What is dental disease?
Did you know around 80% of dogs and cats over the age of three suffer from dental disease? Dental disease is an inflammatory disease that affects the teeth’s supporting structures like the gums and bone, due to a build-up of plaque.
Plaque is a layer found on the surface of teeth made up of bacteria, food particles and saliva. Plaque leads to inflammation of the gumline (gingivitis) and bad breath (halitosis). Long term plaque accumulation will cause painful loose teeth and tooth root infections
If left untreated, dental disease can lead to liver, kidney and heart problems since bacteria from the mouth enters the bloodstream and travels to these organs. Therefore, we advocate for dental treatment sooner rather than later!
What are the signs of dental disease?
Here are some of the symptoms that may indicate that your pet is suffering from a dental disease:
- Gingivitis (gum redness or inflammation)
- Bad breath
- Painful loose teeth
- Tooth root infections
- Swellings around the cheek.
If you notice these symptoms in your pet, we recommend you contact your vet and schedule an appointment.
What is involved in a dental check?
Here at Matraville Veterinary Practice, you can visit us for a free dental check. We also include dental checks as part of a general health check or during your pet’s vaccination consult.
During your pet’s dental check your Veterinarian will grade teeth from 0 to 4.
Grades 1 and 2 include teeth containing small amounts of plaque with mild gingivitis.
Grades 3 and 4 categorise dental disease and plaque formation which has caused attachment loss (pockets) between the root and surrounding tissues. These pockets necessitate tooth extraction since these teeth are painful and will eventually progress to tooth root infections.
Having regular dental checks ensures teeth are managed with a scale and polish at Grade 1 or 2 before extractions are requisite at Grade 3 or 4.
Plaque also results in constant bacterial consumption which long term can manifest into heart valve (endocarditis), and kidney (pyelonephritis), disease.
Healthy teeth equate to a healthy body. This is why we at Matraville Veterinary Practice believe in regular dental checks.
Contact one of our veterinary staff or chat over the phone for any dental related questions. 1300 MAT VET or 1300 628 838