Phase 1. Dental plaque:
The micro-organisms naturally present in the mouth cavity combine with the saliva and food debris to form a film on the tooth’s surface: dental plaque. As it is invisible to the naked eye, it needs to be dyed in order to be disclosed.
Phase 2. Tartar:
After brushing, plaque reappears after six hours. If plaque is not removed (through daily brushing of the teeth), it then mineralises in the presence of salivary calcium and gives rise to tartar formation, a hard, brown deposit on the tooth’s surface. This doesn’t disappear with simple brushing of the teeth, but requires scaling by your vet.
Phase 3. Loosening of teeth:
In the advanced phase, bacteria develop at the base of the root of the tooth and attack the bone into which the tooth is embedded (osteolysis), the risk of abscess formation is very high.
How and when should I have my pet’s teeth scaled?
It all depends on the phase of the disease. If only plaque is present, and the animal is co-operative, daily brushing of the teeth may suffice.
1. A genuine diagnostic:
Conversely, in more serious situations, only scaling under anaesthetic will remove the hard mineralised layer of tartar. Your vet will be able to advise regarding the need and time to scale your pet’s teeth and the method used.
2. Surgery under anaesthetic:
Scaling is conducted under general anaesthetic to spare the animal any pain or stress linked to the use of an ultrasound device. All the teeth are scaled, one by one, inside (lingual) and cut (vestibular) surfaces. This procedure may be supplemented by polishing to smooth any irregularities on the tooth’s surface, which may promote the development of bacteria. Scaling will also allow your vet to determine the need to remove any loose teeth.
3. Dental check-ups:
After the operation, your vet will prescribe the most appropriate daily treatment and dental care for your pet.
What are the effects of periodontal disease?
1. The first signs
- Increasingly foul-smelling breath
- Excess salivation
- Difficulty feeding
2. Serious effects
- Teeth loosen and can even fall out
- Abscess formation
- Secondary infection of other organs: the heart, lungs, kidneys and liver can all be affected by the entry of bacteria into the blood system.
What dental care should I give my pet?
1. Brushing of teeth:
Daily brushing of the teeth is the only way to minimise the development of the disease.
2. A diet specially formulated to promote oral and dental health:
The products in the Royal Canin DENTAL range have been specially formulated to have a targeted effect on plaque and tartar. While satisfying the animal’s daily nutritional needs, they also help to achieve good oral and dental hygienic, in place of the usual diet.
3. Nutritional supplements specially formulated to promote oral and dental health:
A chew bar such as Royal Canin ORAL BAR helps to effectively reduce the build-up of plaque and dental tartar.
Why should I give him dental formula kibble?
Feeding your pet a kibble-based diet specially formulated to promote oral and dental health is an excellent means of supplementing the brushing of teeth or replacing this routine if brushing is not possible. As surprising as it may seem, kibble can act in many ways to help maintain dental health:
- Mechanical action: Thanks to its shape and texture, kibble can have a gentle abrasive effect on teeth during chewing. This helps to break down the many species of bacteria that make up plaque. It is therefore important not to moisten or crush kibble so that it retains this benefit.
- Chemical action on salivary calcium: Calcium plays a role in the mineralisation of plaque.
- Sodium polyphosphate (10) traps the calcium so that it is unavailable to form tartar.
- Tougher action on plaque: Products in the Royal Canin veterinary Diet DENTAL range contain an active nutrient effective against plaque.
1. Take your pet to the vet for regular dental health check-ups.
2. Get your pet used to a daily teeth brushing from an early age.
3. Use a toothpaste specially formulated for domestic pets.
4. Reward your pet with a treat after brushing, such as giving him a toy, or taking him for a walk.
5. Maintain your pet’s dental health by feeding him specially formulated dental kibble and nutritional dental supplements (dental bars).
6. Take your pet to have his teeth scaled as soon as the vet recommends it: the longer you leave it, the more quickly the disease develops towards the irreversible stages, such as tooth loss.
1. Think that bad breath is normal.
2. Let periodontal disease get any worse once it has been diagnosed.
3. Feed your pet real bones to chew on, especially chops, chicken bones , etc. (risk of constipation).
4. Let your dog play with or carry stones in his mouth (risk if ingestion and damaging teeth and gums).