Dental Care for Dogs

Did you know that nearly 49 million households across the United States have a dog that they consider a valued member of their family? Unfortunately, while many pet owners brush their teeth daily, they often do not give their canine the same attention to dental health that they provide themselves. By taking the time to actively “brush up” on your dog’s dental care and ensure they are receiving the best care possible, you can make sure that they remain your best friend for a long time and do not suffer from a variety of common oral problems.

Dog toothbrush

Although periodontal disease is preventable with the appropriate care, it is often considered one of the most common clinical conditions that canines face. Advanced Care Veterinary Hospital can provide a wide range of dental services from routine cleanings to more advanced surgical procedures. Our veterinarians can help suggest a customized dental treatment to help protect your dog’s dental health; however, we suggest that your pet’s teeth be checked at least once annually to monitor for warning signs that could hinder the oral hygiene of your dog.

Why Is Dental Care for Dogs Important?

Without the appropriate attention to oral health, many dogs will begin to show progressively worse signs that their teeth are deteriorating. When this happens, the damage done to the teeth can make it painful for the dog to eat and may require extraction to restore that ability. By taking a stand early and prioritizing the dental care for your dog, you can ensure they will be able to chew and play well into their golden years without any problems. Some common reasons why dental care for dogs is so important include:

Dog Dentist
  • Avoiding Periodontal Disease – According to one study, around 86% of dogs showed signs of gingivitis or periodontal disease. When tartar is left on a dog’s teeth, it can lead to inflammation and gum infection that make the teeth more vulnerable. If these issues are not addressed, tooth loss or pain will be inevitable as the periodontal disease progresses.
  • Limiting Bad Breath – If you have ever had your dog give you a big, slobbery kiss and complained about their bad breath. This bad breath is often attributed to the buildup of bacteria and food particles that cling to the teeth to form plaque. If plaque is not removed, it will harden into tartar and will require professional cleaning to remove.
  • Preventing Organ Damage – Plaque-causing bacteria can enter the bloodstream and travel to various organs inside of the body including the heart, liver and kidneys. Known as bacteremia, this condition can cause organ damage and make dogs incredibly sick. Taking the time to improve their dental care can add another layer of protection.
  • Saving Money Long Term – Catching dental health issues as soon as possible can help limit the chances of a related problem from occurring. If plaque can be cleaned before it hardens on the dog’s teeth, it can save money by not requiring expensive procedures later while also protecting the overall health of the dog. Taking small steps now can provide great financial benefits later.

Poor dental health can quickly decrease the quality of life that a dog can have – particularly once the signs of periodontal disease continue to progress and create new issues. While oral health may currently be an afterthought for many pet owners, taking the time to monitor your dog’s dental hygiene and quickly resolve issues is extremely important. If your dog already has signs that its teeth are deteriorating, schedule an appointment with our friendly Veterinarian staff today to make your pet’s health a priority.

Schedule an appointment today!

Signs of Dental Issues in Dogs

Pet owners will often not realize their dog is experiencing dental problems until they become more advanced. While keeping regular appointments with your veterinarian is a great way to ensure your dog’s entire health is being accounted for and will help detect potential dental issues early on. Some common signs of dental issues in dogs include:

  • Discolored Teeth 
  • Broken or Loose Teeth 
  • Reduced Appetite 
  • Refusal to Eat 
  • Abnormal Chewing Behaviors 
  • Excessive Drooling 
  • Pain in or Around the Mouth 
  • Visible Mouth Swelling
Dog Teeth

Any changes in a dog’s behavior should prompt an appointment with your preferred veterinarian. Although dogs are great a hiding their pain, some may become irritable or stressed when they have dental problems or could stop eating completely to avoid extra pain. If you are experiencing any of these issues, do not hesitate to schedule an appointment to get your dog’s teeth checked for potential issues. No matter what the dental care needs of your dog may be, Advanced Care Veterinary Hospital is here to help.

What Should You Expect During a Dog Dental Procedure?

When a pet owner decides to take charge of their dog’s dental health and get their teeth cleaned, they will typically schedule a dental with their veterinarian; however, it is not uncommon for this process to cause some confusion. Keeping your dog’s teeth clean and free from plaque or tartar can help prevent other serious health problems that could negatively impact their life. But what should you expect when a dental procedure occurs?

Before a dog dental procedure, the veterinarian will discuss the dog’s health history and perform a complete physical exam. This could also include them taking a sample of their blood and urine for lab work. Any possible dental procedures that may be required can be discussed at this point including minor treatments, like a dental cleaning or scaling, or more advanced analysis through periodontal probing or x-rays.

Dog Vet
Dog dental cleaning

Unlike a human dental appointment, dogs will need anesthesia done to ensure a smooth process. For this reason, they will often need to be dropped off at the veterinary hospital early to let them settle in and complete pre-anesthesia protocols. While the dog is under anesthesia, the veterinarian will remove plaque and tartar from its teeth and polish them. At this point, the vet may also use a dental probe to look for other problems that may be occurring or may require x-rays. 

Once the dental procedure is complete, the veterinarian will review everything that was completed with the pet owner. This is a great opportunity for the pet owner to ask any questions that they may have about the dental hygiene needed for the dog to avoid future problems and learn what aftercare steps may be needed. Once the dog is discharged, it is normal for them to remain mildly groggy for several hours; however, they should return to their normal demeanor that same evening.  

How Can You Schedule Dental Care for Your Dog?

Any dog owner that needs to schedule dental care or a dental checkup for their pet for the first time will need to contact the team at Advanced Care Veterinary Hospital. In many cases, we will require an initial consultation and examination to determine what issues your dog may be experiencing and then create the best care plan possible to meet the unique problems they are facing. Our veterinarian team strives to ensure your dog is treated like it was our own and will work tirelessly to ease any stress or fear that may be associated with their visit and recommended treatments. 

Dog dental

Why Choose Advanced Care for Dog Veterinary Services?

Advanced Care is more than just a primary care hospital. Our patients and clients are special to us and are the reason why we always treat everyone who comes to visit as another member of our family each and every time they walk in our doors. We do not treat every patient the same because we understand that each one requires individualized care and attention.

Advanced Care Veterinary Hospital Hallway

Meet Our Doctors

Jennifer Patton


Dr. Patton’s decision to pursue veterinary medicine came after she realized that while education and teaching is her passion, it is not something she could do as a career. Veterinary medicine allowed her to combine her love of animals with her love of teaching.

After she graduated from Oklahoma State University with her Doctorate, she practiced in several high volume hospitals in the Tulsa area, developing medical skills with varied case loads and growing her leadership skills.


Allissa Huckabay


Dr. Huckabay’s love of science and animals naturally led her to a lifelong passion of veterinary medicine. She worked and volunteered at a local veterinary hospital before she furthered her education at Oklahoma State University, graduating in 2016 with her Doctorate.

Dr Huckabay immediately found her home at ACVH, where she is able to create a healthy bond with each of her patients as she experiences all stages of their care with their owners.


Phillip Adolph

Phillip Adolph, DVM is a graduate of Oklahoma State University Veterinary Health Sciences. He also attended OSU for his undergraduate studies where he graduated with a Bachelors of Arts and Sciences in Agriculture through the College of Animal Sciences. Dr. Adolph was on the President’s Honor Roll and was a member of the OSU jazz orchestra. He joined the Advanced Care team immediately upon his graduation in 2019 after doing 6 weeks of externships during his 4th year of veterinary school.