Dental disease is a common pet problem

Did you know dental disease is one of the most common diseases seen by vets?

It isn’t very nice for our pets, and they often don’t show any noticeable signs until it’s really severe.

The main causes are plaque and tartar, which build up on our pets’ teeth and make their mouths very sore.

• What if my pet has plaque and tartar?

Well, we have some good and bad news about getting rid of it.

The bad news is that plaque and tartar isn’t easy to remove.

But the good news is at Alnorthumbria Vets we can remove it by giving your pet’s teeth a scale and polish so they will be showing off their best smile in no time.

• Symptoms of dental disease.

Pets are very good at hiding when they’re in pain so it’s important to check their teeth on a regular basis.

You may notice their breath starts to smell or they’re showing one of the following signs of dental disease: Tartar on teeth; dribbling or drooling; sore mouth or gums; reluctance or difficulty in eating; pawing or rubbing at the mouth/face; bleeding gums.

If you see any of these signs you should book an appointment to see your local surgery.

• What happens if dental disease is left untreated?

If unhealthy teeth are left untreated they can cause a lot of pain.

Build up of tartar can cause gums to become inflamed, red and sore. Without intervention, this can develop into more serious dental disease, resulting in tooth loss, abscesses or infection.

Some infections are so severe they can affect other organs. These are often difficult to treat and may cause further complications.

• Prevention of dental disease.

There are several ways you can help to reduce the chances of your pet developing dental disease.

Try feeding a larger proportion of your pet’s diet as hard foods, or ask your vet about special diets that can help to clean your pet’s teeth.

Tooth brushing is the best prevention, in combination with pet specific toothpaste. Do not use human toothpaste as it contains levels of fluoride that is toxic to pets.

You can join the Healthy Pet Club and benefit from fixed price dentals. For more information speak to your local surgery or visit thehealthypetclub.co.uk

Simon Caple, Vet