What is dental disease
Dental disease or gingivitis describes inflammation and infection of the gums. Plaque and tartar build up over time causing gingivitis and often progresses to tooth disease. As with our own teeth, if left untreated gingivitis causes pain and suffering. More seriously, untreated mouth infections can affect other organs thus compromising your pet’s health
Why has my pet developed Dental Disease?
People brush their teeth twice a day, floss and use mouthwash but STILL have to visit their dentist at least yearly to have a dental examination and clean and scale. So it’s not surprising that animals develop dental disease too. Some dogs and cats despite the correct foods and dental preventative treatments at home still develop dental disease.
Poor diet is the biggest contributor to exacerbating dental disease. Diets based on wet tinned food or home cooked foods are soft with little value as far as oral health is concerned.
• Bad breath, often the first sign of dental disease.
• Painful mouth, they may act aggressively if mouth or head is touched.
• Loss of appetite or dropping food when eating.
• Loss of weight.
• Not wanting to chew toys.
If you notice any of these signs in your pet it is time to make an appointment with your veterinarian to have your pet’s mouth examined.
What will my vet do?
At your morning consultation your vet will:
Perform a thorough examination and collect all relevant history on your pet to ensure no other health conditions are present.
Examine and grade your pet’s teeth and gums to determine what is required.
What does my vet look for when grading my pet’s teeth?
GRADE 0 – Healthy mouth and teeth. No plaque or discolouration. OUR AIM!!!
GRADE 1- Plaque on teeth only with NO tartar or gingivitis present.
Grade 0 and 1 is our aim for all our animals.
These animals have no pain or disease and preventatives like brushing, dental diets and dental treats are all that your vet will prescribe.
How can I prevent my pet from getting Dental Disease?
As with people dental disease itself is not 100% preventable, however, the degree of dental disease and the speed at which it develops can be reduced.
The best ways to slow dental disease developing in your pet’s mouth include:
Feed Premium diets with dental treatments included eg Eukanuba diets contain dental defensive additives or Hills t/d (tooth diet) both are excellent choices.
Brush your dog’s teeth at home on a regular basis. The Vet Cross team are happy to show you some tooth brushing tricks.
Many dental treats such as Greenies are available to help reduce plaque build up.
They let you reward your pet and clean their teeth at the same time.
Good quality canine chew toys, designed to reduce tartar build up.
Regular veterinary check-ups are recommended to detect and treat dental disease early.