The Healthy Look

A nice smile is the sign of a happy, healthy person. Physically, dogs and cats can't smile, but, in a way, the same is true of them. Healthy teeth and gums generally mean a happy, healthy pet. A mouth full of clean, white teeth not only looks nice, it's a good indicator of the pet's dental and overall health.

Sadly, pet dental health is often overlooked. When left unchecked, common problems can lead to pain and, in some cases, extensive surgical procedures. For example, gingivitis is common in dogs and cats. When caught early, it can be stopped through regular cleaning and good oral therapy. When left unchecked, it can lead to periodontitis, which often causes tooth loss and can trigger other serious health problems. Periodontitis can't be cured.

So What Does This Mean?

The best advice we can give dog and cat owners is to have your pet's teeth checked and cleaned regularly. You wouldn't skip a dental checkup, so why should your pet? Remember, its health is in your hands.

During a dental examination, the veterinarian thoroughly inspects your pet's teeth and gums. Often, the only procedure needed will be a good cleaning. The veterinarian also will suggest a program of home tooth brushing to supplement in-clinic cleaning.

Not all dogs and cats have healthy teeth and gums. For many it's a genetic situation, while for others, diet may be the problem. Whatever the cause, your veterinarian will suggest the best procedure to address it.

The Smile Book

Pet dentistry is much the same as human dentistry. Dogs and cats are subject to many of the same dental problems that face their owners. The procedures for handling those problems are also similar.

The Smile Book uses "before," "during" and "after" photos to help veterinarians explain common dental problems and the procedures used to meet those problems.

The Smile Book is divided into six sections covering typical dental problems and procedures. If you have questions about a specific dental condition or procedure, ask your veterinarian.

For his assistance in producing The Smile Book, Pharmacia & Upjohn Animal Health wishes to thank Jan Bellows, DVM, Pembroke Pines, Fla.; Diplomate, American Veterinary Dental College; Diplomate, American Board Veterinarian Practitioners Specialty Small Animal Practice. Interior photos and captions by Dr. Bellows.

Table of Contents
Smile Book I
Common Dental Problems and Procedures
Jan Bellows, D.V.M. Diplomate, American Veterinary Dental College
Section 1: Extraction of Retained Deciduous Teeth
Section 2: Periodontal Disease
Section 3: Endodontics
Section 4: Feline Oral Resorptive Lesions
Section 5: Feline Stomatitis Syndrome
Section 6: Orthodontics

Check out the entire
Smile Book Series


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Jan Bellows, DVM
All Pets Dental Clinic
17100 Arvida Parkway
Weston, FL 33326
(954) 349-5800