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3 Top Teeth Tips

When it comes to providing good dental care, many of us are still in the dark, unaware of the dangers of periodontal disease (gum disease) and the oral pain and discomfort it can cause our pets. This month we explore the warning signs associated with periodontal disease and report on how prevention really is the key to stop this commonly diagnosed health problem in our pets.

What is Periodontal Disease?
It has been reported that as many as 80% of dogs and 70% of cats over three years of age have periodontal disease; a disease caused by a build up of plaque that attacks the gums and bones around the teeth.  Plaque irritates your pet’s gums, often leading to infection and the destruction of the supportive tissues and jawbone; resulting in bad breath, bloodied gums and eventual loss of teeth.   Periodontal disease can be prevented, treated and reversed if caught early enough.  Read on to find out how.

Teeth Tip 1:  Warning Signs of Periodontal Disease
Recognising the early signs and symptoms of Periodontal disease is one big step towards ensuring your canines canines remain in tiptop shape. Keep an eye out for:   

  • Red line running along pets gums
  • Bad breath
  • Brownish coloured deposits located on the back of your pets teeth (gingivitis)
  • Receding gums
  • Loose teeth
  • Facial swelling
  • Excessive drooling
  • Blood stained inflamed gums
  • Reluctant to chew or eat hard food
  • Food dropping out of mouth when eating
  • Behavioural changes (eg, lethargy, increased aggression)

Teeth Tip 2:  Chewing
Chewing helps prevent boredom, it can provide an outlet to expend energy whilst, most importantly, it exercises your pet’s teeth, gums and jaw and helps remove plaque.  There are many different types of chews and chew toys to select to prevent the onset of periodontal disease.  For example Greenies Dental Treats are proven to clean dog’s teeth by fighting both plaque and tartar build up, thus maintaining healthy teeth and gums.  And chew toys, such as the KONG Dental or the KONG Dental Stick are a good choice, especially for dogs that chew through edible treats too quickly.

Teeth Tip 3:  Brushing
Brushing your pet’s teeth on a regular basis, up to three times a week, helps stop plaque from forming.  Be sure to use toothpaste that is especially formulated for dogs, such as Dentipet Toothpaste.  This toothpaste cleans your pet’s teeth therefore decreasing the chances of your pet developing periodontal disease. PLUS it also has a tasty beef flavour your pet will enjoy!  When brushing your pets teeth concentrate on areas that tend to build up the most tartar; the outside of the teeth and on the back teeth.  For an alternative and natural remedy used for dental hygiene try St Francis Cinnamon & Tea Tree Oil Toothapaste.