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Bettina Gruninger of Corinium Vets helps us answer: Why look after your pet’s teeth?
How do I know if my pet is suffering from a dental problem?
A healthy mouth usually has pink gums, and bright white teeth. Bad breath is often the first indication that a pet has problems with teeth and gums. Bad breath is often caused by plaque bacteria, which also cause inflammation of the gums. This will be noticeable as redness, swelling and a tendency to bleed. Inflammation over time results in damage to the fibres that hold the teeth in their sockets in the jaw bone. Plaque turns into tartar, a hardened and calcified form of plaque. This attracts more plaque to form. Tartar is hard and can usually only be removed by a vet under general anaesthesia. Severe gum disease, tooth ache and eventually tooth loss can follow if dental disease remains untreated. Furthermore there is evidence that links untreated dental disease with other conditions such as heart and kidney disease, reducing the life expectancy of pets.
Tooth brushing started at puppy or kitten age is the best way to remove plaque. Feeding kibble, veterinary dental diets and chews can be help. Food supplements, mouth rinses and gels are also available. If you suspect that your pet suffers from dental disease don’t ignore it. Book an appointment with our team of vets and vet nurses at Corinium Veterinary Surgery who will discuss the best options for dental prophylaxis and treatment with you. Please let us advise you on caring for your pet’s teeth.
Bettina Gruninger (Veterinary Surgeon)