Dental disease is one of the most common problems we see in veterinary practice. While a regular check-up with us will help to identify any dental issues your pet might be hiding, there are a few things you can look out for at home:
Signs of dental disease in dogs and cats:
• Bad breath
• Yellowing or brown stains on the teeth
• Redness of the gums around the teeth
• Ropey saliva or bleeding gums
• A loss of appetite or weight loss
What causes dental disease?
When particles of food and bacteria accumulate along the gum line, they combine with saliva to form plaque. If over time, this plaque is allowed to build up, there will be a subsequent accumulation of tartar and bacteria. The presence of this tartar and bacteria leads to inflammation around the gum line, a condition known as gingivitis.
As dental disease progresses, there is a separation of the gum from the teeth and pockets of bacteria form. Once this happens, your pet will be suffering from irreversible bone loss, tissue destruction and wobbly, rotten teeth. These changes can be severely painful and can significantly affect your pet’s quality of life.
What to do if you think your pet has dental disease
You should not ignore this disease. Dental disease is painful and can impact the overall health of your pet as the bacteria enter the bloodstream and make their way around your pet’s body.
If we diagnose the dental disease early enough, we can implement a treatment plan and slow the progression of this condition. Correct management of dental disease means your pet will lead a happier and healthier life and, in most cases, will be less likely to need major dental procedures during their life.
We strongly recommend getting your pet in to see Dr Peter or Dr Dylan for a dental check-up if you haven’t done so in the past 12 months.