Gypsum Animal Hospital
Dentistry - Dental disease is a very common problem in pets; just as it is in people. Plaque accumulates due to saliva mixing with food and bacteria in the mouth; this sticky mess adheres to the teeth and creeps up under the gums causing gingivitis. Plaque is over 80% bacteria (yuk). Plaque can be removed by brushing your pets’ teeth.
However, once the plaque combines with minerals in saliva it hardens and is called Tartar. Tartar needs to be removed with an ultrasonic scaler, also called a cavitron. Once the tartar is removed we polish the teeth to get a smooth surface on the is helps keep tartar from coming back to quickly.
Many patients have severe periodontal (gum) disease because, well, let’s face it, their oral hygiene is not that good! Normal gums should be pink; gums that are infected (periodontal disease) are red and bleed easily. We often will prescribe antibiotics after a dental cleaning with infected gums.
After scaling we can show you how to do home care brushing and use oral rinses to keep plaque and tartar away!! Never use human toothpaste as it contains detergents that are very hard on an animal’s stomach. We also recommend feeding hard or dry food as this creates abrasion which can help keep tartar away (although there is some current debate that hard food may form a paste that can contribute to tartar…stay tuned). Hills makes a dry diet called T/D that is very effective at keeping tartar away.