Teeth Cleaning80% of cats and dogs over 3 years old have dental disease
Why dental disease is so important
Over 85% of dogs and cats have some type of periodontal disease. Periodontal disease simply means that the gums and bone that hold the teeth in place are being destroyed by bacteria in the mouth. This preventable disease is the number one diagnosed disease in our pets, yet many animals suffer needlessly.
We offer FREE dental checks with our nurses to see if there is a problem.
Dogs and cats hide pain very well and will continue to eat even when their mouth hurts a lot. If your pet has smelly breath or dribbles a lot then tooth problems could be the cause.
Daily brushing really helps
The best way to stop tooth problems is brushing daily. Some dental chews and special foods can also help. Our FREE dental checks will show you how to clean your pet’s teeth and which products work well.
Signs of periodontal disease
- Bad breath (halitosis)
- Difficulty eating
- Chewing on one side of the mouth
- Dropping food
- Pawing at the face
- Rubbing the face on the floor
- Becoming head shy
- Painful mouth/face
- If an abscess forms there may be a large swelling on the side of the head
How does dental disease start?
Periodontal disease begins with plaque
Periodontal disease begins with gingivitis, or inflammation of the gum tissue, which is caused by plaque. Plaque is a mixture of saliva, bacteria, glycoproteins and sugars that adhere to the tooth surface. Within minutes after a cleaning, a thin layer of plaque has adhered to the teeth.
Plaque becomes tartar
Eventually this hardens to become calculus or tartar. Calculus by itself is not a problem – it does not cause disease. However, it does create a rough surface for more plaque to adhere to, and pushes the gums away from the teeth, which increases surface area for more plaque to adhere.
Bacteria destroys the bone holding the tooth
Eventually, the supporting structures of the tooth (bone, tissue, periodontal ligament) are destroyed and the tooth becomes mobile and will either fall out on its own or need to be extracted.
What can you do to help?
Veterinarians recommend the following care for pets:
STEP 1: Bring your pet in for a FREE dental exam. Don’t wait for his annual check-up if you suspect a problem.
STEP 2: Begin a dental care regimen at home. Brushing your pet’s teeth daily is very important. We also recommend using a specially formulated dental rinse, and dental chews and food. Please ask us if you need instructions on brushing your pet’s teeth, or if you have any other questions.
STEP 3: Schedule your pets for an annual teeth cleaning with x-rays. This is also very important and ensures we are catching any disease early enough to treat. Periodontal disease and oral bacteria can easily affect other organ systems including the heart, liver, kidneys, lungs and brain.