At Cronulla Veterinary Clinic, your pet’s health and comfort is very important to us.
In the past, we have written about the importance of properly examining, diagnosing and treating dental disease for our pets, keep them healthy and pain-free.
When we get a painful tooth, we go to the dentist straight away and can indicate which tooth hurts. The dentist will then diagnose the problem to treat the sore tooth.
Our pets can’t tell us that they have painful teeth, and will usually keep eating regardless, and they rarely show signs of pain even when we know they have painful dental disease.
When we give our patients a check-up, specific problems can be recognised in consult, such as:
- Bad breath,
- Gingivitis (a red rim along the gumline),
- Tartar or calculus build up on the teeth (NB: the tartar we can see above the gum line is the most visible but least important in the dental disease process, we can’t check below the gumline without anaesthetising the patient first),
- Wobbly teeth,
- Discoloured teeth,
- Teeth crown fractures, with or without exposure of the living pulp,
- Missing teeth (the question is: are they missing? Are they present under the gumline but not erupted (this can cause serious complications!) or has the crown fractured off and has the gum grown over the root?)
- Resorptive lesions on crowns can sometimes be seen,
- Orthodontic problems in young patients (baby teeth),
- Swellings in the mouth or on the face, draining tracts, nasal discharge etc.
Other problems can only be found when a thorough examination under general anaesthetic takes place.
Teeth are made up of crowns, the visible part of the tooth, covered in strong enamel, and roots, the invisible part of the tooth, embedded in the jaw bone. Most of the tooth (about 2/3) therefore is hidden beneath the gum-line. Studies have shown that in pets with visible dental disease, dental radiographs reveal more undetected problems in about 50% of cases. That means more painful teeth that otherwise would not have been picked up!
The same studies even showed that in pets with otherwise normal looking teeth, dental x-rays revealed painful dental disease in more than 25% of dog patients and more than 40% of cat patients.
Cats, in particular, suffer from tooth resorptive lesions which are painful, and invisible when under the gumline.
The current recommendations are to provide our pets with oral examinations, cleanings and dental x-rays once a year. As our pets age faster than humans, every year our pet ages is 5-7 human years to us. Our dentist checks our teeth with x-rays not only when we complain about a sore tooth, but as a screening test for early disease every couple of years.
At Cronulla Veterinary Clinic, we can offer fast, accurate digital dental radiography. As a special promotion, we will offer free complimentary dental radiographs with every dental booked in for the months of March and April 2019.
To book your dental, or for any other questions or concerns, please contact our friendly staff on 9527 2604.