What is periodontal disease?
Periodontal disease is one of the most common diseases affecting our pets, and left untreated can affect the function of the heart, liver, kidneys, and other vital organs within the body. By the age of 3 over 70% of cats and 80% of dogs have some degree of periodontal disease.
Dental disease is caused by a buildup of plaque and tartar on the teeth, which harbour bacteria in the mouth resulting in inflammation and infection of the gums, gingival recession, and loss of teeth.
How do I know if my pet has periodontal disease?
Early signs of periodontal disease can include bad breath, red inflamed gums and visible plaque and tartar build up.
More severe signs of dental disease include bleeding gums, loose or missing teeth, excessive drooling, reduced appetite, weight loss, problems keeping food in their mouth, swelling on the sides of the face or under the eye, and irritability.
It is a good idea to familiarise yourself with your pet’s teeth by looking at and touching them regularly. By doing this you will be more likely to notice small changes, wear and breakage and it will help familiarise them with the feeling of dental examinations.
How to prevent periodontal disease.
Never feed cooked bones to your pet. Ensure you remove small bones that pose a choking hazard. Be cautious of feeding solid bones as they can fracture teeth.
Veterinary Dental Treatments
There may comes a time when your pet's teeth may require professional veterinary treatment.
Treatment involves a full dental examination while your pet is under anaesthetic, including scaling and polishing.
Depending on the condition of your pet’s teeth and gums, it may also be necessary to remove teeth that are fractured or loose. These procedures will be conducted under a general anaesthetic.