PERIODONTAL TREATMENT AFTERCARE:
1.) Congratulations! You have taken a very big step towards the improvement of your companion’s oral health!
2.) Even if your dog or cat did not have extractions done today, he or she will probably have a sore mouth for the next 2-3 days. If extractions were performed, the soreness may persist for 4-5 days. You can feed your dog or cat a small meal tonight (about ½ of normal) and can offer him/her about half of the usual amount of water. Tomorrow you can feed a normal amount of food and water, but you may want to feed canned food for the next few days.
3.) If extractions were performed, do not be surprised if you notice a small amount of bleeding from your cat or dog’s mouth. You may notice a small amount of blood in the water dish, too, after your companion takes a drink of water. Although a small amount of bleeding may be expected following dental extractions, significant hemorrhage is NOT expected and you should contact us right away if you have any concerns.
4.) Some animals with particularly severe periodontal disease may require having all or most of their teeth extracted. These animals usually feel much better once these painful, infected teeth have been removed. They usually need to eat canned food, but otherwise have no problems with eating.
5.) Antibiotics: Some animals with evidence of severe subgingival infection may require antibiotics for 10 days or so following their teeth cleaning. This decision is made on a case by case basis, and your companion may or may not need to go home on antibiotics.
6.) Now is a good time to start thinking about PREVENTION of periodontal disease. If your companion already has periodontal disease, the teeth cleaning was an important part of slowing the progression of the disease. There are other steps you can take to prevent or delay the progression of periodontal disease. Brushing your cat or dog’s teeth can be an important part of maintaining good oral health. Both finger brushes and “regular” toothbrushes are available. It is important to use dog/cat toothpaste as opposed to human toothpaste. Your companion will also probably enjoy the variety of flavored toothpaste available for animals (poultry, malt, and vanilla-mint flavors). Many dogs enjoy having their teeth brushed because the toothpaste is actually a “treat” for them! Cats may or may not view the toothpaste as a treat! Remember that your companion’s mouth is sore right now, so wait for about a week to start brushing his/her teeth. If your companion had Doxirobe antibiotic resin applied under the gumline, you will want to wait 2 weeks to start brushing. Starting sooner may result in accidentally brushing away the resin! Also, keep in mind that daily brushing is most efficacious; weekly brushing may be no better than not brushing at all.
7.) DIET: Much has been made of dry food vs. canned food for the prevention of dental disease in dogs and cats. In truth, it probably doesn’t make much difference. If you feed dry food to your dog/cat and his/her periodontal health is good, chances are that feeding canned food would produce the same result. Some animals just seem to be more prone to periodontal disease than others. However, there is a dietary option which could potentially make a BIG difference to your animal’s periodontal health. Science Diet T/D is a dry food which breaks in such a way as to shear tartar off of your dog or cat’s teeth. It is most effective at PREVENTING tartar build-up on teeth which have recently been cleaned. We recommend starting your dog or cat on this diet approximately one week after the teeth cleaning (to allow time for any soreness to go away). Obese or overweight animals should not be put on this diet since it is a relatively palatable diet which animals tend to gain weight on. The diet also is not designed for pregnant or lactating animals. Animals with severe periodontal disease should have their teeth cleaned before going on this diet.