Dental Disease in Pets

by Handy Mag
Published: Last Updated on

February is dental awareness month

by Liz Curtis BVMS MRCVS, Ryedale Vets

What is your first thought when a vet asks you to start brushing you dog or cats teeth? As a vet myself I have had many different responses to that little nugget of advice over the years!

Just like humans, dogs and cats should be having their teeth cleaned regularly to try and reduce the build-up of harmful plaque and tartar in the mouth. In the majority of cases however this is not happening and so dental disease becomes a regular occurance and something we deal with as vets and nurses on a daily basis.

The first sign of a dental problem, many owners will report, is a bad smell from the mouth and usually picked up because kisses with ‘Fluffy’ have become something to avoid! However often there are no signs of dental disease as pets are very good at hiding discomfort in the mouth and so dental disease can go unchecked for many months. By the time we see them, there is usually significant tartar build up and often we have started to get infections in the gum that lead to severe gingivitis and root disease. These cases will require a dental procedure under general anaesthetic to clean and sometimes remove any severely disease teeth.

As in humans, the absolute best way to prevent dental disease is regular tooth brushing.

The best time to introduce brushing teeth is in puppies and kittens. In these first few months of life we are getting them used to people, kids, other pets, traffic etc., so why not add in tooth brushing too?

In pets where we have already lost that window of opportunity, or where tooth brushing is absolutely not possible, then regular checking of teeth at home and bringing in to see a vet or nurse for a dental check is the next best thing.

February is dental awareness month, why not book a dental check with one of our Veterinary Nurses?

Ryedale Vets

Station Road, Helmsley, YO62 5BZ Tel: 01439 771166

133 Eastgate, Pickering YO18 7DW Tel: 01751 472204

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