21 Aug Dental Disease in Dogs with Video
Its Dental month at Girraween Veterinary Hospital, so we want to educate our clients the importance of dental health!
Dental disease is the most common disease in cats and dogs. Signs of dental disease include smelly breath, excessive salivation, difficulty chewing, disinterest in eating and discolouration of teeth. There are many ways to battle the onset of dental disease and if caught early it can be reduced and prevented.
All dogs have 42 adult teeth, despite the breed size. If you compare the size of a Great Dane's head to the head of a Maltese you can imagine the difference in how much room each tooth has in each mouth. In most cases a Great Dane's teeth will be aligned and work well throughout their life with limited dental problems as there is plenty of the room for the teeth to become established. As for the Maltese dog, their teeth are often crowded and cause the dog to have teeth that aren't aligned between the top and bottom jaw. The problem that arises from this is that the teeth that aren't aligned often don't get worked properly when the dog chews their food. When the tooth isn't used in conjunction with other teeth while chewing they can collect food scraps that don't get washed off by saliva or scraped by other food or opposite teeth. With food scraps left on the tooth, it easily turns into bacteria and plaque. Once plaque is present on a tooth, it influences further plaque build up and starts affecting neighbouring teeth and the dogs gums. Over time the gum will recede so much that the tooth's root will be exposed, causing pain for the dog.
Thankfully for all the small breed or predisposed dogs who are more likely to develop dental disease there are preventatives! These include dental diets, dental chews, teeth brushing, diet additives, mouth washes and water additives. However if dental disease is already present in your pets mouth, a dental scale and polish is recommended to check that no gums are receded beyond tooth roots and to also give the mouth a fresh start to allow dental disease preventives to work effectively.
We decided to show our clients what this entails and filmed the procedure on one of our star patients 'Jack'. As you can see in the video there is significant plaque build up on his canine tooth and rear tooth (carnassial). It is also very noticeable that his gums are inflamed and bleed very easily. After a complete dental examination a pink dye is wiped over each tooth to highlight any plague build up on all teeth. The nurse then ultrasonically scales all the teeth, including under the inflamed gums. Once all the teeth as scaled clean they are polished and rinsed with an anti-bacterial mouth treatment. This dog didn't need any teeth removed as his owner noticed a bad smell coming from the dogs mouth and had his mouth checked before any permanent damage had been done. At Girraween Veterinary Hospital we offer FREE dental checks all year around to help our clients identify when their pets are suffering from dental disease early!
Want to know more about preventing dental disease or you would like to have your pet's dental health checked or would like to book them in for our special $295 scale and polish procedure, please call us today on 89831183.