Dental Disease

Dental disease affects both cats and dogs and it is said that up to 80% of dogs and 70% of cats have dental disease by the age of 2.
Dental disease doesn't just affect the mouth; there are severeal other ways it can interefere with your pet's health. The liver, kidneys, heart and other organs are also potentially at risk. As plaque builds up on the teeth, it can cause infection, destroying gums, bone and other tissues that support the teeth. Small wounds may also develop in the mouth which allow bacteria to enter the bloodstream and spread through the body.

What are some signs of dental problems?
Bad breath
Yellow-brown crust on teeth
Red, inflamed bleeding gums (gingivitis)
Changes in chewing/eating habits
Loose, chipped, broken or missing teeth

How is dental disease treated?
In most cases, large build ups of plaque can only be removed during a professional scale and polish, which is done under general anaesthesia. Severely affected teeth may need to be removed during the procedure and a course of antibiotics may be required.

Dental disease can be prevented and as owners, there are several things you can do at home to reduce the build up of plaque on the teeth.

Brushing - Daily brushing of your pets teeth may sound bizarre, but it is in fact the very best way to help avoid dental disease. A child's soft bristled tooth brush can be used, as well as specifically designed finger brushes. It is important NOT to use human toothpaste, but instead choose one specifically made for pets.

Diet - The mechanical action of chewing is also an important factor in minimising plaque build up. Raw meaty bones such as chicken and turkey necks and wings are perfect for chewing. Remember when feeding bones, to firstly ensure they are large enough to not be swallowed whole and secondly that they are raw - NEVER cooked.
Specifically formulated dental diets are also available in kibble form. These diets are complete, meaning they provide all the necessary vitamins and minerals your pet needs. These diets use kibble size and shape as well as safe, friendly chemicals to reduce the build up of plaque on the teeth.





© 2017 Shannon Murphy


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