Dental disease is one of the most common problems we see in pets. One of the earliest signs is foul smelling breath.
Plaque accumulates on pet’s teeth just as it would on ours if we did not brush them daily. Plaque contains bacteria which are responsible for bad smelling breath. It also gives a great sticky surface for more bacteria and plaque to accumulate on, this results in hard deposits of yellow-brown calculus on pet’s teeth. You can remove plaque from your pets’ teeth by brushing them but calculus requires descaling and polishing which pets will not allow us to do unless they are under general anaesthetic.
Plaque and calculus cause your pet’s gums to become inflamed (red/bright pink) and swollen, this is the start of gum disease. If caught early it is reversible but if not, it proceeds to gum recession, tooth root exposure, destruction of the ligaments that hold teeth in place, abscesses and tooth loss. Once gum recession begins it is often irreversible and we may have to extract teeth. For this reason we recommend you have your pet’s teeth check every 6 months by our nurse so we can spot gum disease early whilst it is reversible.
Our state-of-the-art dental x-ray machine allows us to detect problems below the gum line, like abscesses beginning to form, or tooth roots resorption. By taking x-rays of your pet’s teeth we can ensure we perform a complete dental check and treatment rather than just doing a cosmetic job by removing tartar. This can prevent your pet having ongoing dental pain and save you money by ensuring we detect problem teeth early, rather than having to repeat the dental procedure a few months later when the problems become obvious.
When pets have gum disease it can make eating painful because their gums are sore, however, their motivation not to be hungry is stronger than their motivation to show pain so often they will continue to eat. They might avoid one side of their mouth or throw food to the back of their mouths to avoid the most painful gums and teeth.