Dogs - Dental Disease
Dogs have 28 deciduous teeth and 42 permanent teeth, 6 upper and lower incisors, 4 canines, 8 premolars and 10 molars. The healthy mouth should have clean unstained teeth with a healthy pink gum margin around the tooth.
The permanent teeth erupt between the ages of 4 and 7 months. Some animals can have a non sequential eruption which results in deciduous teeth being retained within the mouth when the permanent teeth erupt leading to overcrowding. Yorkshire Terriers are particularly prone to having retained deciduous incisors. Such teeth are best removed as they later result in a higher incidence of periodontal disease.
Excessive wear of teeth due to stone chewing or similar activities, results in exposure of the brown dentine within the tooth, or the development of stress fractures which can lead to death and discolouration of the dental tissue if the tooth pulp is involved. Abscessation is a common sequel of this problem.
Periodontal disease is the major cause of tooth loss in dogs. The breed, diet and level of oral hygiene all contribute to the problem. A gingivitis (gum inflammation) develops around the tooth, possibly secondary to tartar formation on the tooth, the bone holding the tooth can weaken leading ultimately to tooth loss. Infection around the tooth socket at this stage leads to a condition called pyorrhoea which further exacerbates the problem. The treatment is to remove any tartar build up by ultrasonic scaling and polishing, and to extract any diseased or damaged teeth. The indications that the animal is needing dental work are bad breath (halitosis), gingivitis and gum bleeding, gum recession and pain on opening the mouth or while chewing.
Steps can be taken to prevent or reduce the amount of dental disease. Feeding is important, a diet based purely on soft food (canned meat) allows the build up of tartar. Dried, hard food or treats can aid in breaking tartar off the tooth. Brushing is probably the most effective way of maintaining good oral hygiene. Special dog or cat toothpaste has to be used, human forms are not suitable.
We recommend Hills T-D to reduce gingivitis and the build-up of tartar, plaque and stains. T-D works best when used on clean teeth following a scale & polish to mechanically remove tartar. This can be fed as a complete diet or it can be fed as 25% of your dog's daily food intake. This diet does not contain any mineral abrasives or active chemicals. We also recommend other dental home care methods, if possible, e.g. regular tooth brushing.
This diet is also available in mini (smaller kibbles) for small breeds.
Available in sizes 700g, 3kg & 10kg.
Logic medicated dental hygiene gel helps prevent the formation of dental plaque and fights bad breath. This gel can be applied to the pet’s paw for it to lick off or directly into the mouth as instructed. Based on a multi-enzyme patented system, Logic Oral Hygiene Gel supplements the animal’s own defence mechanism to help fight harmful bacteria in the mouth.
Tooth brushing is known to be the single most effective way of removing plaque and ideally Logic Oral Hygiene Gel should be used with regular brushing. However it will still be beneficial if the pet refuses a full dental regime.
Once the plaque (white sticky substance) on the surface of the tooth mineralises it becomes tartar. Tartar cannot be removed using a toothbrush, it will have to be mechanically removed using a hand scaler at the surgery. This is performed under general anaesthetic.
This handy toothpaste kit contains a finger brush to help start your pets oral hygiene routine, toothbrush, poultry flavoured enzymatic toothpaste and a guide to effective oral hygiene routine.
Vet Aquadent Anti Plaque Solution is a refreshing and palatable drinking water additive containing xylitol (limits dental plaque and tartar formation) to help fight your pet's bad breath.
Logic Orozyme Dental Chews are a new innovation in dental hygiene. Enzymes combined with chewing actively removes plaque from teeth and gums. Logic chews are extremely palatable beef and pork rawhide chews for dogs which, as well as helping with the mechanical removal of plaque, are sprayed with the Logic antibacterial enzymes and agents.
Available in 3 sizes;
Small dogs < 10 Kg; Small chews - 224g box
If you would like more information on oral hygiene or if you think your dog requires dental treatment, please telephone the surgery to speak to one of our vets.