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We always try to examine your pet's mouth as part of our routine health check. We all know how uncomfortable tooth ache or sore gums can be and it is just the same for your pet.
Thorough and regular cleaning of your pet's teeth removes plaque bacteria before it can accumulate and cause inflammation and damage to gums and teeth. Plaque can also turn into a very hard substance called tartar, once formed it is very difficult to remove.
If plaque and tartar is left untreated it can lead to pain and unnecessary or premature tooth loss - this can lead to a dental procedure.
We perform many procedures on both cats and dogs which range from descaling (removing tartar build up) to extractions. This involves a general anaesthetic and a brief stay in our hospital facilities.
Once your pet has been anaesthetised, the vet will examine the mouth. All tartar is removed and teeth examined, some unhealthy teeth may have to be removed. The teeth are then scaled and polished.
Preventative Dental Care
Getting into good habbits with puppies and kittens may help avoid surgery in later life. There are lots of effective products available and our trained vets/nurses have plenty of tips to offer too.
In order to help prevent dental disease the prime aim is to keep the mouth as hygienic as possible and to reduce the rate at which tartar builds up on the teeth.
We recommend the following steps:
- Brush your pet's mouth with a special pet toothpaste in order to remove plaque before it turns into tartar. Aim to do this twice a week, but ideally every day.
- An enzyme paste or gel can be used to help prevent plaque build up. This is easier to use than toothpaste; just getting it into the mouth will help.
- Feeding your pet a specialised dental diet will help reduce tartar build up. These diets have been formulated as a dry biscuit with a larger kibble and different consistency. The fibres scrape and rasp the plaque off the teeth without damaging the enamel.
- Using a mouthwash will help kill bacteria and freshen breath. You can add this to your pet's drinking water or put straight into the mouth.
- Products such as 'Plaque Off' utilise a special kind of seaweed extract - granules can be added to food daily. 'Plaque Off' works through the blood stream affecting the plaques ability to stick to surfaces in the mouth and soften tartar.
- Encourage your dog to chew raw-hide or dental toys/chews, this can prevent plaque and tartar build up.
- Book a routine 'scale and polish' under anaesthetic every 6-12 months or at first sign of tartar build up. This will minimise damage to gums and roots due to gum recession.