Just as with humans, oral health in pets is vitally important. Unlike with sharks, dogs aren’t able to regrow teeth once they fall out. Your pet pooch has to maintain his or her teeth throughout their life and for this they needs your help.
Pet owners may not be aware of this but dental disease in pets can reduce their longevity. Once a tooth is lost for example, the build-up of bacteria on the teeth can make it’s way into the bloodstream where they have the potential to affect vital organs such as the heart, liver and kidneys. It is not so much tooth decay that is the problem with pets, but periodontal disease that is a result of infection or inflammation of the tissue surrounding teeth.
Fortunately there are warning signs to look out for that may indicate dental problems. Some common signs are:
- Bleeding gums
- Brown-yellow build-up on teeth
- Change in the way your dog chews
- Tooth loss
- Avoiding playing with toys
- Unusual drooling
- Bad breath
Prevent periodontal disease with the help of proper dental care
Here are a few highly recommended ways that you can use to help to protect your pet’s teeth:
- Brush, brush, brush
This means that as a responsible pet owner you should implement a tooth brushing routine using a suitable toothbrush and especially formulated pet toothpaste (toothpaste for human teeth pose a danger to pets).
- Special dental diets and treats
Your vet can advise on special scientifically formulated foods that perform an added mechanical cleaning function while your pet eats. There are also water supplements that can lower the development of tartar and plaque.
- Professional dental attention
Regular professional check-ups by an experienced vet is the best way to check for potential problems before they become more serious problems. Removing tartar build-up or treating damaged teeth can only be responsibly performed by specialist vet skills. These dental problems also need to be treated under a general anaesthetic.
If you suspect any of these warning signs that indicate your pet has periodontal disease are present, it is best you seek a professional assessment from a skilled vet. At South East Animal Hospital in Clayton we have caring professionals who are happy to help.