A Guide to Dental Antibiotics for Pets

Dental antibiotics for pets are a normal part of a veterinary teeth cleaning.

Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease is an inflammation of the gums due to bacterial growth.

Bacteria cause bad breath, irritated and swollen gums, tooth discoloration, and a build-up of grimy or chalky substance on the teeth. When bacteria mix with food and saliva, plaque will quickly form if it is not removed. Plaque can turn into tartar, which is hard. Untreated plaque will eventually form gingivitis, the inflammation of an animal's gums.

Gingivitis can begin to form in between the teeth and gums, allowing bacteria to enter that space and damage the structure of an animal's mouth. Periodontal disease is serious, but can be treated.

Dental Antibiotics prior to Procedure

If a pet has a lot of bacteria in his mouth, a dentist will prescribe an antibiotic treatment, which begins a few days before a dental procedure. This treatment will continue for a few days after the procedure. The goal of prescribing antibiotics before a dental procedure is to treat or prevent the chance of an oral infection.

When an animal has tartar or gingivitis, they have gums that will bleed. If the gums bleed, there is a greater chance that bacteria will enter the oral wound, causing an infection.

Dental Antibiotics after a Procedure

If a pet has had oral surgery, major dental work, or an extraction, he may receive a dose of antibiotics via injection while at the veterinarian's office during or after a procedure. The antibiotics, if administered during the procedure, will often be placed or injected in the areas between the teeth and gums.

The goal of administering antibiotics after an animal's dental procedure is to prevent or treat oral infections, which can be very painful and damaging. Oral antibiotics can also be prescribed in the form of a pill, oral rinse or syrup.

Preventing Oral Bacterial Infections

Healthy teeth and gums are vital, as animals depend on their mouths for many actions. A veterinary dentist is not solely responsible for the health of your pet's teeth. Dental care also needs to be maintained at home.

A pet's teeth should be brushed on a regular basis for one or two minutes, using a pet toothbrush and pet toothpaste. It should be noted: teeth brushing may take some practice for a pet and his owner at first.

Many infections and diseases of the mouth can be prevented in animals with regular teeth cleaning and dental check-ups. Talk to your vet about his recommendations for animal toothpaste, toothbrushes, mouthwashes, and treats or toys that help clean teeth.