Keeping your pet's teeth healthy

Our pets need good dental hygiene to maintain healthy teeth and gums throughout their life. With poor dental hygiene, plaque and tartar begin to form on the teeth. Plaque is a sticky film on the teeth which hardens and forms tartar. Plaque and tartar cause gingivitis, a painful inflammation of the gums, and eventually this may lead to destruction of the jaw bone and tooth loosening or loss. Bacteria in plaque can enter the blood stream and spread to the vital organs, such as heart, liver or kidneys. Long term dental disease is one of the most common causes of heart and kidney failure. It is also painful and makes pets less comfortable in their lives.

What are the signs of Dental Disease?

Your veterinarian will check your pet’s teeth as part of their general health examination, but there are a number of signs that you can also look for. These include the common signs like bad breath and build-up of yellow-brown tartar over the teeth and also some signs that are not generally seen like bleeding gums, eating slower(not enjoying dry food anymore), pawing at mouth, tooth loss, being generally more quiet and less active or drooling saliva.

How do you treat Dental Disease?

Your Veterinarian will help you choose the best treatment option for your pet depending on how bad it is. In some cases it is necessary to give a general anaesthetic with a scale and polish of the teeth to remove the plaque and tartar. Sometimes removal of the tartar reveals severe damage to gums and jaw bone holding the teeth in. In these situations it is best to remove affected teeth to restore your pets’ health and comfort.

What can you do to help prevent dental disease at home?

There are a number of methods that can be used to help prevent dental disease. Each individual animal will have different needs and your veterinarian will be able to tailor a preventative program to suit. Preventative methods include:

  • Feeding a quality dry food, such as Hills VetEssentials™ or Hills t/d™. These diets are clinically proven to reduce plaque and tartar build up.
  • Brushing your pet’s teeth with a special pet toothbrush and toothpaste is the “Gold Standard” in pet dental care. Please ask your veterinarian for advice on training your pet to accept brushing.
  • Healthy Mouth™ is a highly acceptable additive to drinking water which freshens pet’s breath and is clinically proven to reduce plaque and dental disease.
  • Plaque Off™ is a powder that is added to a pets meal and makes the saliva coat the teeth with protective film to stop plaque sticking to them. 
  • Maxiguard™ Oral Cleansing Gel is applied daily to your pet’s teeth to cleanse and freshen the mouth.
  • Supplementing diet with special dental chew treats (such as a Dentabone or Greenies), raw fibrous vegetables or providing rawhide chews.