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Just like us, our pets can develop problems with their teeth. We always assess the teeth during the routine Veterinary examination.
There are 6 grades of Peridontal disease:
- 0: perfect teeth
- 1: mild gum inflammation/tartar
- 2: moderate gingivitis/tartar
- 3: gum recession and damage to tooth socket
- 4: loosening of teeth and infection of roots
- 5: as above with obvious pus and bone infection.
Grade 0 Grade 1 Grade 2 Grade 3 Grade 4 Grade 5
Stages 1 and possibly 2 are reversible with a home management programme. This would include brushing with a finger brush and C E T enzymatic toothpaste or feeding T/D prescription diet which is the only food proven to physically clean the teeth.
In some cases of grade 2, grade 3 peridontal disease and above dentistry is the only solution.
Patients are anaesthetised and the tartar is physically removed. Xrays will be then taken if required and any teeth removed if necessary. The healthy teeth are then scaled with an ultrasonic scaler and finally polished to remove the microscopic tartar which would allow rapid build up of new plaque. The tooth enamel is left smooth after this process to inhibit subsequent plaque/tartar accumulation.
Following dentistry we recommend that a soft food is fed as a recovery diet and then a programme at home initiated to minimize future reoccurrence.
In addition to tartar teeth can suffer fractures from trauma, caries as with us or in the case of cats, orthodontic resorbtive lesions (which basically means a hole in the enamel penetrating through to the sensitive middle.
Adolescent animals generally lose their deciduous or temporary teeth by 6 months. Occasionally these remain and can weaken the permanent teeth attachment so removal is advisable.