Dental disease is one of the most common conditions in veterinary medicine. More than 70% of dogs and cats over 3 years of age have a degree of dental disease: some with mild plaque and tartar build up while the others may have periodontal and/or endodontic disease where tooth extraction is required.
Dental disease begins with a build up of bacteria in your pet’s mouth. Bacteria, combined with saliva and food debris, can cause plaque to accumulate on the tooth. As calcium salts are deposited, plaque turns to tartar (brown or yellow material starting near the gum line of the tooth). Without proper preventive or therapeutic care, plaque and tartar build-up leads to periodontal disease, which affects the tissues and structures supporting the teeth. Periodontal disease can cause oral pain, tooth loss and even heart or kidney problems.
Common signs of dental disease, in order of severity, include:
- Yellow-brown tartar around the gumline
- Inflamed, red gums
- Change in eating or chewing habits (especially in cats)
- Pawing at the face or mouth
- Pain or bleeding when you touch the gums or mouth
We are fortunate to have a digital dental xrays and this allows us to visualise exactly what is happening under the gum and inside the tooth/teeth. Therefore, we can be certain when your pet needs to have a tooth extracted. All of our patients also receive fluoride treatment at the end of dental surgery.
Once the teeth are clean and gum is healthy, we provide practical advice to maintain dental health. Please contact us if you would like to discuss further.