Pet Dental Information

Would you know if your pet is in pain? – Dental Information

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Dogs Bad Breath? Cats Bad Breath?

Would you know if your pet is in pain?


As pet owners, we want to make sure that our pets are as healthy as we are. But we sometimes overlooked or just not aware that they are in pain. If only they can talk! But there are things that we should be aware of, keeping ourselves informed as to how we can avoid certain diseases especially with some teeth and gum problems. Animals by nature hide their pains. It’s their instinct not to show their weaknesses. But how would you know? Well, simply by taking time to inspect early signs like having bad breath in dogs.

Here are some of the common dental diseases and their distinctions.

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Halitosis (Bad breath)
Many people believe that “doggy breath” or “cat breath” is normal, but in fact it is usually caused by a build up of bacteria in the mouth. These bacteria can then travel throughout the body and affect vital organs such as the heart and kidneys.

GingivitisInflammation and reddening of the gums. This is considered the earliest stage of periodontal disease and is reversible with proper care.

Reluctant to eat or pawing and scratching at the mouth
This could be a sign of pain from mobile teeth or infections.

Discoloured teeth
This could mean infection, tooth decay or even tooth death.

Broken or mobile teeth
Broken or mobile teethAnimals can have broken or mobile teeth from chewing on bones, rocks, and other hard objects, or periodontal disease.


Plaque and Tartar
Plaque and TartarAre the result of a collection of food, debris, bacteria, dead skin cells and mucous. It forms within 24 hours on clean tooth surfaces.

Bleeding Gums
Bleeding Gums
A sign of gingivitis.

Caused by pain or because they are nauseous from over growth of bacteria.

Resorptive Lesions
Resorptive LesionsThe gradual destruction of a tooth or teeth caused by cells called odontoclasts. Usually starts on the outside of a tooth at the gum line. They often looks as though gum tissue is growing over or into the tooth. It can also appear there is a hole in the tooth, and most times mistaken for a cavity. It can be painful and lead to many of the common signs of periodontal disease.

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Common Indications for Dental Radiographs

There are a number reasons to take dental radiographs. Anything out of the normal warrants a radiograph to make sure you are not missing a problem. It has been shown that important pathology can be missed in nearly 30% of cases unless radiographs are taken.

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Missing Teeth
Missing TeethThis cat was presented with a missing tooth, when in fact the tooth was fractured at the gum line and the root was retained.

Fractured teeth
Fractured teeth
Fractured teeth - Dental Radiographs
This tooth had an extreme build up of calculus. Upon removal of the calculus, a fracture and fistula (abnormal passageway) was diagnosed. This radiograph demonstrated severe infection around the root tip (black halo) and the tooth was surgically extracted.
Fractured teeth - RadiographThis animal presented with a build up of tarter and calculus. After a dental prohylasis was preformed a slab fracture was diagnosed and the dog was happier once it was repaired.
This x ray shows the darkening area around the apex of the root of the affected tooth. This shows that there is a possible abscess forming.


Retained Deciduous Teeth
Retained Deciduous TeethRetained Deciduous Teeth - Dental Radiographs
These teeth require extraction to prevent malocclusion.

Feline Odontoclastic Resorptive Lesions
Feline Odontoclastic Resorptive LesionsThese appear as erosions of the surface of the tooth at the gingival border. They are often covered with calculus or gingival tissue. It is a progressive disease, usually starting with loss of cementum and dentin and leading to penetration of the pulpcavity. Resorption continues up the dentinal tubules into the tooth crown. The enamel is also resorbed or undermined to the point of tooth fracture. Resorbed cementum and dentin is replaced with bone-like tissue.
dental radiograph - loss of toothThis dental radiograph shows loss of tooth density or tooth resorption. See red arrow.
normal tooth density
This radiograph the opposite side has normal tooth density and no tooth resorption.


Evaluating vitality of teeth

There are several ways of natural teeth cleaning for dogs. Some are non anesthetic dog teeth cleaning like pet dental toothpaste. Non anesthetic teeth cleaning for dogs is an affordable teeth cleaning for dogs. That’s the same way with cat bad breath where we need cat dental care products. This is the easiest way for teeth cleaning for cats. Cleaning dogs teeth at home or done by professional dog teeth cleaning clinics are your options. But either way, the best way to clean dog teeth is dog teeth cleaning without anesthesia. There are also some products that are dog chews for teeth cleaning. This is early prevention from dog dental disease.

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Evaluating vitality of teeth
Discolored teeth are likely to be non-vital (dead), and a health risk for companion animals. Infection can spread from non-vital teeth, through the bloodstream, and throughout the body!


Evaluating vitality of teeth - Radiograph
This x ray shows the darkening area around the apex of the root of the affected tooth. This shows that there is a possible abscess forming.


Things you can do at home

Brushing the teeth daily can help reduce the risks of periodontal disease. By using a soft toothbrush, face cloth, or q-tip (as long as they do not chew it) along with animal toothpaste, you can help remove food particles in the mouth. This can then in turn reduce the need for dental cleanings.

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Along with brushing the teeth, feeding prescription dental diets such as Hill’s t/d or Royal Canin Dental can help decrease the frequency of dental cleanings. With a special fibre matrix that scrubs teeth like an edible toothbrush, these dry foods are clinically proven to reduce bacteria-laden plaque, tartar build up, and tooth stains. There are also treats available for your furry companion animal like feline greenies dental health, canine greenies dental chews, CET Dental chews for dogs and cats, and tartar shield, just to name a few. All of these significantly help to reduce bacteria and plaque, and keep your pet healthy and happy.

Each food is designed with your pet in mind.

  • Kibble scrubs at plaque in your dogs mouth for systemic health
  • Reduces bad breath
  • Antioxidants to promote immune system
  • Reduces stain, plaque and tartar build up
  • Complete and balanced food

how to clean pet teeth
royal canin

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For further assistance, feel free to bring your pet to us.
We’ll be excited to add them to our family.