Pets rarely let the people caring for them know that they are having a problem in their mouths. Doggie breath should be concerning and is not normal. This is a common sign that periodontal disease is occurring. Pets will eat and often act normal even with extensive dental disease. Sometimes caretakers will report that “they are slowing down” or not doing certain activities any more. These can be signs that your pet has dental disease, which can impact their overall health and quality of life.

A comprehensive approach to health care for your pet includes an annual exam with evaluation of their mouth. Common abnormalities that maybe found include:

  • Periodontal disease

  • Broken teeth

  • Tooth resorption

  • Malocclusions (misalignment of the bite)

Based on your pet’s annual examination, anesthesia for a comprehensive oral assessment and treatment plan may be recommended. During this procedure, the structures of the mouth can be better examined. Similar to when a person visits the dentist, the periodontal health of the teeth will be evaluated with probing of the gingival sulcus, as well as radiographs (dental x-rays) to reveal problems hidden below the gums. We will make recommendations for treatment of problems and prevention for the future.

Dental care for your pet is performed by our team of faculty clinicians, registered veterinary technicians, and veterinary students. This hands-on experience is crucial for the education of our future veterinarians. We want your pet to lead happy health life and oral care is part of this.

Helpful links

American Veterinary Dental College (AVDC) –

Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) -

Tooth Brushing handout


Dr. Marjory Artzer Marjory Artzer

Assistant Professor

raoSuma M. Rao

Clinical Assistant Professor