Pet Dentistry

At Dana Point Animal Hospital

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Do Dogs & Cats Need Dental Care?

Yes! In fact, most of our patients have symptoms of some degree of oral disease. Periodontal disease is a progressive health problem beginning with plaque accumulating on your pet's teeth. Just like us, this plaque quickly calcifies into tartar.

The tartar then spreads beneath your pet's gum line allowing bacteria a place to hide, where it progressively destroys the attachment of the teeth to the jawbone. As these support structures are destroyed, harmful bacteria and bacterial toxins can spread throughout your pet's body via their bloodstream. The circulating toxins and bacteria cause high incidences of organ disease and eventual failure. 

In fact, you might be surprised to learn that the majority of our patient's heart murmurs are caused by periodontal disease when the toxins and bacteria destroy the valve leaflets of the heart. Since our pets are so good at hiding pain (especially cats), they often live with a painful mouth and don't show obvious signs of periodontal disease until it is quite advanced.

Also, because the onset is gradual, periodontal disease is often overlooked by our clients. But, by performing routine dental cleanings, our team can make sure your pet's mouth stays as healthy as possible, and lives a longer, healthier life.

The Dana Point Animal Hospital team strongly recommends routine dental cleaning under general anesthesia at least once a year. Depending on your pet's dental health, they may require a more aggressive cleaning schedule. We offer non-anesthetic dental cleaning as a way to maintain the cleaning we do under anesthesia. The timing between cleanings really depends on how fast your pet accumulates tartar.

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At Dana Point Animal Clinic we believe preventative dental care is the best dental care for pets and offer a full array of veterinary dental services, including:

  • Dental wellness exams
  • Annual dental cleanings
  • Dental radiographs (x-rays)
  • Extractions when needed
  • Pain management during and after dental procedures

Our veterinary team highly recommends routine labwork before any anesthetic procedure, which includes some dental cleanings and procedures. This is to ensure the safety and wellbeing of your pet and alert our care team to any changes that may need made in the anesthetic procedure or monitoring.


Want to know more about how you can keep your pet happy and healthy with preventative dental care? Check out these helpful tips from our friends at the AVMA and AAHA.

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