Keeping your pet’s teeth squeaky clean
Did you know that 75% of cats and dogs over three years old in the UK will develop some kind of dental disease?
This staggering statistic is the result of debris, bacteria and inflammatory cells building up on your pet’s teeth to form plaque. If the plaque is not removed, it will become mineralised and turn to the hardened substance known as tartar, or dental calculus.
This will then cause your pet’s gums to become inflamed, this is called Gingivitis. Gingivitis can cause your pet’s teeth to become loose in their sockets, this is called Periodontitis. Ultimately, this type of dental disease can leave pets with sore, smelly and painful mouths and cause them to be unwell.
When one of our friendly and experienced vets has examined your pet, we can determine if they require dental treatment. We can then book you a dental appointment.
During your pet’s dental procedure, the tartar will be gently removed from the surfaces of your pet’s teeth with special instruments and an ultrasonic descaler. The teeth will be checked for chips, areas of damage and for security within their sockets. They will then be polished, this is to smooth any microscopic scratches that are left in the surface of the enamel and to help slow down the future accumulation of plaque and tartar.
Sometimes dental work can leave your pet’s mouth a little tender, so depending on their procedure they might be given extra pain relief and/or a course of antibiotics. When your pet has recovered from the anaesthetic, a nurse will discharge them and book a follow-up appointment, usually about a week later, to ensure your pet’s mouth is comfortable. We will also check that your pet is eating normally and that any extraction sites have properly healed. This is also when you will be given advice on home dental care.
It is known that plaque can start to build up on the tooth surface very quickly, even after their dental treatment. You can help your pet keep squeaky clean teeth by brushing the teeth, it is the most effective way of minimising the accumulation of dental deposits. Pets should be introduced to this process slowly, using a soft toothbrush and toothpaste designed specifically for animals. The toothbrush should be used in a gentle circular motion around the area where the tooth meets the gum.
You can also purchase chews, pastes, gels and granules that will help your pet to keep squeaky clean teeth. We have a large range of stock to save you the time and hassle searching for these products.
If you ever need advice, our nurses are more than happy to discuss your pet’s oral hygiene in a dental clinic.