Just like humans, pets also need to have their teeth taken care of. Deterioration in the pet’s health can be caused by dental issues. Bad dental health can result in bad breath and pain for your pet and a lowered quality of life. Plaque accumulates from the food debris and saliva combined with bacteria adhering to the teeth. Calcium salts turn the plaque to tartar. Tartar build up can lead to periodontal disease. This affects the structures and tissues supporting the teeth. This can result in tooth loss and oral pain. It can even lead to kidney or heart problems if left untreated.

Signs of dental disease include: yellowish brown build-up on the gum-line (tartar), inflamed gums, bad breath, a change in chewing or eating habits, pawing at the mouth or face, excessive drooling, bleeding or pain when the mouth or gums are touched. Should your pet show any of these signs or symptoms, you should book an appointment for a vet to assess your pet’s dental needs. Early detection of problems can save your pet’s teeth, reduce pain and improve their well-being.

Prevention of dental disease requires home care. This can include brushing your pet’s teeth with a pet safe toothpaste (do not use human toothpaste), feeding them meaty bones (raw) or dental diets to reduce tartar build-up. Teeth cleaning biscuits, enzymatic chews and other dental toys can assist in keeping the teeth clean. Check your pet’s teeth regularly so that tartar can be treated before it turns into periodontal disease. If the build-up is not removed via home care, your pet may need to have their teeth cleaned by a vet under anaesthetic.

A professional dental clean includes scaling (removing tartar) and polishing the teeth. Your vet will assess your pet to determine if any teeth need to be extracted and if anti-inflammatories and antibiotics will be required to treat the dental disease. The assessment may also include blood tests and urine tests, along with a physical exam to ensure the pet is healthy before undergoing anaesthesia. You vet will discuss after care and further methods to ensure a reduced risk of future dental disease.