Dental disease, what you need to know!
EWWW. What’s that smell?
Have you ever been greeted by your furry friend and thought “what’s that disgusting smell?” Your pets breath may not be sweet or minty but it shouldn’t make you want to flee the room. Just like in people bad breath (halitosis) is a sign of dental disease. Take a moment to lift your pet’s lips and take a look at ….
The gums should be pink and shiny and flat against the teeth. Gums that are red and swollen or even bleed when touched indicate a gum infection (gingivitis) and are also the first sign of periodontal disease. As the condition worsens the gums will recede from the tooth and eventually the teeth will loosen and fall out. This condition is common in cats and dogs AND IT IS PAINFUL!
This is normal cat and dog gums
Painful gingivitis in cats and dogs
The teeth should be white and clean and NOT broken or cracked. Just like people pets accumulate tartar (brown/ yellow buildup on teeth) which is mineralized plaque. This tartar is irritating to the gums and causes gingivitis. If the tartar is not removed it builds up under the gum line where bacteria grow and cause the teeth to loosen from the bone. The bacteria harboured here can enter the blood stream and cause infections elsewhere in the body.
Tartar build up on canine tooth
MY PET ALREADY HAS GINGIVITS AND TARTAR : WHAT CAN I DO NOW?
The take home message of dental care is PREVENTION. Once tartar is present it cannot be removed by any means except a cleaning under general anaesthesia. At Bakenkop animal clinic we have an ultrasonic dental scaler and polisher, as well as a dental X-ray machine to evaluate tooth roots. August is our clinics dental awareness month. Please bring your pet in for a FREE assessment and a quote for your pet’s dental procedure. Our friendly veterinarians will be happy to discuss your oral health concerns.