Most pets will experience some dental problems in their lives. Unfortunately some begin at an early age and some can be of a rather severe nature. Up to 80% of dogs and cats can be affected.
Regular dental checks are advised. The annual health check appointment is an ideal time to assess these problems, together with other concerns such as parasite control, diet and general well being.
The appropriate diet, various aides and the provision of 'chews' will help considerably but active dental care such as brushing is far more effective. With a little commitment these procedures are quite possible, especially if started at an early age.
When disease (gingivitis and periodontal disease) is evident then treatment will be needed. Ultra-sonic dental scaling and polishing under anaesthetic is used to remove hardened scale and thoroughly clean the teeth. Along with other measures this will improve the health of the mouth considerably but where disease has progressed extractions may be necessary. Specialist dental procedures are now available and can sometimes be used to save teeth that would otherwise be lost.
Remember – Prevention is better than Cure!
The web sites below have a great deal of information.
Dentalvet detail and pictures on this American site
Technique for brushing with Normal Johnson: