Did you know that dental disease is just about the most common problem we see in pet dogs and cats?! Up to 80% of the animals we see day to day have dental disease. And as far as we are concerned this is just excessive! Dental disease is a preventable disease and now it’s more affordable to ensure your pet has a healthy mouth. Early intervention can stop the inevitable progression of disease and keep your pets smile in tip top shape. Early intervention is also the most cost effective way to manage your pet’s dental health.
As in humans, dental disease starts with plaque. Plaque left on teeth progresses to tartar and disease around the tooth/gum line – called periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is painful and then infection and inflammation can progress to the point that the tooth needs to be extracted. As vets, we don’t want to be removing your pet’s teeth! What we want to be doing is cleaning them earlier and preventing the inevitable progression of disease. By stepping in early the treatment is less invasive. This is better for your pet and makes the whole endeavour much less costly.
So who needs their teeth cleaned?
The simple answer is that just about all dogs and cats will need a dental health check and then a regular scale and polish. Think about it: dental disease follows a very similar progression in dogs and cats as in humans, and humans have regular prophylactic dental cleaning. We like to treat cats and dogs as furry family members and this means regular dental cleaning – just like the furr-less family members!
So when will they need their teeth cleaned?
The best time to clean their teeth is EARLY in the course of the disease. A quick trick is to flip the lip and look at the gum line. If there is any redness here – it’s time for a clean. Or if the teeth are yellowing or starting to go brown – its time for a clean. Intervention early will give a better long term result – a full mouth of happy fangs! If more advanced changes are seen, such as tartar build up on the teeth or regression of the gum back from the tooth then it’s absolutely time for a dental and probably some more extensive work.
Early intervention is better for your pet’s long term health. At Inner South Veterinary Centre we believe it’s such an important part of managing your pet’s health that we have made prophylactic dental work very affordable. And this means we can reduce the number of pets with unhealthy mouths and make the animal world a healthier place, one smile at a time!