Gentle Dentistry
Dental disease is the most common cause of chronic pain in pets.  Our pets often times cannot communicate effectively with us that their mouth hurts.  At Pampered Paws Animal Hospital, we feel that your pet’s dental health is extremely important to his or her comfort and quality of life.Periodontal disease is classified under two categories; gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is the more mild form of periodontal disease. Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gum tissue resulting in redness, swelling and discomfort. With effective and timely teeth cleaning, gingivitis can be completely reversed. This is a picture of a 15 year old Jack Russell Terrier’s mouth named Jack. It demonstrates severe dental disease causing Jack excruciating pain. This degree of dental disease was feeding Jack’s circulatory system with bacteria which was showering his vital organs with infection. Not only was Jack’s quality of life affected but also his longevity. Jack had 12 teeth extracted. Thanks to advanced anesthetic agents, precise anesthesia monitoring, and exceptional pain medication, Jack made a quick recovery. His pet parents reported that once Jack recovered from the dental, he had more energy than he had in years. He was playful again, loved to go for walks again, and even put on a couple pounds!

Symptoms of Periodontitis:

  • Animal has bad breath
  • Tooth mobility and bleeding gums.
  • Severe inflammation of the gums, gum recession, alveolar bone loss (the bone that supports the tooth is “eaten away”), and pustular discharge are common signs of periodontitis. Bacteria associated with periodontitis can be released into the bloodstream and cause life-threatening problems such as infection of the kidneys, liver, heart, and other internal organs.
  • Professional teeth cleaning is important to maintaining your pet’s teeth and overall health. Every patient’s dental needs are different.  At your pet’s bi-annual exam, our veterinarians perform a complete dental exam and will let you know the recommended time frame for the next dental cleaning. We use modern and safe ultrasonic tools to clean each tooth thoroughly- above and below the gum line. We polish teeth to create a smooth, lustrous tooth surface, more resistant to future plaque buildup.
  • It is estimated that more than 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats develop tooth and gum disease by the age of three years. Veterinary dentistry is very different from the equivalent process in people. For most of us, caring for our teeth and gums has been part of our daily routine for as long as we can remember. Consequently, a person’s visit to the dentist is relatively brief and does not require sedation, tests or anesthesia. In contrast, veterinary dentistry is considerably more involved, time-consuming, and complex. It requires general anesthesia, and consequently a day’s hospitalization as well as the skills of several people, from veterinarians to veterinary nurses and veterinary assistants.
  • Often times, patients needing dentals are senior citizens; therefore, our anesthesia protocols are catered to assuring the safest anesthesia possible for each individual senior pet’s needs. Both our dog and cat dentals always include: an IV catheter, IV fluids, IV antibiotics, heartbeat is on amplifier via esophageal stethoscope, ECG, NIBP and Pulse Ox monitoring.  Advanced geriatric anesthesia protocols are used to assure the safest anesthesia possible.  If extractions are performed, the best pain medicines are always included in our prices and are prescribed in accordance with each patient’s individual needs.  We recommend all of our dental patients receive antibiotics for 2 days prior to their dental procedure and a few days after, depending on the severity of their dental disease.Certain breeds, particularly toy dog breeds such as poodles and maltese, suffer from chronic dental disease more often than larger breeds. In addition to receiving routine dental cleanings, we recommend the use of preventative dental care products such as Oravet Sealant. Oravet is an easy weekly treatment that is proven to reduce tartar and plaque build-up on pets’ teeth.Once a week, Dr. Lynne Johnson visits from Jackson, MS with her state of the art dental digital x-ray machine which enables her to visualize hidden infections and bone loss.  Often times, once all of the teeth are cleaned, there are questionable teeth, that without dental x-ray, we cannot determine whether the teeth are a source of chronic pain and/or infection.  Dental x-ray takes the guess-work out of the diagnosis and speaks for our patients.  It enables us to visualize the roots and know for certain that we are not leaving behind a tooth with a painful abscessed root.  When needed, Dr. Johnson can also perform root canals on our patients when tooth extraction is not desired.
  • This is a picture of a retained deciduous tooth or a baby tooth that was not pushed out by the adult tooth. It shows the adult canine tooth and baby canine tooth side by side. The baby tooth needs to be removed so the adult tooth can come in where it is supposed to, and because dental disease will start prematurely between teeth that are this close together. We check all of our patients for baby teeth that need to be removed when we spay and neuter. If a client does not plan to spay or neuter at six month of age, it is recommended to proceed with a dental to remove the retained baby teeth at six to seven months of age. This is a particular problem in small breeds such as Dachshunds, Chihuahuas, and Yorkies. This particular patient is “Buddy” a pitbull mix rescued from Hurricane Katrina