Dentistry FAQs

Why dental hygiene is so important

'Dental disease is often extremely advanced by the time pets stop eating and months of pain will have preceded this...'

  • Halitosis (smelly breath) most commonly originates from plaque accumulation in the mouth. The smell is symptomatic of increasing amounts of deposits, which will eventually lead to gum disease. Doggy breath most certainly is not normal, and you should seek veterinary advice if/when it occurs.

  • Wild animals do suffer from bad teeth and often die as a result. In the wild, animals do not live as long as we hope our pets will, and as dental diseases are progressive, our pets are at greater risk of more debilitating dental conditions. Distinctive periodontitis can be a genetic predisposition.

  • Absolutely not. Animals do not exhibit the same symptoms of pain as ourselves. The behavioural changes that animals show are often very subtle. Dental disease is often extremely advanced by the time they stop eating and months of worsening pain will have preceded this.

  • Often you don’t. Frequent health checks by a veterinary professional (along with regular checks by you) will highlight potential problems. Signs to look out for include smelly breath, reddened gums, any discharges, broken teeth and facial swellings. If you are in any doubt, seek veterinary advice.

  • Tooth brushing is the only way to prevent gingivitis and progressing gum disease. Various diets and chews with a dental claim are available. These products may have some benefits but will never be as effective as daily tooth brushing. Start introducing your pet to having their teeth massaged and mouth opened from 12 weeks of age.

  • Yes. Dental disease in dogs can progress up to 5x faster than in humans and plaque can build within 2 weeks of having a scale and polish. If bleeding occurs when brushing, do not stop. This means there is inflammation.

For more information on your pet’s dental health, contact us in practice.