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Taking care of your pet's teeth and preventing dental disease

Treating the early signs of dental disease in pets is less expensive for you, less painful and less distressing for your pet, and it can help prevent tooth loss and possible systemic diseases.

What causes oral disease?

Step 1 - A soft sticky film called plaque forms in the mouth. Plaque consists of food debris, bacteria and saliva.

Step 2 - If plaque is not removed, a hard material called tartar may begin to form. Tartar can irritate the gums and further encourage the growth of plaque.

Step 3 - If both plaque and tartar are allowed to build up, this can lead to gingivitis, causing painful inflammation along the gum line.

Step 4 - Left untreated, gingivitis will eventually lead to periodontal disease, which can cause pain, tooth loss and severe infection. As periodontal disease progresses, the gums recede, allowing bacteria to travel into the bloodstream and throughout the body, which could lead to other serious problems.

Oral health is important to overall health

As with people, dental disease is a vital part of your dog’s overall health plan. Poor oral health can lead to a build-up of harmful bacteria, which can cause tooth decay, painful sores and other issues. As the disease progresses, the gums recede, which allows bacteria to travel into the blood stream and throughout the body. This increases the risk of systemic health problems such as kidney or heart disease.

Stage 0 - Normal

Healthy Teeth and Gingiva


  • Plaque may be present
  • Smooth healthy gingiva
  • No inflammation, no calculus

Stage 1



  • Inflammation of gum tissue
  • Plaque & calculus may be present
  • No attachment loss

Stage 2

Early Periodontal Disease


  • Some tartar covering tooth crowns
  • Inflammation of gum tissue
  • Swollen gingiva
  • Up to 25% early bone loss

Stage 3

Moderate Periodontal Disease


  • Moderate tartar cover
  • Inflammation of gum tissue
  • Periodontal pockets—Infection
  • Gingiva Recession
  • 25-50% bone loss

Stage 4

Severe Periodontal Disease


  • Heavy tartar covering both roots and crowns of teeth
  • Chronic Infection
  • Severe gingiva recession
  • Exposed tooth roots
  • Over 50% bone loss

Stage 0 - Prevent calculus and periodontal disease. Brush daily, dental chews, toy and treats and/or a dental diet.

Stage 1 is the only stage at which dental disease is reversible. Leading veterinary dental specialists recommend treating dental disease at this early stage.

Feline Resorptive Lesions

Often a small, localised, painful area of inflammation is the first sign. When present on a particular tooth, resorptive lesions are often present in other teeth! UP TO 50% OF CATS ARE AFFECTED BY RESORPTIVE LESIONS.


What is Needed for Resorptive Lesions?

  • Examination under anaesthetic
  • Dental x-rays
  • Oral surgery (extractions

Why Treat Now?

Prevention of more serious and permanent (irreversible) dental disease and prevention of health problems associated with more severe dental disease:

  • Mouth Pain. We know that pets feel dental pain in the same way and to the same degree as we do although they may not show symptoms as obviously as we do.
  • Infection of gums and jaw bones
  • Loss of teeth
  • Serious organ diseases: heart disease, liver disease, kidney disease, etc.
  • Bad breath
  • Take advantage of our Low Cost Care Package designed to encourage early dental care treatment which will improve your pet’s quality of life and likely allow your pet to live longer.

What’s Involved?

1. Your pet is given a thorough physical examination on the day of the procedure.
2. A general anaesthetic is administered.
3. A complete oral and dental examination is then performed including probing all the teeth and completing a dental chart. X-rays may be taken for further assessment.
4. The teeth are thoroughly cleaned using an ultrasonic scaler which removes the harmful bacterial plaque and tartar from above and below the gum line.
5. Extraction of teeth may be required.
6. All the teeth are polished to smooth the surface so preventing plaque from easily forming again.
7. The gums are rinsed with an antiseptic wash to remove any residual debris and speed gum healing.
8. Antibiotics may be required following dental treatment.

Following Treatment

  • Your pet will be checked over a few days later by a vet or nurse to ensure healing has begun.
  • Dental homecare is recommended and demonstrated: this may include Royal Canin Dental Diet, dental chews, tooth brushing and vet aquadent.
  • Reassess teeth every 3 months.
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