Dental disease not only makes your pets mouth uncomfortable and painful, it can also affect their heart, kidneys and other organs.
Statistically, 75% of dogs & cats have periodontal disease by the time they reach 4 years of age!
Once the teeth have accumulated a significant amount of plaque and calculus we will likely recommend a dental scale and polish while your pet is under a general anaesthetic. The best approach however will be to implement a home dental care regime which will reduce the likelihood of a scale and polish being required.
Daily tooth brushing is considered to be “the gold standard” for plaque removal and the prevention of dental disease. Using a tooth brush in cats & small dogs can be difficult so as a substitute we recommend using a gauze swab wrapped around your finger.
Various chemicals can also be used to reduce the build-up of plaque and tartar. Chlorhexidine, Xylitol, polyphosphates and zinc are commonly incorporated into mouth washes, toothpastes or water additives.
Prescription diets are also an excellent means of keeping your pets teeth clean and healthy. Hill’s & Royal Canin amongst other pet food manufacturers offer a range of diets which you can feed to your dog or cat to improve their dental health. Ask us which one we would recommend for your pet as not all are the same! We are also offering free diet samples (while stocks last) for your pet to try!
Bones, dental chews and chew toys such as Nylabones may help reduce plaque and calculus formation although they should always be used with caution. Teeth can be fractured if the chew or bone is too hard and if pieces are broken off they can be ingested and cause obstruction.
There are also great dental chews being developed with ingredients that coat the teeth, tongue, and gums to create a protective barrier against the bacteria that cause bad breath and are the basis of plaque. The chews also clean teeth by removing plaque and tartar through mechanical action. Not only do these chews taste great, but are also safe to give to dogs with sensitive stomachs. These chews are great give them a try!
Even with the best home care your pet may still require regular professional cleans. The best way to stay on top of your pets dental health is with regular check-ups. If you are worried about your pets oral health or their breath is starting to become unpleasant give us a call!