Dental exams begin at the home, which is why I feel it is so important to brush your pet's teeth. Even if you use dental diets or topical cleaners, I strongly feel that once weekly or monthly you should exercise dental cleaning with a brush. This is the best way to pick up dental issues before they become horrible or painful and potentially costly. In essence, you do a routine dental exam on your pet. If you pick up any abnormalities, it will be early and there is time to explore options.
Here are great examples of pet dental cases first detected by owners. They involve everything from oral masses to terrible gingivitis.
Young 8 month old cat that owner noticed terrible gum irritation and smell from the cat's mouth.
Luckily it was the result of late eruption of the mature teeth and with oral mouth cleaners the problem was resolved.
Six year old dog with a hard lump above canine tooth discovered by owner. Ended up not being anything serious.
Owner continues to monitor the size of the swelling and catalogues the images.
Broken tooth picked up early by owner. Tooth had to be removed and never developed an infection or created pain for weeks on end.
Mass noticed by owner accidentally while trying to remove a stick from their dog's mouth. The tooth was removed and the mass ending up being a good growth. It was a Fibrous Epulis and cured by removing it.
It is important to visualize and remove these early because if they become extremely large or are acanthomatous they can be inoperable.
Owner did not notice these abnormal looking gums.
It is most likely Boxer hyperplasia of the gums and was referred off to a Veterinary Dentist for treatment.
Sad case of mass in mouth of 8 year old dog. Not diagnosed til quite late ended being a serious tumor that required an oncologist.
The earlier these are diagnosed the better.
Needle points to a hole that has pus coming out of it. This is a broken tooth that went on to cause an abscess.
The tooth was removed and all is well.
As you can see there is more to look for then whether your dog or cat's teeth are developing tartar or inflamed gums. When owners care for their animal's mouths routinely, lots of issues are picked up early which means diagnoses and treatments can begin earlier resulting in better outcomes.
If you notice any abnormalities while cleaning your pet's teeth, post them on TapVet and ask for help from a community that cares.