Keeping pet’s teeth healthy in Knutsford
Unlike humans, pets don’t have the ability to maintain their own dental hygiene, which is why veterinary dental care is so important. We have a range of equipment and the experience to diagnose and treat dental illnesses in pets to prevent them developing into a more serious condition.
Why is it important to care for your pet’s teeth?
Every time a dog or cat eats its food, debris mixes with saliva and bacteria and forms a layer of plaque on their teeth – something that humans brush off their teeth twice daily.
Without brushing, this plaque forms a layer of hard tartar on the teeth. The presence of the tartar, along with bacteria trapped along the gum line can cause inflammation of the gum (gingivitis) and smelly breath (halitosis).
With time this can move down into the tooth roots causing wobbly teeth, pain and infections. Infections can cause abscesses and can also have effects on other body systems such as the heart and kidneys. Good dental care is therefore essential for the health and wellbeing of your pet.
What our vets say
Our pet’s dental health can play a big role in helping them maintain a good quality of life. That’s why it’s so important you adopt a good tooth brushing routine and book regular check-ups.
Preventative dental care
We’re huge advocates of preventative dental healthcare. Where over 90% of pets will require some form of dentistry before they are 5 years old, isn’t it better we look to mirror the progress achieved in the human sector. That’s why at Knutsford Veterinary Surgery we have included a 20% discount on scale and polish treatments as standard within our Gold Plan.
We can also help teach you how to brush your pet’s teeth at home. Brushing teeth is still regarded as the Gold Standard in dental hygiene in which a mechanical and enzymatic cleaning approach can be achieved. It has the added advantage that it is also the cheapest option.
It’s not just young dogs that can be taught to accept brushing, but we can also help older dogs too. For a quick guide on how to brush a dog or cats teeth, watch our video below.
State of the art dental x-rays
We invest in the best equipment available here at Knutsford Vets and have a state of the art dental x-ray system to detect dental problems both above and below the gum-line. This is the gold standard of care in the human world so why shouldn’t it be in veterinary medicine?
Our dental x-ray system uses the same plates used by human dentists. The level of detail is much higher than a standard x-ray plate that may be utilized for taking an x-ray of a leg for example. The small size and high resolution allow intra-oral x-rays to be taken to diagnose disease within the mouth and monitor any progression.
Other vets may use lower quality plates that have been adapted from a standard x-ray system, however these lack the detail and resolution and can lead to disease being missed.
So what sort of issues are picked up on our dental x-rays?
Most frequently a problem in cats and found in up to 80% of patients requiring dental treatment. These are very difficult to identify in the conscious patient and all an owner may detect is difficulty or pain whilst eating, favouring one side of the mouth, decreased appetite or some blood in the saliva. There are two different types of tooth resorption – type I and type II. The two types are impossible to diagnose without dental x-ray and require very different approaches to treatment. For this reason, DENTAL RADIOGRAPHY SHOULD BE PERFORMED IN ALL CATS UNDERGOING A DENTAL PROCEDURE.
Often traumatic following a car accident for cats or stone chewing for dogs. Fractures leave the pulp exposed and risk tooth root abscesses forming. Caught early, these teeth can be treated to maintain a healthy tooth but the window for appropriate treatment is small so fast treatment using the best equipment is essential.
This follows periodontitis where toxins released from bacteria and cause inflammation. Plaque causes the body to resorb the bone in the jaw surrounding a tooth and weakening the structure around the tooth causing it to become loose and painful. Affected teeth need to be taken out.
Most commonly caused by pulp exposure secondary to tooth fracture or worn teeth following chewing of tennis balls or stones. The tooth pulp becomes inflamed and infected causing an abscess at the root, a very painful condition requiring extraction. TOOTH ROOT ABSCESSES NEED DENTAL X-RAY TO BE DIAGNOSED.
Most often as a result of trauma but can result secondary to damage to the bone following a tooth root abscess, oral cancer or following extraction of a tooth. Identifying the location and extent of a fracture helps to identify the best way to fix it.
Oral cancers are one of the most common types of cancers diagnosed in cats and dogs. Tumours can be malignant or benign, locally invasive or metastatic (prone to spreading elsewhere in the body). The most common form of mouth cancer in cats is Squamous Cell Carcinoma accounting for 70% of oral cancers diagnosed in the species. Other neoplasms found in the mouth include melanomas, and fibro-sarcomas.
We have written a couple of case studies on recent dental cases showing just how useful dental x-ray is in our patients.