Is Undetected Dental Disease Shortening Your Dog’s Lifespan?

An estimated 80% of dogs have some form of oral or dental disease, but most are undiagnosed because many dog owners never take a good look inside their dog’s mouth. Everyday, veterinarians find alarming dental disease in dogs that have been brought in for routine vaccinations or other minor ailments. Swollen or infected gums, loose teeth, and decaying tooth sockets are often a surprise to the dog’s owner—not because the owner is negligent but because he or she hasn’t been trained to detect dental disease like veterinarians have been.

Here’s why poor dental health in dogs is a problem. Aside from any pain or distress it may be causing the dog, the ongoing presence of bacteria and associated toxins have a daily impact on a dog’s health. A dog’s moist mouth is a perfect incubator for all kinds of bacteria, most of which are normal. But when plaque and tartar form on the teeth normal bacteria levels get out of balance and trouble ensues. Over time, bacteria enters the bloodstream and can cause permanent damage to tissue of the kidneys, heart, or liver.

Is Your Dog Predisposed To Dental Disease?

Dog’s develop the same oral health problems that we humans do. Plaque, tartar, gum disease, gingivitis, and tooth loss are common problems for dogs. Certain breeds are known for being more susceptible to periodontal disease or oral health issues. The Yorkshire terrier, poodle, pomeranian, dachshuns, and chihuahua are just a few known to be prone to dental disease.

Other dogs with short faces have mouth shapes that predispose them to oral health complications. Dogs in this category include bulldogs, pugs, Shih Tzus, Brussels griffons, and Lhasa apsos.

However, any dog can develop poor oral health complications, regardless of whether their breed is predisposed or not. Besides examining your dog’s mouth for swollen or bleeding gums or discolored teeth, you can watch for subtle signs of dental distress such as:

  • Chewing on one side of the mouth consistently
  • Finicky eating habits
  • Drooling
  • Dropping food while chewing
  • Foul breath

With a full oral examination, your vet will be able to identify any possible symptoms your pet may be trying to hide.

Special Offer For February Only

Before and after cleaning.

Since February is National Pet Dental Health Month and we are such strong believers in the value of dental health, we are again offering a $100 off dental cleaning special through our partner hospital, My Pet’s Animal Hospital. (Offer good only at My Pet’s Animal Hospital, for dental procedures only, not valid with any other offer, until 2/28/2018.)   

During the cleaning—referred to as a dental prophy—the veterinarian will use an ultrasonic scaler to remove all plaque on the teeth above and below the gum line, and will remove any dead gum tissue. Your dog’s teeth will then be polished and treated with fluoride to eliminate any areas where plaque might form. Your pet will be anesthetized and monitored while the cleaning is performed, and afterwards will given pain relief medication and a course of antibiotics.

Keeping your dog’s mouth disease free is our goal at both My Pet’s Animal Hospital and PetWellClinic®. We love doing dentals because it’s a procedure that has a huge reward—improved overall health and longevity for your dog!

PetWellClinic® can help you determine whether or not your pet has dental disease, and how best to treat it. Examining dental health is one of the main well-care services provided by the veterinarians at PetWellClinic®, so you can bring your dog in for a consultation and if it’s determined a cleaning is needed we can help you make an appointment at My Pet’s Animal Hospital.

By operating convenient hours for non-surgical care, PetWellClinic® is also able to offer substantially discounted prices for routine exams, vaccinations, safe and effective flea and tick preventative products, and treatment of minor conditions. We offer quick in-and-out service during convenient evening and weekend hours with no appointment necessary.

PetWellClinic® has three locations: 10549 Kingston Pike, Knoxville, TN 37922; 7329 Kingston Pike, Knoxville, TN 37919; and 228 S. Calderwood Street, Alcoa, TN 37701. Learn more about how PetWellClinic® can exceed your expectations for top quality, affordable pet care by visiting our website at

You can also ask about our dental cleanings at our full service animal hospitals online at My Pet’s Animal Hospital, or call My Pet’s Knoxville location on Northshore Drive at (865) 560-0480 or the Alcoa location at (865) 984-5620.


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