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Why should your pet have their teeth cleaned?

Why should your pet have their teeth cleaned?

Cleaning your pet’s teeth. It’s not usually the first thing most would think of when it comes to overall better health for your companion. However, it is more detrimental than you would expect.

It is incredibly important to bring attention to your pet’s teeth, as eighty percent of all pets develop some sort of dental disease by the time that they turn 3. This is an astounding statistic, and it is one of the most common diseases found in dogs. Without prevention or treatment, these can grow into serious health problems in your pet’s later life.

After all, you need regular dental care and you brush your teeth everyday – why wouldn’t your pets?

Where it starts

There are a number of reasons a pet can develop dental disease. A major contributor is Diet, but others include infections, genetics, medications, inflammation, or just an absence of dental care.

But how exactly are these dental diseases coming to fruition?

Teeth generally develop dental disease when bacteria and food particles combine and stick to the surface of teeth to form plaque. Certain minerals in the saliva harden the plaque into tartar, which can spread to under the gum line. Toxins that discharge from the bacteria can ultimately lead to tissue damage, and this condition is called periodontitis.

As far as the immune system is concerned, this bacteria is foreign and a response is triggered. Inflammatory chemicals are released, and in most cases these damage the supporting tissues of the tooth and cause gingivitis. This can eventually lead to tooth loss. So instead of solving the bacterial problem, it instead makes the disease worse in its host.

As previously mentioned, diet is the main influencer for pets to develop dental disease. This in most cases points towards dry food such as kibble. Unfortunately, dry food causes dental decay due to the carbohydrates in most commercial kibbles. These carbs break down into sugars, which in turn stick to the teeth of your beloved companion.


Upon external inspection, how can you tell if your pet is suffering from dental disease?

  • bad breath or odour from mouth
  • dropping food from mouth
  • visible plaque and tartar
  • tilting head to one side when chewing
  • loose teeth or loss of teeth
  • unwillingness to eat or chew hard objects
  • crying out in pain
  • shying away from touch

My pet shows symptoms – What Now?

Regular inspections of your pet’s mouth are detrimental in catching dental disease in its early stages. Tartar appears as a build-up on teeth close to the gumline, usually brownish-gold in colour. An indication of gingivitis includes any redness or bleeding along the gumline.

Even if the symptoms are minor, do not ignore the warning signs and take your pet to the vet. Vets perform a Dental Cleaning, which includes a complete dental examination, scaling to remove calculus and polishing. A dental cleaning not only removes external problems such as tartar, but also removes the bacteria and eliminates the potential of further infections. This is performed under general anaesthetic.

Dental hygiene homecare is strongly recommended for reducing plaque and calculus build up. For highly dedicated owners and willing pets, daily brushing is the best home care available. There are many pet toothbrushes on the market and it is essential that pet toothpaste is used in conjunction (never use human toothpaste).

There are many other dental products on the market in the form of diets, chews, mouth washes and water additives. We can give you the best advice on what will work best for you and your pet.

Author: DevAccount

I have been a patient of Yeronga Vet Clinic for over 20 years and wouldn’t go anywhere else. Dr Lisca and the team are second to none. Recently my 3 year old Labradoodle Daisy ruptured her cruciate ligament and underwent surgery. The professionalism and care Daisy received was top class. I would recommend Yeronga Vet Clinic to anyone looking for a great vet service for their fur baby.

We first came to Yeronga Veterinary Surgery nearly 4 years ago, carrying our tiny black Labrador puppy Delilah in, hoping to find some guidance and caring attention, and just a little bit of shared dog-madness. Well, we were in luck, and we have never looked back. The team at Yeronga Vet Surgery have been nothing short of exceptional at every step of our journey with them. From the basics of preventative care to important surgeries (and the odd mini-emergency thanks to our hungry labradors…) everyone has been both professional and welcoming, and more importantly, extremely good at their jobs! I am constantly blown away by the care and attention we receive, and the fact that our dogs cry with excitement when we pull into the street says it all. We’ve never had dogs who are so excited to visit the vet. We can’t recommend the team highly enough – they are exceptional.

Hi there puny human my name is Bastet. Here is a picture of me in all my glory to help your feeble human brain rest for a moment so I don’t pile on to much information at once. Ready? Nevermind let’s continue. Every few months my manservant deems it necessary to verify the divinity of close personal friend Zeus and myself, here is picture of us looking regal. I know you’re thinking “They are clearly perfect why would he waste their time.” and the answer is frankly he’s not very bright but means well so we indulge him. One thing we demand in return is that he takes us to the Yeronga Vet Surgery where we know we will be shown the respect and deference as befits ones such as us. So if you must interrupt the napping, playing or eating of your betters take them to Yeronga Vet Surgery.

Yeronga Vet have alway been wonderful in their professionalism and care over the years for those furrier members of the family, adding a healthy dose of genuine sympathy for those less routine difficult visits.