Did you know that if your pet is suffering from dental disease they may be at risk of heart disease too?
When dental disease strikes, plaque and tartar that accumulate on the teeth lead to infection of the gums. Bacteria from this infection travel in the bloodstream around the body and can cause infection in the heart. This commonly occurs in the heart’s lining and valves and is known as endocarditis.
And it’s not only the heart that is affected; the kidneys, liver and lungs can all be damaged by the bacteria.
Thankfully many of these problems can be prevented if dental disease is treated and the health of your pet’s mouth is improved.
Top tips for the prevention of dental disease
- Lift your pet’s lip and have a look and a smell. If you notice any yellowing of the teeth or redness of the gums OR your pet’s breath smells a bit ‘off’, it is time for a check-up.
- Regardless of whether you think something’s not quite right, get your pet’s mouth checked regularly. The earlier an issue is spotted the better the outcome.
- Get your pet eating the right diet. It’s essential that our pets chew their food! There are some excellent dental diets available and they work really well so ask us for the best recommendation.
- Brush your pet’s teeth. This is considered gold standard but just make sure you use a pet-approved toothpaste.
Don’t be tempted by offers of ‘anaesthesia free dentistry.” This somewhat ‘shonky’ form of teeth cleaning is simply cosmetic and it fails to address the root of the problem (removing the plaque and tartar and subsequent bacteria from under the gum-line). The Australian Veterinary Association has put out an official warning about the shortfalls of so called anaesthesia free dentistry. Read the warning here.