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Introduction to Dental Care

Surprisingly, it was not until the 1970’s in human medicine that dental care gained a much needed boost with the simple finding that...

Plaque causes dental disease

OK, that sounds simple, but what is plaque?

Well, when you wake up in the morning and you feel your furry teeth with your tongue, that’s “plaque”

Someone close to you may pluck up the courage to say either “your breath stinks” or “you need to brush your teeth”.

Plaque is a thick liquid that coats your teeth and gums every day, and is made up of millions of bacteria and food particles. You can’t stop it forming- it’s natural.

Saliva contains calcium which “binds” with plaque and turns it into “tartar” (the tough brittle staining that coats untreated teeth).


Tartar (Plaque) and Gingivitis

Tartar is a mixture of minerals and salts, food particles and plaque that combine together to form a solid, firmly attached yellowish layer on the surface of the teeth.

Tartar traps more food particles between itself and the gums. The food particles start to rot causing inflammation of the gums (gingivitis). 

As a result, the gums bleed very easily and cause a lot of pain when eating.

Eventually, the inflammed gums move away from the decaying area, exposing the tooth roots. Once the tooth roots and bone sockets are exposed, bacteria from the rotting food destroy the bone holding the teeth in place (a very painful experience in humans).

Importance of Healthy Teeth and Gums

Gingivitis and loose rotten teeth are a very painful problem.

Bacteria from infected teeth, gums and bone sockets easily get into the bloodstream by entering the tiny blood vessels in the mouth.

They love to form colonies in vital organs (e.g. kidneys, liver and heart valves) leading to major health issues.

When is it time for a check-up?

Both vets and dentists prefer to not let their patients get to the stage of pain on eating, bad breath and bleeding gums. By this time, permanent damage may already have occurred.

If my dentist said to me "Hi Mark. Your teeth are not too bad, just a small amount of tartar there. Tell you what, come back when those teeth and gums are sore and sensitive, and I will give them a good scale and polish" I'd be wanting the treatment straight away. I would not want to wait until things got much worse.

So when it it time for checkup? We recommend 6 monthky checkups for all pets- just like humans.


In fact we are so determined that all pets be pain free and have nice healthy teeth that we offer a FREE DENTAL CHECK for the first 15 pets to book in each month (value $65.00)

See also...
Dental care at home
Dental grades of disease