Dental disease is probably as common and as painful in dogs as in man. Since dogs do not have the ability to communicate their discomfort until relatively recently a lot of dental problems have been overlooked.
It is estimated that over 85% of dogs over three years old suffer from some degree of periodontitis, making it by far the most common canine oral disease.
Periodontal disease is infection in the tissues surrounding the tooth. Accumulation of tartar (calculus) on the tooth will cause the gum to recede around the base of the tooth. Infection soon follows and as a result of inflammation of the gum (gingivitis) it recedes. Untreated, the infection then spreads into the tooth socket and ultimately the the tooth loosens.
At Allpets we carry out dental descale and polishing on a daily basis to try as much as possible to prevent our patients losing teeth and suffering oral discomfort but carry out extractions when teeth are beyond salvage and extremely painful.
During a descale tartar and more importantly invisible plaque has to be removed completely. For this with our animals a general anaesthetic is necessary. If the patient is fairly elderly it is prudent to carry out routine blood tests to establish that kidney and liver function are satisfactory. Sometimes antibiotic treatment is instituted before full dental prophylaxis is carried out. We will be happy to discuss this with you.
Under general anaesthesia scaling, both by hand and using ultrasonic cleaning equipment will be used to remove tartar, both that which is visible on the crowns of the teeth and also that which is accumulating below the gum line, since it is this which causes gum recession and subsequent infection. The teeth are then polished in order to prevent subsequent plaque build-up as much as possible. The teeth are all then assessed and any extractions carried out as required.
Post dental we will advise you re soft food for a short period if required post any extractions and also on prevention of further dental disease once the teeth had been attended to with diets, brushing, oral hygiene agents etc.
For further information on dental care for your pet, view LifeLearn’s information on: