Periodontal disease is a common problem in both cats and dogs, being diagnosed in up to 70% of pets examined. It not only causes significant pain and discomfort for affected animals but it can also harm other organ systems if left untreated.
Periodontal disease is graded from mild to severe. Severe periodontal disease in most cases leads to the loss of the tooth. It's not all bad news though as there are measures that can be taken slow the progression of this disease.
Mild periodontal disease is caused by a build up of plaque. Plaque contains potentially harmful bacteria in a biofilm which adheres to the tooth surface. If plaque is not removed regularly, it forms dental calculus (tartar) which harbours yet more plaque bacteria. Bacteria can then invade the periodontal ligament which holds teeth in their sockets, causing infections, inflammation and breakdown of the ligament eventually leading to tooth loss.
Plaque is easily removed by regular tooth brushing.
How to Prevent Periodontal Disease.
We recommend that owners brush the teeth of dogs and cats daily with an appropriate toothbrush and dog or cat toothpaste. Human toothpaste is not suitable as it froths up and tastes unpleasant to most pets.
It is preferable to train your pet to accept having his teeth cleaned from an early age, it takes patience but in time most animals will tolerate or even enjoy having their teeth cleaned as part of their daily routine.
If your pet does not allow toothbrushing, there are other measures that can be taken to help maintain dental health, including special diets, chews, mouthwashes, oral gels and toys.
Please speak to a vet or veterinary nurse about the best way for you to keep your pet's mouth healthy.
Unfortunately tartar cannot be removed by brushing, and if your dog or cat has tartar it will need to be manually removed under general anaesthetic by descaling the teeth. Following a descale and polish, we recommend making regular tooth brushing a part of your pet's daily routine.
One of the advantages of joining our Healthy Pet Club is reduced price dental procedures for your pet - speak to any of our staff members about how your pet can benefit from this loyalty scheme.