What can I do to look after my pets teeth?

Posted by Vetcall on 31 May 2013

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Approximately seventy five percent of all cats and dogs over three years of age have dental disease.  Dental disease is caused by a buildup of plaque bacteria on the teeth.  Plaque bacteria and food debris on the teeth become mineralized by the saliva to from hard deposits on the teeth known as tartar or calculus.  This process leads to inflammation of the gums (gingivitis) which eventually leads to peridontal disease (damage to the bone surrounding the tooth which causes tooth loosening and eventually tooth loss).

Common signs of dental disease include bad breath, pawing or rubbing the face, dribbling of saliva and reluctance to eat hard food or chews.  These signs often go unnoticed by owners.

Dental disease can be a source of chronic pain for your pet and can lead to nasty tooth root abscesses and tooth loss.  Bacteria from the mouth can also enter the bloodstream and travel to other sites in the body where they can cause further problems: for example kidneys, liver, heart.

Dental disease in its early stages (gingivitis) is completely reversible.  By scaling and polishing the teeth under general anaesthetic we remove the plaque and tartar which allows the gingivitis to resolve.  When dental disease becomes more advanced (peridontal disease) we often can't save affected teeth and they need to be extracted.

You play a big role in keeping your pets mouth in good shape.  Dry diets, especially diets specifically designed to help control plaque and tartar buildup like 'Hills' and 'Royal Canin' dental diets are very effective, as are chew bones.  Daily brushing of the teeth is even better.

Healthymouth is a dental drinking water additive which is very safe (100% human grade natural and organic ingredients) and has been clinically proven in multiple trials to reduce plaque from 74.3% in dogs to 81.7% in cats.  It is the only dental drinking water additive to receive seven Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) seals of acceptance for plaque control in dogs and cats.  Daily use of Healthymouth in your pet’s drinking water cleans teeth and gums and reduces plaque bacteria which can lead to gingivitis, periodontal tooth disease and disease in other organs.  From a practical perspective Healthymouth is diluted at a rate of 5ml/1000ml water.  It can be diluted in bulk and stored for up to two weeks in a sealed container. Treated water remains efficacious for more than one day meaning less waste.  Healthymouth comes in 250ml and 500ml sizes for both dogs and cats.  Mixed households can use either dog or cat formulas. Healthymouth costs from 0.24cents/day for a 4kg cat, 0.60cents/day for 10kg dog and $1.50/day for a 25kg dog.

If you are worried about your pet's teeth please book an appointment for a free dental check-up with Claire or Colin.  If you need advice as to how best to care for your pet's teeth at home please give us a call, or pop in for a chat.  We can even teach you how to brush your pet's teeth!