Dental disease or periodontal disease is caused by bacterial infection that builds up in a substance called plaque. Plaque is made up of food particles and saliva. It readily sticks to the tooth surface above and below the gum line and if not removed will calcify into tartar (or calculus). Over time the bacterial infection in tartar causes irreversible changes to occur. These include the destruction of supportive tissues and bone, resulting in red gums bad breath and loosening of teeth.
Dental disease is not only painful and uncomfortable for pets, the procedure to clean and remove teeth becomes more complicated and often more costly to treat the longer it is left untreated.
If you think your pet is showing the signs of dental disease it is important that treatment is started immediately before any irreversible changes occur.
Just contact one of our healthcare team members and make an appointment with your veterinarian for a dental check-up or book a free dental health check with one of our qualified nurses.
Treating gum disease involves thorough scaling and flushing to remove tartar, plaque and infection from above and below the gum line. The teeth are then polished to help reduce future plaque build up. Any loose or badly infected teeth will be removed. Antibiotics may be required for particularly severe cases. These procedures are carried out under a general anaesthetic. Local anaesthetic and pain relief are given when required.
Just like your own dentist we use specialised dental instruments including ultrasonic scaler, hand curettes, air driven drills and polishers. When required we also do dental restorations and endodontic procedures to save important teeth.
Remember, our pets can’t tell us when it aches! We understand it is easy to put off simple procedures like a dental descale and polish until next time. However, it is more difficult for cats and dogs to tell us when they have a toothache. Identifying visible changes and intervening at an early stage will help us to prevent lengthy and sometimes costly procedures and to ensure your pet is as comfortable as possible.
Read more about the progression of dental disease here.