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It’s recommended that we visit the dentist every six months and brush our teeth at least twice a day to keep them healthy and clean. But what about our pets? Do those same rules apply? Yes..to some degree!

According to Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, “80-90% of dogs [and 70% of cats] over the age of three have some component of periodontal disease.” Therefore, it is recommended to brush your pet’s teeth daily or every other day to help remove the bacteria that accumulate and prevent periodontal disease, as well as visit your primary care veterinarian annually for a thorough oral health examination.

How An Unhealthy Mouth Can Harm Your Pet 

Poor dental and oral health can seriously impact the overall well-being of our pets. Beyond plaque buildup, gum disease, and tooth decay, neglected dental hygiene can lead to severe health issues if not addressed properly.

Affects Vital Organs – Untreated dental problems can introduce harmful bacteria into the bloodstream through inflamed gums and oral tissues. These bacteria can travel to vital organs such as the heart, liver, and kidneys. The bacteria from dental infections can contribute to conditions like endocarditis (inflammation of the heart’s inner lining), liver abscesses, and kidney infections.

Causes Pain and Discomfort – Dental issues in pets can lead to significant pain and discomfort. Left without medical treatment, these issues can lead to fractured teeth, inflamed gums, toothaches, and infections.

Leads to Larger Issues – Ignoring dental health can exacerbate the problem, leading to more severe consequences—like periodontal disease. Periodontal disease evolves into five stages and is only reversible if caught at stage one—gingivitis. It’s important to address your pet’s oral health before periodontal disease progresses to the later stages, which include loss of bone structure and tooth loss.

Safe Chew Toys

It’s important to choose toys and treats that won’t harm your pet’s teeth. A good rule of thumb is to try to make an indent in the chew toy with your nail. If you’re unable to, then that means the toy is too hard for your pet. Additionally, you should check and make sure that the toys and dental supplies you’re choosing are backed and approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council.

Advanced Dentistry at BEVS

Our Dentistry department is led by Bill Kellner, DVM, DAVDC, a board-certified veterinary dentist. With over 30 years of experience, you can rest assured your pet is in qualified and compassionate hands.

We work in close partnership with primary care veterinarians across the region to provide a full range of advanced oral care for companion animals in need, including:

  • Dental imaging – including X-ray, CT, and MRI
  • Endodontics – including root canal treatment for broken, dead or infected teeth
  • Feline dentistry – including treatment for tooth resorption and stomatitis
  • Maxillofacial surgery – treatment for jaw fractures
  • Oral surgery – including surgical extractions, cancer/tumor surgery
  • Orthodontics – treatment for malocclusion
  • Periodontal surgery – including treatment to save teeth
  • Senior, geriatric, and fragile pet dental/oral care – in addition to our advanced anesthesia training, we work closely with a board-certified anesthesiologist

Ready to schedule a consultation with BEVS’ dentistry department? We welcome your call at 802-863-2387.

Meet the BEVS Dentistry Team

We asked our dentistry team some fun questions (1. What is your favorite thing about dentistry? 2. Do you have any pets at home? 3. What is your favorite board game or video game?) so you can get to know them better. Check out their answers below!

Nicole, Veterinary Assistant
1. Taking dental x-rays
2. Two leopard geckos and one crested gecko
3. Animal Crossing





Pheobe, Veterinary Assistant
1. The satisfaction of fixing a problem and improving a pet’s dental health
2. Cat – burrito
3. Settlers of Catan






Mandee, CVT, VTS (Dentistry)
1. Dental surgery is safe and satisfying
2. 2 cats and 3 dogs
3. Very accomplished crochet artist

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