Did you know that by the age of three, 4 out of every 5 dogs and cats have dental disease (that’s 80%)? Bad breath is not normal in your furry friend! Here is a guide to help you to look for and prevent dental disease.
- Annual Health Checks are a good way to have you canine companion or feline friend examined for dental disease. Your veterinarian or veterinary nurse can grade their dental disease with a score out of 4. Here are some pictures to help you understand the grading system.
- Similar to humans, four hours after eating, bacteria, saliva and food can start to accumulate on your pet’s teeth. This is the formation of plaque. The bacteria in plaque excrete toxins and breakdown the gums causing inflammation and bad breath.
- Plaque if not removed, builds up on the teeth and forms tartar. Plaque and tartar on the teeth lead to gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) and periodontal disease (inflammation and disease of the structures of the tooth).
- It is important to note that the bacteria building up in your animal companion’s mouth can lead to other infections in the body such as heart disease, kidney disease, lung disease, liver disease, skin disease and prostate disease.
- Signs of dental disease in your four-legged friend include:
- Discoloured teeth
- Red/inflamed gums
- Missing teeth
- Reduced appetite
- Rubbing or pawing at the mouth
- Swelling around the muzzle or below the eyes
- Reluctance to play or chew toys
- The veterinary team at Epsom Road Veterinary Clinic can help your friend with the appropriate dental care after a dental examination. Treatment of dental disease can include dental scaling and polishing under a general anaesthetic as well as extractions of teeth if required to remove infected tooth roots.
- Preventative oral hygiene can be discussed with the team here at Epsom Road Vet Clinic and this includes: dental specific diets which help reduce tartar build-up, tooth brushing and other dental hygiene aids such as treats and water additives.
- Remember that prevention is the key, so it is worth booking in a dental health check at least once a year with your pets yearly health check, this is similar to the human recommendations to see your dentist once a year.
The Australian Veterinary Association Dental Health month is August. Please contact Epsom Road Veterinary Clinic for further information.
Free dental grading at Epsom Road Veterinary Clinic during dental month.