Checking your pet’s teeth regularly and looking out for common signs such as bad breath (halitosis), visibly decaying teeth, swollen gums are the most effective ways to prevent gum disease from developing further.
To inspect your pet’s teeth, gently lift the lips around the mouth and check the front and back teeth as best as you can.
Having a regular dental care routine can help you to avoid these problems and will allow your pet to get used to having their teeth cleaned. Using a finger brush or specially designed pet toothbrush that has a longer stem will allow you to brush accurately.
It’s important to note that you should never used human toothpaste to clean your pet’s teeth as it can make them sick. Special enzymatic toothpaste is designed for dogs and we stock a variety of brands in our clinics.
Other symptoms you should be aware of include a reluctance to chew on food and/or discomfort when eating; increased salivation; bleeding gums; tartar/calculus (hard coating on the teeth that is usually brown or yellow; and missing or loose teeth.
When checking your pet’s teeth, try not to force your pet, and if you’re having difficulty, it’s best to ask your veterinarian to do this for you. We recommend you to visit every six to twelve months for routine dental examinations.
Dental examinations carried out by the veterinarian routinely use a general anaesthetic to ensure both the pet and veterinarian’s safety. We have created a detailed guide on what to expect at a dental examination in clinic regarding anaesthesia here.