Dental disease is one of the most common problems that we face with our patients. The statistics state that by three years of age 70 % of dogs and 85% of cats have periodontal disease. By definition this is advanced disease that results in bone loss. Once bone has been lost these changes cannot be reversed.
We just need to look to human dentistry to see how much work is needed to keep our own teeth healthy; twice yearly dental checks, visits to the hygienist, electric tooth brushes (with timers), mouth wash and dental floss.
So how many of our pets have their teeth brushed regularly by their owners? Not very many is the answer. Often we find that after a major dental that involves multiple teeth extractions, people try to do the right thing but, as is often with our own teeth, it is difficult to maintain.
There are no specific answers to these dental problems as the variability within dogs, particularly with the shape of their mouths, is huge.
We need to start looking at recording dental changes from the very first vaccination and how the mouth functions. Then at desexing we need to assess for retained deciduous teeth. At the first yearly vaccination - one of the most critical checks in your pet's life - we focus on dentistry and assess weight, as this is where the future of your pet's health really can be influenced.
Our advice may be a check in six months rather than one year or it may involve dietary advice.
This is where it becomes controversial as most vets recommend the exclusive feeding of a good quality dry food; we also believe that this should form the cornerstone of a healthy, balanced diet. A large amount of research goes into producing products such as T/d diet and it definitely helps.
However, when it comes to dental health you simply cannot beat raw meaty bones for dogs and food like chicken necks for cats. As is generally the case, the simple things in life are often the best.
If prevention fails and we need to look to dentistry, we are very well equipped with an excellent dental machine to allow us to scale, polish and extract teeth if necessary. We chart all of our dentals so we can compare from visit to visit how things are progressing.
The health of your pet's mouth is critical to its overall condition and consequently the longevity of your pet. We are dedicated to the total well being of your pet and we are highly motivated to help you in any way we can to help keep your pet's mouth healthy.
| Healthy mouth:
firm pink gums
|Severe Periodontal disease:|
Plaque & Calculus on teeth,
Red & receeding gums