The Dental Health of Your Pet
Good dental health is essential for a happy and healthy pet. Checking your pets mouth for signs of dental disease and regular vet checks enable us to identify the early signs of dental disease and prevent further damage with at home dental plans and regular professional cleaning.
The accumulation of bacteria, saliva and food on teeth is referred to as plaque, if not removed from the tooth over time the plaque becomes mineralised forming a hard coating over the tooth called tartar. The build up of plaque and tartar is reversible and if caught and treated early there is a good chance for the return of a healthy mouth. If tartar is not removed the bacteria present within it begin to damage the structures holding the tooth in place. Initially there will be inflammation of the gums termed gingivitis, the gums appear reddened and bleed easily. Further progression leads to damage of the ligaments and bone surrounding the tooth compromising tooth integrity. These changes are irreversible and are collectively called periodontal disease which is very painful for your pet. When gums bleed and teeth loosen it allows bacteria from the mouth to enter the blood stream, which can then travel to and lodge in other organs, potentially causing damage. It is therefore very important to have a healthy dental plan in place to aid in creating a healthy pet.
Many factors play a role in dental disease, some of which we can address to reduce and slow its progression. Creating a healthy mouth starts at home, with regular teeth examinations. It is ideal to start checking your pets mouth from a young age so they get used to their mouths being examined. Signs your pet may have dental disease include: bad breath, not eating, excessive drooling, discoloured teeth and bleeding gums. If you detect any of these signs in your pets mouth then its best to get it checked by your veterinarian.
At home tools you can use at home to help reduce plaque and tartar build up on teeth are, special diets formulated to help clean teeth, tooth brushing and dental chews. However If your pet already has a plaque and tartar build up present then they require a professional scale and polish to help return the mouth to a healthy state.
If you would like to get your pets dental health assessed, or if you have any further questions or concerns regarding dental procedures please feel free to call us at the clinic and we will be happy to discuss these with you.