Does your pet have bad breath? Difficulty eating? Redness or inflammation of the gum?

These are all symptoms of dental disease. Dental disease, also known as periodontal disease, occurs when a build-up of plaque causes inflammation of the gums. This painful disease can make it hard for your furry friend to chew and swallow food, potentially leading to decreased appetite and behavioural changes.

 

What causes dental disease?

Just like in our own teeth, plaque can build up in your pet’s mouth. Plaque is a mixture stuck to the surface of the tooth made up of remnant food particles, saliva, and bacteria. This can harden into calculus or tartar, which build below the gum line and destroy tissue and bone.

When left untreated, this can result in bad breath, tooth decay and loss, and various oral pains. Severe dental disease can allow bacteria to enter the body and, as a result, damage vital organs such as the heart, kidney, and liver.

 

How do I know if my pet has dental disease?
  • Bad breath
  • Pawing at the mouth
  • Loss of appetite or difficulty eating
  • Loose teeth and excessive drooling
  • Discolouration or build-up of plaque or tartar on the teeth
  • Red, bloody, or inflamed gums
  • Swelling of the face
How can I maintain dental hygiene at home?

Regular dental checks can help identify the development of dental disease before it becomes severe. There are some ways that you can help maintain good dental hygiene at home.

  • Dental chews
  • Having a good quality balanced diet, and never give your pet old or cooked bones to chew on, as these can splinter and can cause damage to your pet’s mouth
  • Brushing your pet’s teeth (*Note: There are special pet toothbrushes and pet toothpastes for this)
What happens if my pet has gingivits?

A dental procedure is the best way to eliminate gingivitis in your pets, as dental chews and hard food only act preventatively. During your pet's dental procedure, the Vet will remove any teeth that are damaged enough to cause risk of infection. This is followed by removing any plaque and calculus buildup on the teeth. This is known as "Scaling". Finally your pets teeth are polished. Your pet will be anaesthetised for this procedure, and once the procedure is complete, your pet will be in recovery for a couple of hours where their vitals are monitored until they are ready to go home.

The information in this website and fact sheets is general in nature,  and should not be used as a substitute for seeking Veterinary medical advice or diagnosis from your Veterinarian