Dental hygiene is a quintessential part of total pet healthcare. Good oral practices involve daily brushing and visiting the vet annually for a dental check and scaling.
The consequences of not taking care of your pets’ teeth can be severe and range from periodontal disease (gum disease) to tooth root abscess to organ failure (from spread of bacteria from mouth to vital organs like heart, liver and kidneys).
It is a well documented fact that poor oral health is linked to an increased incidence of multi-organ failure in humans and pets.
In our clinics, pets receive a proper oral and general check which involves blood tests for pets above 5 years old prior to being anaesthetized for teeth scaling. The procedure is fast but requires your pet to stay in the clinic for a few hours to monitor their recovery from anaesthesia.
We also have a range of oral hygiene products so please enquire with our vets or receptionists if you wish to give your pets the complete oral care home treatment.
Dental Scaling Fact #1: Why it is necessary
- To remove plaque build-up/tartar/address any need for extraction of teeth
- Maintain good oral hygiene
- Treatment of secondary dental problems.
Common signs of peridontal disease
- Bad breath/halitosis
- Inappetence/poor appetite
- Pet has difficulty chewing or eating.
- Inability to open/close mouth
- Bleeding/inflamed gums
- Pawing at mouth
- Rapid jaw movements/chattering
Dental Scaling Fact #2: Why the pet needs to be under general anaesthesia
- Kinder and more humane because it eliminates the need for tough restraint, especially when extractions and removing the plaque under the gumline can be painful.
- Allows a very thorough cleaning of all teeth, including the gumline.
- Allows the vet to check if periodontal pockets are eroded. Intervention can begin at a much earlier stage with proper diagnosis.
Identifying Peridontal Disease in Dogs (left) and Cats (right)
Stage 1 – Gingivitis
- Margin of attached gingival (gum) is inflamed and swollen.
- Plaque covering teeth.
- Treatment can reverse condition.
Stage 2 – Early Peridontitis
- Entire attached gum is inflamed and swollen.
- Mouth is painful and odour begins to be noticeable.
- Professional treatment and home dental care can prevent this from becoming irreversible.
Stage 3 – Moderate Peridontitis
- Cherry red and bleeding attached gum is being destroyed by infection and calculus (tartar).
- Sore mouth affects eating and behaviour.
- Bad breath is present.
- Beginning of peridontal disease.
- May be irreversible.
Stage 4 – Advanced Peridontitis
- Bacterial infection is destroying the gum, tooth and bone.
- Bacteria may be spreading throughout the entire body via the bloodstream and may damage the kidneys, liver and heart.
Dental Scaling Fact #3: How it is done
The process of cleaning the teeth is very similar to the method used by human dental hygienists. It involves the scaling and removal of any plaque on the teeth, exploration of any tooth root exposure and any wobbly/loose or severely damaged teeth may need to be removed.
Dental procedures should only be performed at a veterinary practice.
If you think your pet is having dental issue, please book an appointment to schedule for a dental assessment.