A scary 85% of cats and dogs have periodontal disease by 3 years of age. This should not be surprising as there is little difference between a pet tooth and a human tooth, but while we brush and floss our teeth twice daily to prevent dental problems, our pets do not and this goes on for years.

Often issues start with a build up of tartar, which leads to gingivitis, which in turn leads to periodontal disease. Pets can develop infections that affect other organs in the body and teeth will become loose in their sockets. Signs of oral problems can include bad breath, dribbling, yellow/ brown tartar, bleeding gums, rubbing at the mouth, and difficulty with eating

Your Veterinarian or Veterinary Nurse can check your pet's teeth and recommend either a different type of food and/ or dental work. To treat your pet's teeth effectively, he/ she may need an anaesthetic so the teeth can be descaled and polished. If absolutely necessary teeth can be removed as well.

The clinic has a modern fully equipped dental machine with descaler, polisher and high-speed drill. Your Veterinarians and nurses are extremely experienced in treating your pet's teeth.

What is peridontal disease?

If we do not regularly clean our teeth and brush away the plaque, the plaque will mineralise into tartar. Tartar is solid and gritty, it blocks oxygen from bathing the outer tooth and thus changes the environment and type of the bacteria that live around the tooth. These bacteria gradually destroy the tooth's attachment to the gum creating smelly pockets and eventually loose teeth.

Apart from the obvious problems with rotten and loose teeth, the bacteria of the mouth can spill over into the blood stream and put a strain on the heart valves, liver and kidney. It can lead to infection in these organs and virtually anywhere the bloodstream carries the bacteria.

Therefore it is not surprising that teeth require regular professional cleaning regardless of whether the mouth in question belongs to a person, a dog or a cat.

Oral hygiene is one of the most overlooked areas of medical care for animals. As we increase our knowledge of animal health, we realise that proper dental care does not just make your pet's breath smell better; it is mandatory for your pet's long term quality of life.

Dental disease is a treatable and preventable problem. Since your pet can not tell you how it feels, it is up to all of us, as members of your pet's health care team, to address this problem. Most people wait too long to get their pet's teeth cleaned professionally. Teeth cleaning should be consdidered a preventive measure.

Signs of dental disease in your pet

Unfortunately signs of dental disease can be quite subtle. Most pets do not show any signs until the problem is well entrenched and advanced. Usually by the time that you notice signs of dental disease at home, your pet is already in significant discomfort and pain.

Make an appointment at our reception to have your pets teeth cleaned

One of our vets can give you a written price estimate based on the clinical notes. If at the time of dentistry further work is required, such as extractions, then you will be called to discuss the extra costs so please ensure you are available on the number left with us. Extractions will require pain relief and antibiotic medications.

The night before the teeth cleaning, take all food away by 9 pm and make sure your pet does not eat anything in the morning. Our clinic opens at 7:30 am and we appreciate having your pet in for its teeth cleaning by 8 am.

Consider a preanaesthetic blood test and intravenous fluids (optional extra's on the admission form) at the time of the procedure. These are highly recommended for pets over the age of 7 years.

We will anaesthetise your pet and clean his/her teeth sometime in the morning or early afternoon. One of our surgical nurses will call you after the procedure to verify that your pet is going home on the same day.

The best time to pick your pet up is between 3 pm - 5 pm, to make sure it is fully awake from the anaesthesia. You will be given post dental instructions at that time. Please let our nurses know if you have any further questions for the vet.