Keeping your pets teeth clean and healthy is important, dental scaling- the removal of hardened plaque and tartar-will give your pet perfect pearly whites.
What is Dental Scaling?
Dental scaling is a deep clean of your pets teeth. The cleaning process reaches below the gum line and removes plaque and bacteria buildup. It’s way more effective than a simple dental clean. Your vet will use a hand held dental scaling tool to gently remove unwanted plaque while your pet is under general anesthetic.
Why should you know about dental scaling
Like us humans, plaque builds up on our pets’ teeth causing tooth rot and gum disease. Your pet may also suffer from abscesses and other tooth related problems. Rotting teeth, abscesses and related dental problems can cause immense pain so it’s vital to be able to recognise if your pet is suffering from dental issues.
How to tell if you pet has dental problems
Perform regular checks as sometimes the problem is not immediately obvious, so keep an eye out for any of these symptoms:
Broken or loose teeth
Abnormal chewing, drooling, or dropping food from the mouth
Only chewing on one side
Reduced appetite or refusal to eat
Teeth that are discoloured-yellow, grey, black- or covered in tartarPain in or around the mouth
Inflamed or bleeding gums – blood on chew toys.
Swelling in areas around the mouth
Extra teeth or retained baby teeth
What is the procedure for a dental scaling?
When a pet is brought into the vet for dental scaling your vet will first do a dental exam to access your pets needs and discuss any underlying concerns.
On the day your vet will perform a pre-anaesthetic health check to ensure your pet’s kidney and liver function are able to undergo a general anaesthetic.
Your pet will be monitored closely while under general anaesthetic.
While your pet is under anaesthetic your vet, along with an assistant, will perform a thorough dental inspection, taking note of abnormalities, removing stuck food and evaluate any bleeding of the gums.
If your pet has advanced tooth decay, you vet may be unable to save the tooth and have to extract it. Should this be the case your vet will contact you to discuss and advise of any additional costs.
Your pet’s teeth and gums are cleaned using a specifically designed pet dental scaler to remove all plaque and tartar build up. Your pets’ teeth will be given a final polish, not only giving them a sparkly set of pearly whites but also removing any scratches and protecting against future plaque build-up.
Prevention is better than cure
Managing dental disease early is critical. Dental disease is associated with circulating bacterial infections referred to as a baceteraemia. The microorganisms that gain entrance to the blood and circulate throughout the body and can deposit into sites and multiply. This has been associated with conditions such as cardiac disease, bacterial pneumonia and diabetes.
To prevent dental issues developing, have your pets’ teeth checked at least once a year and ensure your pet has dental scaling treatment annually.
To further help your pet have the best smile and sweetest breath:
Purchase a PET toothbrush and toothpaste (or gel) and clean your own pet’s teeth (don’t use human toothpaste, it is harmful to your pet). Pet toothpastes do not foam and are made in flavours that will appeal to your dog or cat making the experience more pleasurable.
Pet toothpaste also contains enzymes to chemically break down plaque, reducing the amount of time you will need to spend on brushing your pet’s teeth.
You can also use:
Water additives. They are easy to add to your pets’ water bowl.
Chew treats such as Virbac’s Veggiedent Chews for dogs.
Any questions about dental scaling and keeping your pets’ teeth in tip top shape?
If you are at all unsure, seek advice from a qualified, practicing vet. Book an appointment as the vet will need to examine your pets’ teeth to make an assessment of their needs.
When it comes to the health of your fury friend – it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Interesting Instagram post from Veterinary Dentistry Training: