Pet Dental FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions About Pet Dental Care

Pet Dental

The inside of a pet's mouth can be a mysterious place, especially if you're new to the world of pet ownership and you're still trying to sort out your pet's health and wellness needs. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about pet dental care here at Sheehy Animal Hospital.

Do pets have the same dental issues as humans?

Pets' teeth, jaws, and oral tissues have many anatomical similarities to those of humans, so they do indeed encounter many of the same dental and oral challenges. These may include periodontal disease, tooth damage or other injury, gum/tooth/jawbone infections, and oral cancer.

What is periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease is the most common dental problem afflicting pets. This disease of the gum tissue surrounding the teeth begins when bacteria attracted to plaque and tartar set off an inflammatory reaction. Your pet may experience severe oral pain or even lose his teeth from this disease.

My pet has a cracked/broken tooth. Should I worry?

 If you've ever had a cracked or broken tooth, you know how painful it is when the tooth's nerve is exposed. Additionally, the opening in the tooth allows bacteria to enter, possibly causing root canal infections and abscesses of the jaw. Sometimes this bacteria can even find its way to a pet's vital organs.

How can I recognize dental/oral problems?

Check your pet's mouth periodically for telltale signals such as foul breath, blood or pus on the gums, obvious tooth damage, and any unfamiliar-looking spots or lesions. Some pets suffering from dental pain will have trouble eating and resist pats on the head. Oral cancer may be very hard for owners to spot -- and this is worrying because it's a fast-moving, deadly disease.

How do regular exams and cleanings help?

Regular dental exams incorporated into your pet's preventative overall wellness routine allow our Livonia veterinarian, Dr. Sheehy, to catch any dental or oral issues as early as possible. Professional cleanings under anesthesia let us get that tough tartar off of your pet's teeth to discourage bacteria from accumulating near the gums.

How often should a pet have a dental exam?

Most healthy adult pets should have a dental exam once a year. A pet struggling with a known dental or oral problem may need more frequent checkups. Senior animals, and certain breeds that are especially prone to dental problems, may need two exams per year.

What happens if you discover a problem?

Don't fret if we discover a dental or oral problem in your pet. Early detection enables us to recommend and administer the necessary treatments right away. We can tame infections, extract diseased or damaged teeth, and perform oral surgery and other procedures to combat oral cancer.

Get More Answers From Our Livonia Veterinarian

The best way to get your pet dental questions answered is to schedule a dental examination for your furry friend. Call our Livonia veterinarian at 248-206-3030.

Exclusive Offer

New clients receive $20 OFF first exam!

Office Hours


9:00 am-7:00 pm


9:00 am-7:00 pm


9:00 am-7:00 pm


9:00 am-7:00 pm


9:00 am-7:00 pm


9:00 am-3:00 pm





  • "I love this veterinary clinic. Dr. Sheehy and staff are all friendly and seem to take pride in their jobs. I enjoy taking my three rats there and would recommend them to everyone I know."
    Cheyenne H / Livonia, MI

Featured Articles

Read about interesting topics

  • What to do when your pet gets lost?

    Has your pet wriggled their way through the fence or dashed out the front door? When searching for your lost pet, make sure you include these steps in your hunt. ...

    Read More
  • Flea and Tick Season

    Want to protect your pet from fleas and ticks? These tips can help. ...

    Read More
  • Summer Grooming Tips

    Want to keep your pet cool and comfortable this summer? A few changes to your normal grooming routine can help. ...

    Read More
  • What to Do If Your Pet is Stung

    Don't get us wrong, we love the bees! But we don't love when our pets get stung. Follow our tips to treat and prevent bee stings on your furry best friend. ...

    Read More
  • Tips for Traveling With Your Pet

    Do you dread hitting the road with your pet? These tips may make the trip more comfortable and enjoyable for you both. ...

    Read More
  • 6 Questions to Ask At Your Senior Pet's Next Check Up

    Want to keep your senior pet healthy and happy? Ask these six questions at your pet's next check up. ...

    Read More
  • Why the Controversy About Pet Vaccinations?

    As with anything, pet vaccinations can be too much of a good thing. Similar to parents who are learning more about vaccinations for children, veterinarians and pet owners alike are beginning to question some of the standard wisdom when it comes to protecting pets. There are certain fatal diseases against ...

    Read More
  • Pet Clothes: A Fashion Statement or a Necessity?

    There is nothing cuter than a pet in a colorful sweater, but do our furry friends really need to wear clothing? Although clothing is not a necessity for every pet, some animals benefit from a little extra protection during cold or damp days. Others enjoy wearing festive clothing during holidays or other ...

    Read More
  • Introducing a New Pet to Your Current Ones

    Pet Proofing Your Home Introducing your new pet to your current one is only a single part of the equation relating to taking a new pet home. You also have to make sure your new pet is comfortable in your home, which is a foreign environment to the animal. Like humans, animals can experience high levels ...

    Read More
  • Put Some Teeth Into Your Pet’s Dental Care

    According to the American Animal Hospital Association, nearly two-thirds of pets suffer from dental problems because their owners do not provide dental care for them. Imagine what would happen to your own teeth if they were never brushed or examined by a dentist. The same thing can happen with your pet’s ...

    Read More

Newsletter Signup

Sign up for more articles