Dental disease in dogs and cats is one of the most common health problems that your pets may face. It can have a dramatic effect on your pet’s wellbeing and can cause extreme pain that may stop them from eating.
Regular visits to your vet dentist are paramount to ensure you prevent your pet from developing dental disease and keeping their teeth healthy throughout their life.
It is very surprising that today still 70% of cats and 80% of dogs will have some level of dental disease by age 2. The key to preventing a vet dentist visit is to control the build-up of plaque, accumulating particularly at the gum line. If it is not removed using the proper methods, the bacteria will end up causing pain and eventually tooth loss. Most people do not realise that plaque attaches to the tooth surface within 24 hours of cleaning.
Vet Dentist Recommendations
Vet Dentists recommend both pet dental care at home with regular professional cleaning ideally every few months or at least once a year. The primary goal as a pet owner is to reduce the amount of plaque on teeth daily so it does not become a problem later down the line.
Brushing your pet’s teeth daily is proven to be the most effective way to mechanically remove plaque. However, it is sometimes easier said than done, with owners often being put off due to pets being uncooperative resulting in teeth brushing being difficult.
Speak to your local vet dentist if you are having trouble brushing at home – most advice involves getting pets used to looking inside their mouths as early as possible. Positive reinforcement, such as rewarding with a toy or small treat after brushing may get them to relax and enjoy the process more.
Signs you should see a Vet Dentist
It is important to book an appointment with your vet dentist if your pet has some of the symptoms detailed below.
- Bad breath
- Build-up of tartar
- Eating difficulties/refusing to eat and drink
- Excessive salivation
- Facial swelling
- Head sensitivity/reluctancy for anyone to touch
- Loose or broken teeth
- Lumps or bumps in their mouth
- Stained or dark teeth
- Swollen or irritated gums
- Weight loss