We often dismiss bad breath in our dogs and cats as being normal. It can, however, be a sign of something serious: periodontal disease, an infection of structures surrounding the teeth. Like humans, plaque starts to build up on teeth that are not kept clean. This plaque begins to harden after a few days and becomes tartar which is hard to remove without dental instruments. The build-up of tartar starts to irritate the gums, causing gingivitis. Along with tartar, bacteria also accumulate in and around the gums, leading to infections of the bone surrounding the teeth.
When it comes to keeping our pets in good health, we often consider exercise and nutrition, however many people do not realise the significance that dental health can have on their pets overall well being. Ensure that your visit with a veterinarian includes a regular dental check-up. Warning signs that your pet has dental disease can also include refusal to eat or a change in eating habits, pawing at the mouth, excessive salivation and pain when eating.
Brushing your pet’s teeth is incredibly important and, like us, should be part of a daily oral health regime. Always use a veterinary approved toothpaste and appropriate toothbrush when brushing your pet’s teeth. Diet can play a part in dental health and so choosing the right food for your dog or cat can benefit them greatly. Prevention is at the forefront of reducing the frequency of dental related disease, however there will come a time when your pet will be in need of therapeutic intervention. Dental scaling and polishing will likely be the starting point, but further treatment may be necessary, such as extractions.
If you feel like your pet needs a dental check-up, don’t hesitate to contact us.