BATTLE FLATTS VETERINARY CLINIC
SHOP OUR CLINICS THE TEAM EXOTICS CATS & DOGS EQUINE SMALL FURRIES NEWS &
OFFERS
CATS & DOGS

HOME


PET TRAVEL SCHEME


DEALING WITH LOSS


ACUPUNCTURE


ID MICROCHIPS


HEALTHY TEETH


FIREWORK FEAR


PET INSURANCE

Healthy Teeth                                       01759 371066

Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease is one of the most common conditions that we see in practice. By the age of 3 years old approximately 80% of dogs and 70% of cats have the first signs of dental disease. This is an inflammatory and destructive condition affecting the support tissues of the teeth. The mouth naturally harbours bacteria, in one drop of saliva there is in excess of 600,000 bacteria. This increases considerably in an unhealthy mouth. It is not like any other diseases in so much as there is not a cure but only moderation of the cause and preventative healthcare to control the progression.
Plaque builds up daily on the surface of the tooth. This calcifies to form a hard covering on the surface called 'calculus' or 'tartar'. The plaque and calculus harbour harmful bacteria which attack the gums causing inflammation. This inflammatory response is called 'gingivitis'.
Gingivitis is treatable by removing the cause i.e. plaque, but if left untreated, the periodontal disease will progress. The gums will become infected and in time the surrounding support tissues and bone around the tooth will be lost. This will result in the tooth needing extraction or falling out.
High levels of harmful oral bacteria in periodontal disease can also damage other organs in the body such as heart, kidney and liver. When your pet chews, the bacteria enter the circulatory system (bloodstream) through the bleeding gums and inflamed tissues in the mouth. This can lead to further health problems, especially in older animals and animals with reduced immune systems.

Preventative Health Care Measures
Daily brushing of your pet's teeth is the single most effective method to remove the harmful plaque and bacteria in their mouth. If started at a young age your pet will become used to this as part of their daily routine.
Special toothpaste must be used, unlike human toothpastes they are designed to be swallowed by your pet. They do not contain fluoride, which can be harmful to your pet and they come in palatable flavours which they will enjoy.

Brushing Technique

  • Push the toothpaste down into the bristles.
  • Hold the dog's muzzle/ nose with the left hand to keep the mouth almost closed.
  • Raise the upper lip with a thumb or finger of the left hand and insert the brush, at the corner of the lips, inside the cheek.
  • Begin at the back of the mouth and brush the surfaces of the teeth, especially the gum line where plaque can be trapped.
  • Allow the mouth to open slightly so the lower teeth can also be brushed.
  • Continue by brushing the teeth towards the front of the mouth up to the canine teeth (large pointed teeth at the front).