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Brushing Dog's Teeth


The World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) has classified dental disease as a serious welfare issue due to the widespread affects it can have on your pet’s overall health.

What is dental disease?

Dental disease, or periodontal disease, is inflammation of the teeth and gums caused by a build-up of plaque. Plaque, which is made up of food particles, saliva, and bacteria, sticks to the tooth surface and if not removed will calcify into tartar. Around 80% of cats and dogs over the age of three are suffering from some form of dental disease.

The signs of dental disease

  • bad breath
  • discoloured teeth

  • loose teeth

  • excessive drooling

  • blood-stained or inflamed gums

  • dropping of food from the mouth when eating, or reluctance to chew or eat at all

  • pain when handled around the head

  • facial swelling

  • behavioural changes (e.g. lethargy, increased aggression)

  • pawing at the mouth

  • receding gums

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Why is it important?

Dental disease is the most common disease seen in veterinary practice.

  • 75% of all animals presenting to a veterinary clinic will have some level of dental disease.

  • 70% of cats and 80% dogs (100% of small breed dogs) will have dental disease by the age of 3 years old.

Dental disease can progress very quickly and the severity of the disease increases with age and lack of good dental hygiene at home.

Dental disease can lead to

  • Pain

  • Chronic infection and inflammation such as chronic cough

  • Reduced immune function leading to frequent illnesses

  • Adverse effects on the heart, liver, lungs and kidneys

  • Predisposition to diabetes due to insulin resistance

  • Reduced quality of life

  • Early mortality

The good news is dental disease can be prevented with consistent and regular dental hygiene practices at home. If you suspect your pet already has dental disease, please contact our clinic for further advice and appropriate treatment options. Call us on 07 4654 2605.

Grading Dental Disease

Dental disease is graded from 0 to 4 depending on the extent of gingivitis, calculus, gum and bone recession, bad breath and pain. The grade of dental disease is important as it helps us stage the disease and ascertain its impact on the health of your pet, the urgency of intervention and the associated costs.

So, flip your dog or cats lip and have a go at grading their teeth for yourself! If you feel that it is anything but a grade 0, your pet needs a dental check and health plan to prevent their teeth from getting worse. Please contact Charleville Vet Surgery for a dental health appointment.


Call the team at Charleville Vet Surgery on 4654 2605 today to book your complimentary dental health check>

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