Dentistry is a rapidly growing area of veterinary science. We have seen greater awareness over the last 25 years of its importance to the overall health and wellbeing of the animals we treat.
Just like humans, pets’ teeth need looking after too. The health of their teeth and gums has a significant impact on their overall quality of life. Imagine how your mouth would feel (and smell!) if you never brushed your teeth! Imagine having a horrible toothache and not being able to tell anyone about it!
Dental disease begins with a build-up of bacteria in your pet’s mouth. Bacteria, combined with saliva and food debris, can cause plaque to accumulate on the tooth. As calcium salts are deposited, plaque turns to tartar (brown or yellow material starting near the gumline of the tooth). Without proper preventive or therapeutic care, plaque and tartar build-up leads to periodontal disease, which affects the tissues and structures supporting the teeth. Periodontal disease can cause oral pain, tooth loss, and even heart or kidney problems.
Common signs of dental disease, in order of severity, include:
- Yellow-brown tartar around the gumline
- 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
If your pet is showing any of these signs, please call us to book an appointment.
Early assessment and action can save your pet’s teeth!
What does a professional dental clean involve?
It is the same as a scale and polish performed on us by a dentist. However, unlike us, our pets will not sit still or open their mouth to allow a comprehensive clean of their teeth. For this reason, our pets need to have a general anaesthetic for a professional dental clean. First, your pet will need to be examined by one of our veterinarians. The degree of dental disease will be assessed to determine if extractions, antibiotics, and anti-inflammatories will be required. The assessment may also include a physical exam, as well as blood tests and urine tests to ensure they are healthy enough to undergo an anaesthetic. Once anaesthetised, we can give your pet's teeth a thorough clean and perform any required extractions, using our specialised dental equipment. When it is time for your pet to go home, we will also discuss methods of reducing dental disease in the future.
For more information on how to prevent dental disease, click here.
Before and after a dental procedure: