Pets need the dentist too
The mouth is the entrance way to your pet's body - it can be an indicator of how healthy the rest of the body is and it can cause problems if not kept clean and tidy.
Did you know? Up to 80% of dogs and cats over three years of age show some signs of dental disease. The progression of dental disease can be as follows:
The teeth should be shiny white and the gums salmon pink. As in humans, if the teeth are not cleaned they begin to have a buildup of plaque which if left untreated forms tartar - a mixture of saliva, minerals, food and bacteria. The gums can then become infected and bleed which can cause the structures holding the teeth in place to become inflamed and destroyed, and the offending tooth can slowly become loose. The gums may recede to expose the tooth roots, and the bone between the roots gets resorbed causing the tooth to loosen even more. Worse still, the enamel of the tooth may develop erosions or ulcers and eventually the tooth will fall out.
At the same time, your pet will experience pain, develop bad breath, experience difficulty eating, may begin to dribble, paw at its mouth and have a reduced quality of life. Dental disease can also lead on to liver, kidney or cardiac disease due to the spread of bacteria from the mouth into the bloodstream.
Another common problem is fractured teeth from playing with stones and other very hard objects - these can be very painful especially if the dentine is exposed. If seen within the first 48 hours of damage a cap can be put on the exposed tip to stop bacteria tracking down the tooth, otherwise the tooth can be rescued with a root filling at a later date. If left untreated the tooth may become infected and develop a tooth root abscess.
Totally Vets stocks and sells a number of quality home-based dental care products for pets - from chews, mouth rinses and specific dental care foods to pet-specific tooth pastes and brushes. Simply pop in to see us for advice about dental care for your pet; we are here to help.