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The Highcroft Blog

Why pets need to see the dentist too

Monday, February 02, 2015

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‘The Dentist will see you now…’ If that sentence made you feel sick to the stomach, thank you for continuing to read this far! Dental health is quite an easy thing to forget about in our pets, so it comes as no surprise that most recommendations for dental surgery happen at their annual health check or vaccination, which can often be a shock for pet owners.

How can I tell if my pet has a toothache?

As vets, we tend to see teeth in a much worse state than human dentists generally would; either because of the animal’s frustrating ability to hide that they are in pain, or even from their human’s own ‘dentist phobia’ – believe us, it happens! So keep an eye out for symptoms that your pet may be suffering from a toothache, such as:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Inability to eat
  • Bad breath
  • Broken teeth
  • Lumps on the gums
  • Facial swelling
  • Rubbing their face or mouth

What happens if it’s not treated?

Now we’ve all heard of gingivitis but does anyone really take it that seriously? Gingivitis is where the tartar moves under the gum line, causing them to become inflamed, red and sore- ouch! If left untreated, it can develop into serious periodontal disease resulting in tooth loss, expensive extractions or infection affecting organs around the body.

How can it be prevented?

If the vet mentions that your pet could do with a scale and polish, don’t panic. This is the most common dental surgery we perform for pets. Just like in human dentistry, a scale and polish is performed to remove as much tartar and invisible plaque as possible to prevent any further and more serious dental disease from occurring. However, your pet will require a general anaesthetic, as they are far too wriggly to carry out even the most straight forward dentistry.

So although the thought of surgery mainly for preventative measures, like a scale and polish, may be a worrying thought, it can certainly save your pet a lot of discomfort and potentially serious health issues! As veterinary dentistry is often not covered by insurance companies, we have an ongoing offer of 20% off dental procedures if performed within one month of recommendation.

If you’d like to have your pet’s teeth checked (which we recommend about once a year), pop into see one of our nurses for a FREE dental check. Let’s keep your pets smiling J

The Highcroft Blog


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