By the time they reach the age of two, 80% of dogs and 70% of cats show signs of dental disease. A build-up of plaque may lead to gingivitis or periodontal disease which can infect teeth and bones, causing harmful bacteria to travel via the bloodstream to other organs such as the heart or kidneys. If you are unsure of the dental health of your pet maybe it’s time for a check-up, especially seeing as healthy teeth and gums equals a healthy heart and body. Common signs of bad teeth include, bad breath , yellow staining, inflamed or bleeding gums, dribbling or trouble eating – especially hard foods.
Common signs of bad teeth include:
- Bad breath
- Yellow staining on teeth
- Inflamed or bleeding gums
- Dribbling or trouble eating – especially hard foods
The simplest and best way to keep teeth and gums healthy is to feed a good diet. Soft foods make the teeth largely redundant, and as they say – “use em or lose em”. They also do very little in terms of scraping off old tartar and provide almost no tooth and gum exercise, so it is best to avoid canned foods or dog roll where possible.
For adult cats and dogs, one of the best foods for teeth is the Hills t/d. This Prescription Diet is a complete food that contains all the nutrients your pet needs for a healthy balanced diet and is available from most Vet Clinics. These biscuits are formulated in such a way so they don’t crumble when chewed, instead the kibbles wipe the teeth clean as your pet eats them, effectively brushing the teeth with every bite.
Tooth brushing is another option, but needs to be done regularly (2 or 3 times per week at least) and requires a diligent owner and a cooperative pet.
They say prevention is better than cure and while feeding a good quality dental food will help prevent periodontal disease it may not rid your pets teeth of already accumulated tartar. This is where dentistry is required to give your pet’s mouth a fresh start.
How it works?
Unlike us humans, a good general anaesthetic is always required – even the best behaved pet won’t sit still for us to scale and polish their teeth.
Scaling is done using an ultrasonic instrument that uses vibrations to tap lose large pieces of tartar while spraying a mist of water over the area to regulate local temperature. This instrument is not sharp, so will not cut into or damage teeth. Removing teeth may be necessary when a tooth is too damaged to clean up – this may be because the tooth has broken off or has become too rotten.
The next step is polishing this leaves a smooth surface on the teeth which is harder for plaque to adhere to, so will keep teeth clean for some time after the dentistry – so your pet will have pearly whites ready for the annual family portrait.
If you have any queries feel free to phone us on 07 544 2604