What is Dental Disease?
Dental disease, also known as ‘tooth and gum disease’ is one of the most common problems in cats and dogs, but it often goes undetected. Over time, layers of bacteria and food particles collect on your pet’s teeth, forming ‘tartar’. When tartar calcifies, this then becomes ‘plaque’, which irritates and causes infection in the gums (gingivitis) and if left untreated, can lead to periodontitis.
Periodontitis is where the infection reaches the tooth’s roots and damages the ligaments and bones that support the tooth. Eventually the gum and roots loose their integrity and tooth loss occurs. Bacteria can also enter the bloodstream and cause other problems including heart and kidney disease.
What are the signs of tooth and gum disease?
Many pets suffer from poor dental health for a long time before their owners realize so it is important to regularly check your pet’s mouth and watch for any changes in their behavior. Common signs of tooth and gum disease to watch out for include:
- Yellow or brown stains on the teeth (tartar), particularly around the back molars.
- Redness of gums (gingivitis) at the tooth/gum margins
- Dribbling and/or bad breath
- Painful gums or loose teeth
- Pawing at the mouth
- Reluctance to eat or difficulty eating.
The severity of periodontal disease is generally graded on a scale of 4.
Grade 1 (Gingivitis): Mild tartar and gingivitis. Teeth are healthy with pocket depths
Grade 2 (Early Periodontitis): Moderate tartar and gingivitis, with build up extending further into pockets. Gums may start to recede. Pockets are 2-4mm. At this stage the disease is reversible with veterinary treatment and cleaning, provided action is taken immediately.
Grade 3 (Moderate Periodontitis): Marked tartar, gingivitis and smelly breath. Beginnings of periodontal disease with bright red ulcerated gums. Pocket depth is between 4-8mm. The mouth will be sore and eating behavior may change. This stage of periodontal disease can be irreversible. Extractions are typically required.
Grade 4 (Advanced Periodontitis): Severe gingivitis, and tartar with odorous breath. Gums have receded extensively due to chronic infection. Severe bone loss and tooth may be loose. At this stage, your pet is at risk of becoming extremely ill should bacteria get into their bloodstream.
Cat and Dog Dental Services in Sydney
Just like humans, pets are vulnerable to a whole host of dental issues and gum disease. In fact, around 80% of our canine family members can expect dental issues by the age of two without a proper dental plan in place. The same goes for cats, of which 70% struggle with dental issues without the right dental care program in place
As part of our wider veterinarian services, Animal Tracks offer dog and cat dental services in Sydney for pet owners in surrounding suburbs. Not all pet owners are aware of the fact that pets need to have their mouth health regulated with human help and this extends to daily dental care and maintenance together with annual dental checks at the vet.
How Does Dental Disease Develop in Pets?
Back when our pets used to be wild and hunt their own food, they would be ingesting a whole lot of fur, bones and sinewy meat that helped to keep their teeth in decent shape. However, these days kibbles and other food don’t have the same effect and pets can struggle with a build-up of food, bacteria and saliva that then causes plaque to form. If this plaque isn’t removed, it can turn in tartar and creates a hard, yellow/brown deposit on your pet’s teeth.
The tartar provides the prime material for bacterial infections that could cause huge damage to your pets dental health and even shorten their life.
Damage such as the break down of supportive tissues and bones, tooth loss, intense pain and gum infections is a source of major dental discomfort and problems for your precious pet. The infection could spread further in the body too and reach vital organs like the liver, heart and kidneys.
How Often Does Your Pet Need Dental Check-ups?
When it comes to your pet’s dental health, we advise that you put in a daily dental care program that you can do at home. On top of this, we believe that your pet should have their teeth checked up a professional vet at least once a year and more regularly if your pet has dental issues.
A routine, yet comprehensive, dental examination at Animal Tracks includes:
- Chartering and evaluating your pet’s teeth and the state that they are in
- Removing any tartar above the gum line with an innovative ultrasonic scanner
- A specialised pet dental polish on their teeth
- We may also perform a dental radiograph if we notice any issues with some of your pet’s teeth
At-home Dental Hygiene
We advise daily brushing of your pet’s teeth as part of an at-home dental care program. Remember to start as young as you can so that they get used to the process and only used specialised pet brushes and paste. Feeding your pet safe and approved raw and meaty food and dog bones together with enzymatic chews and dental biscuits and snacks can help keep their teeth clean and always have a supply of fresh water to keep them hydrated at all times.
Your Local Dog and Cat Dentals Sydney
At Animal Tracks, we are known for our comprehensive dental checks and treatments, as well as our overall passion for animals and outstanding customers service. You can also find us in local areas for Dog dentals Olympic Park, Dog dentals Homebush, Dog dentals Newington, Cat dentals Homebush, Cat dentals Newington and Cat dentals Olympic Park.
If you’d like to book an appointment for your pet to get a dental check, routine vaccines, grooming or anything in between, then get in touch with Animal Tracks. We look forward to meeting you and your pet soon.
Book an appointment for your pet Today!
If you’d like to book an appointment for your pet to see the vet or access any of our wellness or other pet-related services, simply call us now on 9764 6066.
We’re based at The Crescent in Homebush, opposite Homebush Railway Station and are open 7 days a week for your convenience.
Animal Tracks is the experienced & friendly Veterinary Clinic in Sydney. We serve many surrounding suburbs including Veterniary Homebush West, Veterniary Rhodes, Veterinary Burwood, Veterinary Lidcombe & Veterinary Strathfield, which makes it easier for pet owners to visit their nearest Veterinarian for all routine check-ups & treatments anywhere in Sydney.