Brantford Veterinary Clinic supports Dental Health Month
by Jennifer Church, R.V.T.
Did you know February is dental health month?
80% of dogs and 70% of cats over age 3 suffer from periodontal disease.
How do you know if your dog or cat has dental disease? Here are signs you can look for:
« Yellow or brown discolouration of the teeth
« Persistant bad breath
« Bleeding or inflamed gums
« Loose teeth
« Missing or broken teeth
« Trouble chewing or eating food
« Sensitivity around the mouth
« Unusual drooling
« Loss of appetite
What should you do if you notice your dog or cat has these symptoms/signs?
Call your veterinarian and book a dental consultation.
Once your veterinarian has assessed the severity of your pets’ dental disease, they may make recommendations. Some options would be:
« Dental scale and polish
« Brushing your pets teeth
« Dental diets
« Dental chews and toys
« Additives for their water
Parts of teeth and gums:
Peridontium – structures that support the teeth
Gingiva – soft tissue that surrounds the teeth and cover the bone
Cementum – tissue that attaches the root to the ligament
Factors in dental disease:
Plaque – bacterial film that forms on teeth daily. Can lead to gingivitis and periodontal disease.
Calculus – also known as tartar
– mineralized, crusty deposits that irritate the gums when plaque is removed
Gingivitis – inflammation of the gingiva or gums
Periodontal disease – painful oral disease that can lead to tooth loss and organ disease.
Periodontitis – inflammation and disease of the tooth supportive tissue.
Stages of oral health:
Health – minimal plaque and tartar on the tooth surface
Gingivitis – plaque, tartar and mild bad breath
Early periodontal disease – inflammation and swelling of the gums with moderate bad breath
Established periodontal disease – bleeding gums, pustular discharge with severe bad breath
Advanced periodontal disease – loose teeth, bleeding gums, inflammation of the gums and severe bad breath.
Diagnosing the problem is the first step. Call your veterinarian to book a consult today!