One Dental Case

Pepa is a Papillion Cross “Toy Breed” Dog.

Toy breed dogs typically have a lot of dental issues.

Such as abscesses, tooth root problems, gingivitis and periodontal disease.  See our dental information page.
Pepa is only 5 years old and came in for a routine dental exam and cleaning. The teeth didn’t look too badly damaged on an oral inspection.

For toy breeds especially, we recommend a full-mouth dental X-ray, exam, cleaning as young as one-year-old.

  • Pepa’s teeth BEFORE the dental procedure and they don’t look bad. But after the dental X-Ray, the staff informed the owner that tooth extraction was required.

    Normal looking teeth before dental
    Before dental procedure. The green circle shows the severely damaged tooth that looks normal on a visual inspection. This photo is Pepa a 5-year-old toy breed dog. The tube delivers gas anaesthetic.
  • Our Technicians put the dog under general anaesthetic for the dental procedure, and they took a full mouth X-Ray. What they found was surprising, but not unexpected given the breed and its middle-age. The benefit of a full mouth X-Ray is our Veterinarians and Technicians examine each tooth looking for gum disorders, and decayed tooth or bone. In Pepa’s case, they found reabsorption of this molar tooth.
    • Dental X-RayThe right side of the central tooth in this X-Ray is uneven and is being dissolved by the dog’s tissues.
  • BEFORE and AFTER the dental comparison.

    Before and After
    Before and after dental extraction.

Dental Full Information

Drew helps with anaesthetic monitoring on a dog.

Pet Dental

Every pet dental includes:

Complete oral exam, dental x-ray, scaling and polishing all the teeth and a complete cleaning above and below the gumline.


Why do dentistry on a dog or cat?

  • Poor dental health is often the cause of an older pet’s lethargy and lack of appetite. As well, bad-breath can be corrected by proper dental hygiene.
  • By cleaning or removing abscessed teeth eliminates the pain.
  • Following extraction, the teeth are scraped of plaque and then polished the teeth. Without a sore mouth, your pet may enjoy renewed vigour and better breath.
  • By using the safest anaesthetics, your pet will recover much faster, and you will be able to take your pet home just a few hours after an anaesthetic.

This is a dental X-Ray taken in our practice showing black areas below the gumline indicating advanced gum disease. Every pet dentistry should have a dental X-Ray.

Because dental disease leads to:

Pain, Infection and Bad-Breath
  • Pain. Owners do not generally recongnize pain in their pets. Pets do not show pain as we would expect. Dental disease can cause great discomfort, and when the source of pain is removed, we see their increased energy and improved well-being.
  • Pets are more stoic about pain than people, but they certainly do feel dental and oral pain. They feel pain of tooth fractures, pulp exposure, periodontal disease, tooth root abscess, but they often show it by less physical activity and lack of appetite.
  • Pets use their teeth and jaws much like people use their hands. If their mouth is sore they will resist playing with their toys or they will reduce chewing on hard food.
  • Infection. Bacteria from the oral disease can also cause infection in other organs, such as heart, liver, kidneys, joints and lungs, thus reducing the pet’s vitality and its quality of life.
  • Bad breath. Periodontal disease may be one of the causes of your pet’s bad breath. People tend to withdraw affection and attention from pets with bad breath.


What to look for:

  •   Yellow and brown tartar build-up
  •   Red inflamed gums
  •   Bleeding
  •   Bad breath
  •   Difficulty chewing
  •   Change in eating habits
  •   Change in behaviour

Dental Disease Overview

  • Bacteria that adheres to the teeth in a substance called plaque causes Dental (periodontal) disease. Plaque is composed almost entirely of bacteria with some sugars and proteins to hold them together. If not removed, plaque will extend under the gum line where the bacteria will secrete toxins, causing inflammation, resulting in damage and possible destruction of the tooth’s attachment.
  • Periodontal disease is broken up into two types: gingivitis and periodontitis.
  • Gingivitis is the less serious kind. In the early levels, the inflammation is reversible stage the damage is confined to the gums (gingiva). Dental cleaning and home care (brushing) are effective treatments. However, Gingivitis, if left untreated, may progress to periodontitis.
  • Periodontitis is the more advanced irreversible stage in which the inflammation affects the bone and soft tissues (supporting structures) of the tooth resulting in their destruction. While it is irreversible, it is possible to arrest its progression with proper professional therapy and home care.

Important Points

  • Dental disease is a progressive condition in pets. By two years of age, about 80% of dogs and 70% of cats have some degree of dental disease, and by five years of age, 95% of dogs have evidence of periodontal disease.
  • Before initiating dental home-care such as brushing, always have a thorough oral examination performed by your veterinarian.
  • There are many dental problems that you may not be aware of such as exposed roots, tartar, diseased gums, tooth fractures and root abscesses.
  • After a dental cleaning, the only way to keep your pet’s teeth clean is by brushing. “Brush, Brush, Brush!” Within a few hours of consuming food, plaque can form on the tooth, and visible calculus (tartar) builds up in two days.
  • In addition to brushing, other preventatives include, giving chew toys, oral rinses, healthy dental treats and dental diets.

Are you concerned about the anaesthetics we use on your pet?   Anaesthetic   Read our presurgical recommendations and understand the risks.