Dental disease is found in 4 out of 5 pets over the age of 3!
We all know the importance of looking after our own teeth but is just as important to look after your pet's teeth as well. Pets do not have the same powers of communication of their discomfort and a lot of dental problems are overlooked in our pets. The introduction of a dental hygiene routine and selecting a suitable food can help towards preventing dental disease.
Signs of dental disease include:
- Smelly breath (halitosis)
- Red or swollen gums (gingivitis)
- Difficulty in eating and chewing food
- Loose teeth
- Weight loss
- Bacterial infection which can cause infection in other parts of the body
Both dogs and cats require special brushes. There are dog and cat toothpastes - either fish or poultry flavoured. Human toothpaste should not be used as this can lead to problems with fluoride toxicity. If introduced at an early age, many pets will tolerate brushing well. Initially, finger brushes should be used and then progress to tooth brushes. Most people find their dogs will tolerate the cheek teeth being cleaned before they are happy to allow you to clean the front teeth.
If you find you are unable to brush your pet’s teeth, there are special foods that have been formulated to help with tooth cleaning and there are also gels and other antiseptic solutions that can be applied on a daily basis.
We offer free nurse clinics where our nurses will advise on your options.
Scale and Polish
Once tartar has formed, it is necessary to remove it with a professional scale and polish under a general anaesthetic. While your pet is anaesthetised, we examine all the teeth and will extract any teeth that have severe periodontal disease or cavities that are beyond repair.
Once the tartar has been removed, dental home care goes a long way to prevent re-occurrence.