Pet Dental FAQs

Staying on top of your pet’s oral health is just as important as caring for his overall health. If you live in Knoxville, TN, bring your pet to Callahan Drive Animal Hospital for oral care. We offer annual dental exams and cleanings for dogs and cats to keep their teeth in great shape. These FAQs from our Knoxville, TN veterinarian explain more about the importance of pet dental care.


Are pet dental problems common?

Periodontal disease is a common ailment in dogs and cats. Pets are also prone to tooth infections, abscesses, bleeding gums, tooth discoloration, and other dental issues. By scheduling an annual pet exam and teeth cleaning at our clinic, you reduce the risk of your cat or dog suffering from dental ailments.

What are some signs that my pet has dental problems?

Gum disease can develop over a period of time without many noticeable symptoms. In its advanced stage, however, your pet may develop swollen and/or bleeding gums. He may also have loose teeth or already suffered tooth loss. Common symptoms of dental issues with your pet include:

  • Foul breath
  • Loss of appetite or difficulty chewing due to painful or loose teeth
  • Excessive drooling
  • Chipped, loose, or cracked teeth
  • Bumps in your pet’s mouth
  • Bleeding gums
  • Discolored teeth

How often should my pet have his teeth cleaned?

Annual dental exams and cleanings will suffice for most pets, if their teeth and gums are in good health. Senior pets may need biannual visits and cleanings.

What dental problems can pets develop?

Like people, pets are prone to:

  • Plaque and tartar buildup
  • Periodontal disease
  • Abscesses
  • Tooth infections and decay
  • Tooth or jawbone fracture

What can I expect from a pet dental exam and cleaning?

During a pet exam, our veterinarian will thoroughly inspect your pet’s teeth and gums for signs of decay, infection, or disease. If necessary, we’ll take x-rays to detect bone loss under the gum line where bacteria can breed. During a cleaning, we’ll scale your pet’s teeth to remove plaque and tartar and then polish them to leave them smooth and shiny.  

Is it necessary to use anesthesia for pet dental care?

Anesthesia puts your pet to sleep to enable our vet to thoroughly inspect and clean his teeth without him feeling pain or discomfort or squirming around during the procedure. Sedating animals for dental exams and teeth cleaning is safe, practical, and humane.

Trust Our Knoxville, TN Veterinarian for Your Pet’s Dental Care

Professional cleanings combined with diligent home dental care can improve your pet’s oral health. To schedule a dental exam and cleaning for your cat or dog, contact Callahan Drive Animal Hospital in Knoxville, TN at (865) 938-0243.


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Read What Our Clients Say

  • "I love Callahan Drive Animal Hospital! Best Veterinarian & Staff in Knoxville been going here for 15 years ! Only place I trust with my fur babies ! Everyone is helpful and friendly and they really care about your animals highly recommend !"
    Tracy S.
  • "Took my 3 y/o tortoise recently and I was pleasantly surprised. Not only was the vet knowledgeable and kind, but the overall visit (including an x-ray) was reasonably priced. I definitely recommend and I will be returning for future services"
    Valerie B.
  • "This group loves animals! Everyone is so kind and helpful! This Vet loves sharing information too! Wouldn’t go anywhere else!"
    Karen W.
  • "This is the best vet I’ve ever took my dog to I couldn’t see myself going anywhere else they took very good care of my son and I feel so much better knowing exactly what’s wrong with him very very sweet staff thank you soooooooo much Dr.Hilla and staff"
    Diane J.
  • "Doc Villa ALWAYS takes care of Studly Dudley!! I will ALWAYS recommend Callahan Drive Animal Hospital & their entire team as they truly do care for your animal in the same way you do!! Dr Villa has cared for Dudley for most of his SIXTEEN years & he’s still happy, healthy & strong!! I strongly believe, Stud has made it to this old age so gracefully due to the care he’s been given with this facility!! I would not trust another team than Callahan Animal with my “first child”, the only place for us to go!! Highly recommended!!"
    Lauren H.
  • "10/10 experience was even better than hoped for. As a snake owner, you hear things about vets that make you question taking them and it was very comforting and nice to have someone who not only helped but took the time to talk about caring for them properly. Thank you guys so much!"
    Lydia B