9 Signs Your Pet Needs Their Teeth Cleaned in Lake Zurich, IL

Dental hygiene is just as important for your pets as it is for you. Oral infections can lead to pain, discomfort and possible life-threatening illnesses for your pet. Gum disease that goes untreated can lead to damaged teeth and jaws and is a major cause of tooth loss. Infections in the gums has also been linked to liver, heart and kidney disease.

pet teeth cleaned in lake zurich, il

Think your pet is too young to be at risk? It’s a common misconception that only older pets need to have a dental cleaning done by a veterinarian. By the age of three, seventy percent of cats and eighty percent of dogs have some form of periodontal disease. This risk is even higher in smaller dogs. So how can you tell if your pet needs a teeth cleaning?

In this article, we’ll go over some of the key signs that your pet needs their teeth cleaned in Lake Zurich, IL.

Does Your Pet Have Bad Breath?

Pets aren’t exactly known for having the freshest breath, are they? But if you notice your dog or cat’s breath is particularly pungent and worse than usual it might be a sign of a bacterial infection or build up of plaque on the teeth that can cause periodontal disease.

This is especially true if it has a rotten egg smell to it, as that is a sign of gum disease. If you notice any unexplained worsening of breath odor, it is important to take your pet to the veterinarian to have an exam done.

Drooling Can Mean It’s Time for a Teeth Cleaning

Drooling is a normal part of life for most dog owners, particularly in certain breeds. This is also true for cats, though it is rare for cats to be droolers. However, just like with bad breath, you should be aware if the drooling has gotten worse.

Excessive drooling could be a sign that there’s something either causing your pet to produce more saliva or something keeping him from swallowing normally. There may be a bacterial infection, an abscess or an injury that needs to be treated right away.

Your Pet’s Teeth Are Discolored

Brown or yellow coloring on teeth is usually a sign of plaque build up that can lead to tooth loss or infection. It’s possible to remove plaque simply by using a special type of toothpaste created for pets that is safe for them to swallow.

Gently brushing your pet’s teeth every day will help prevent a build up of plaque, however if the tartar and plaque is difficult to remove – which happens when it has been on there a long time – your pet might need a full dental cleaning done by your veterinarian.

Lack of Appetite

Any change in eating habits is cause for concern. Pets are very good at hiding pain, so take note if you notice she’s reluctant to eat or drink, as it’s almost always a sign that she isn’t feeling her best. Swollen or painful gums can cause your pet to go on an eating strike, as chewing makes the pain worse.

Always speak to your vet right away if you notice your pet isn’t eating as much as she usually does.

Mouth Pawing

If you notice your pet pawing at his mouth, licking certain spots incessantly or scratching his jaw, he might have dental pain caused by an abscess or infection. Try to check inside his mouth to see if you can identify anything abnormal going on in there and if you can’t spot the irritation, schedule an appointment with your vet.

Your Pet is Losing Teeth in Lake Zurich

It’s not uncommon for elderly pets to lose or break teeth as they age, but it might also be a symptom of something more serious. Bacteria can wear down the cementum (the tissue that keeps teeth in place) which causes teeth to fall out.

Oral bacterial infections are likely to enter the rest of the body and can become very serious very quickly. Make sure to talk to your veterinarian about any broken or lost teeth.

Abnormal Growth on Your Pet’s Gums

You should not be seeing any bumps or growths on your pet’s gums. If you do, take her to the vet right away as this could be a sign of a tumor or abscess. In the case of a tumor, your vet will be able to determine if it’s benign or malignant.

Treatment for a malignant tumor is to remove it and possibly a few teeth in the surrounding area. Abscesses can be drained and treated with antibiotics.

Swollen or Bleeding Gums

Gum disease and bacterial infections can cause inflammation. In some instances, the gums can become so swollen they bleed when your pet is chewing. If you notice any blood on chew toys or uneaten food, take your pet to the vet to be treated.

Regular cleaning of your pet’s teeth will help prevent gum disease and infections.


Change in behavior should be taken seriously. If your pet has stopped showing interest in things she used to love doing, like going for walks or playing fetch, she may be in pain. Take her to the veterinarian and have her checked out.

It’s possible she has dental disease that is making her feel bad. A thorough teeth cleaning may be just what she needs to return to her usual self.

Stay On Top of Your Pet’s Dental Health in Lake Zurich, IL

Most vets suggest that your pet gets his first teeth cleaning at around three years of age, and then have one done annually after that. When you take your pet to the veterinarian for his annual physical, your vet will inspect his mouth and let you know if a dental cleaning is a good idea.

Companion Animal Hospital Lake Zurich is here for all your pet’s dental needs. Call us today or schedule an appointment online to restore your pet’s smile and health!

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About Companion Animal Hospital Lake Zurich

Located just a stone’s throw away from beautiful Lake Zurich, Companion Animal Hospital, formerly Lake Zurich Animal Hospital, has warmly welcomed pets and their families since 1973.