The most common form of dental disease we see is periodontal disease. This is different to humans - we get cavities, or holes in our teeth. Dogs and cats develop inflammation of the periodontium. There are 4 parts of this disease, the periodontal ligament holds the tooth to the bone, alveolar bone is the main bone surrounding the tooth, gingiva (gums) and the cementum which covers the tooth roots.
Common signs that we look for in dental disease is:
- halitosis or bad breath
- gingivitis, inflammed gums
- gum recession, slowly exposing the start of the tooth roots
It is a myth that our pets will stop eating if they have dental disease - they do not. Dogs and cats have to eat, they prioritise eating and every day we see significant dental changes with no change in appetite.
At each consultation with our vets your pet will have their teeth graded. Please ask when you visit us and we will let you know which grade your pet has been given. Please see below for an explanation of the dental gradings.
Dental grade 0 = great teeth, no issues.
Dental grade 1 = tartar build up and inflammation.
Dental grade 2 = as above, with gingival recession, significant inflammation (teeth will bleed when probed under anaesthetic).
Dental grade 3 = one single rooted tooth needs extraction.
Dental grade 4 = multiple teeth needing extractions.
Keeping your pets teeth healthy will stop bacteria from dental disease moving through the blood stream and causing detrimental heart and kidney infections. This can cause severe illness and shorten your pet's life.