Is bad breath normal?
It’s hard to believe that four in five of our dog and cat patients over three years of age have some form of dental disease. While many people believe that bad breath is normal for their furry friends, it can be an indication of a problem.
What causes dental disease?
Dental disease is 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. If not removed, it will calcify into tartar and progress from there.
This takes place above and below the gum line. Over time, it leads to the destruction of the bone, resulting in bad breath, oral pain, and loss of teeth.
Seven signs of dental disease
- discolouration or build-up on teeth
- bad breath
- under eye swelling
- discomfort, lumps, or bleeding around the mouth
- gum redness or inflammation
- pawing at the mouth
- difficulty eating or loss of appetite
How can I help my pet have healthy teeth and gums?
Regular vet checks will help to identify any development of dental disease. For adult pets with existing dental disease, a scale and polish under general anaesthetic is often necessary to get their mouth back into top condition. This will allow us to start preventative 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 introducing specialty dental diets that can significantly reduce the development of tartar. Some chewy treats are also specifically designed to reduce 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 beneficial.
Before and after dental procedure
A dental scale and polish procedure is sometimes required depending on the grade of dental disease present. It includes charting and scaling, both ultrasonically and by hand, and then finishing with a polish.
Just like your own dentist, we use specialised instruments to ensure your pet is safe and comfortable throughout the procedure.