Dental care for your pet

Smelly pet breath isn’t normal

While many people believe that bad breath is normal for their furry friends, it can be an indication of a dental problem. Proper dental care for pets is critical to your pet’s overall health and wellbeing. Dental disease, if left untreated or undetected, can cause pain, discomfort and bacteria which can result in heart, liver, and kidney health problems.

The good news is, in most cases, dental disease is preventable with regular dental examinations and the appropriate ongoing dental care. There are things you can do at home to ensure your pet’s teeth are in top condition. Having a free dental health check at your local Greencross Vets will give you and your pet a good starting point.

Book a dental check up with your local Greencross Vets team today.

What causes dental disease?

Dental disease is the inflammation of the teeth and gums caused by the build up of plaque and tartar. Plaque is made up of food particles, saliva and bacteria, which sticks to the surface of the tooth and, if not removed, will calcify into tartar. tartar. Plaque is that furry material we can feel on our own teeth if we haven’t brushed them. This occurs both above and below the gum line and over time can lead to the destruction of the supportive tissues of the teeth including bone, resulting in bad breath, oral pain and loss of teeth. Dental disease is painful for pets but they can’t tell us that it hurts. If left untreated, dental disease advances and can contribute heart, liver and kidney problems.

The good news is, in most cases, this disease is preventable with regular dental examinations and the appropriate ongoing dental care by you and your veterinary care team at Greencross Vets. We can help your pet have clean, healthy teeth and fresh breath!


The 7 signs of dental disease

There are seven signs that may indicate your pet has dental disease. Ask us for more information.

  1. Discolouration or build up of plaque/tartar on teeth
  2. Bad breath
  3. Difficulty eating or loss of appetite
  4. Redness or inflammation of the gum
  5. Pawing at the mouth
  6. Swelling under the eye
  7. Discomfort, lumps or bleeding around the mouth. blood tinged saliva, being lethargic

How can I help my pet have healthy teeth and gums?

Regular vet checks will help to identify any development of dental disease and will allow your vet to discuss the best management plan for your pet. For adult cats and dogs with existing dental disease, a dental treatment with a scale and polish under general anaesthetic is necessary to remove the plaque and tartar build up and restore the teeth back to pearly white. Vets will also examine the teeth, they may take dental x-rays and will treat any diseased teeth. This will allow us to start preventative home-care measures with a clean mouth and prevent, or slow down, dental disease developing again in the future.

There are things you can do at home such as daily brushing, encouraging your pet to eat slowly, water additives, premium dental diets with dental claims that can significantly reduce the development of plaque or tartar. Some chewy treats are also specifically designed to reduce plaque or tartar, promote healthy gums and freshen breath.

If your pet is calm and relaxed, daily brushing of their teeth with a specially designed pet toothbrush and pet toothpaste is also very beneficial. This is considered as the best method of removing plaque, just like it is for us!

Chat to your friendly Greencross Vets team today to learn more about dental care.


7 tips to keep your pet’s teeth healthy

  1. Visit us for regulat dental check-ups
  2. Feed a dental diet
  3. Feed dental treats and chews
  4. Play with dental toys
  5. Use a pet tooth brush
  6. Follow the dental care plan provided by your vet
  7. Use plaque control gels, rinses and water additives

What’s involved in a dental procedure?

A dental scale and polish procedure is sometimes required depending on the severity of dental disease present. This ensures the teeth can be cleaned properly and it is performed under general anaesthetic. This procedure includes a full examination including charting of the teeth. Your veterinarian may perform dental x-rays to view the roots of the teeth and this can help detect disease hidden under the gum-line. The teeth are then scaled (cleaned with a special instrument), both ultrasonically and by hand, and then finishing with a polish and special toothpaste.  This procedure is similar to what we experience when we go to the dentist.

Just like your own dentist, we use specialised instruments and pain relief to ensure your pet is safe and comfortable throughout the procedure.

For more information about how to keep your pet’s teeth healthy talk to your local Greencross Vets team.

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