Why does my pet have smelly breath?
Halitosis (smelly breath) most commonly originates from plaque (sticky accumulation of bacteria, food and saliva) build-up in the mouth. The smell is symptomatic of increasing amounts of plaque deposits, which will eventually lead to gum disease.
Wild animals don’t have dentistry performed, why does my animal need it?
Wild animals do suffer from bad teeth and often die as a result. In the wild, animals do not live as long as we hope our pets will; as dental diseases are progressive, our pets are at greater risk.
My pet is not in pain, so should I just wait and see what happens?
Absolutely not, animals do not exhibit the same symptoms of pain that we see with ourselves. Pain behaviour in animals can be very subtle. Dental disease is often extremely advanced by the time they stop eating and months of worsening pain will have preceded this.
What is gingivitis?
Gingivitis is inflammation of the gum tissue caused by plaque accumulation on the tooth. This inflammation can be seen as a red line at the gum margin, which often bleeds easily.
If the plaque is removed via a scale and polish, this inflammation will resolve. However, if left untreated, it will often progress to a more severe disease known as periodontitis, which is irreversible. This is where the attachment of the tooth becomes affected and ultimately can lead to loss of the tooth, which would be very painful for your pet.
I know my animal needs dental treatment, but I am worried about the anaesthetic.
This is a natural concern as it is important to remember that anaesthesia in all species does involve a degree of risk. However, with modern drugs, equipment and techniques, this risk is minimised.
We have a small laboratory on-site and often perform a quick blood test on the morning of the anaesthetic, to confirm there are no hidden concerns.
We have a range of up-to-date anaesthetic drugs available and a protocol will be tailored to each patient. Also, each patient will have a dedicated veterinary nurse to monitor them throughout the procedure, who will have the added assistance of various monitoring devices (e.g. pulse oximetry which measures oxygen content in the blood stream).
How can I look after my pet’s teeth at home?
Just as in ourselves, tooth brushing is the gold standard for preventing plaque build-up in animals. This is an important part of preventative health care. Ideally, this is started from a young age. However, after a scale and polish is a good time to discuss tooth brushing tips and technique with one of our veterinary nurses in a free clinic.