Just like humans, pets’ teeth need looking after too! The health of their teeth and gum's has a significant impact on their overall quality of life. Alarmingly, 80% of dogs and 70% of cats suffer from some form of dental disease by the age of three.
What is dental disease?
Dental disease begins with a build up of bacteria in your pet’s mouth. Bacteria, combined with saliva and food debris, can cause plaque & tartar to accumulate on the tooth. Without proper preventive or therapeutic care, plaque and tartar build-up leads to gingivitis, which is inflammation of the gum, and periodontal disease, which affects the tissues and structures supporting the teeth. Without routine dental examinations for your pet, dental disease can lead to teeth being extracted.
What are the signs?
- Yellow-brown tartar around the gumline
Inflamed, red gums
Change in eating or chewing habits (especially in cats)
Pawing at the face or mouth
Pain or bleeding when you touch the gums or mouth
What should I do if my pet has dental disease?
Firstly, you should have your pet's teeth examined by one of our veterinarians on a regular basis and if necessary, follow up with a professional dental clean. Your pet needs to be anaesthetised to carry out a thorough dental examination, and to clean all teeth without distressing them. Once anaesthetised, a complete dental examination is carried out.
How can I minimise ongoing dental disease?
Long-term control and prevention of dental disease requires regular home care. The best way to begin this is to acclimatise your pet from a young age. Dental home care may include:
Brushing teeth daily – just like us! This is the best form of dental hygiene. Pet toothbrushes and toothpaste are now available. Please do not use human toothpaste formulas as they are not designed to be swallowed and may be toxic to your pet.
Feed pets raw meaty bones or special dental diets. This can help reduce the accumulation of tartar.
Use dental toys, enzymatic chews, or teeth cleaning biscuits, all of which may help keep the teeth clean.
Regular and frequent attention to your pet's teeth may avoid the need for a professional dental clean under anaesthetic, and will also improve your pet's overall health.
At Walwa Veterinary Practice, our veterinarians can perform dental examinations, plaque removal and teeth extractions to ensure the oral health of your pets is of the highest standard.