What is your pet’s breath telling you?
It’s hard to believe that 80% of dogs and cats 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 dental problem.
What is 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.
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 (radiographs) 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 and oral gels, premium dental and prescription dental diets with internationally approved 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. In July and August you can save on dental diets and treats, ask us for more information.
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!
Our vets share some easy home tips to maintain your pets dental health
Chat to your friendly Greencross Vets team today to learn more about dental care.