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· Dogs Corner » Adult Healthcare » Dental Healthcare ·

You may think your dogs smelly breath is normal but maybe it does not have to be that way. Our awareness of our pets' dental health is increasing all the time with all the available chew sticks etc on the market these days. Although these can be a great help they do not make up for not brushing teeth daily but for many owners brushing is an impossible task so an appointment at our clinic for a Scale and Polish may be the only way to remove tartar and improve the hygiene with your dogs mouth.

How does gum disease affect our dogs?

Gum disease is common in dogs, probably because of the relative softness of modern pet foods compared to a natural diet. Accumulation of hard scale at the base of teeth leads to gum inflammation and recession and can allow infection to penetrate to the tooth roots themselves, causing pain, loss of teeth and sometimes the spread of infection in the blood to vital organs.

What can the vet do to improve the hygiene of our dogs mouth?

Once scale (also called tartar or calculus) has built up on teeth it can only be removed using dental instruments or an ultrasonic scaling machine. Human dentists often need to use a similar machine. While people will (generally!) sit still for this, animals will not and must be anaesthetised. Once the teeth are clean they are polished to discourage the build up of more calculus. In severe cases dental extractions may be necessary.

What can I do to improve the hygiene of our dogs mouth?

Regular tooth brushing is the best way to prevent scale accumulation in dogs of all ages. Brushing won't shift existing scale, but will stop it building up in puppies or in older dogs with clean teeth, especially after a dental at the vets. Adult dogs can be trained to accept brushing, while puppies get used to it very easily if you start young.

With pets living longer we are seeing more and more teeth related health issues. Diseased teeth cause dental pain and infection they can provide a route for infection to get into the blood stream and seed out in other areas. If you are worried about your dogs teeth or require any more information please Contact Us

Other than brushing is there other ways to improve the hygiene of our dogs mouth?

If your pet can't be persuaded to allow brushing other preventative measures are available, including enzymatic gels, special foods and certain rope chews for dogs.

Maintaining your pet's teeth is important from a young age - good quality food designed to break in a way that brushes the tooth removing plaque build-up is a good everyday way of helping maintain healthy teeth. Hard food/dry food is best for this purpose specifically a specially formulated tooth friendly diet that does the job described above.

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