August is Pet Dental Month!

Well yes, August IS nearly over but I wanted to give you the chance to drop in and visit the Zillmere Tooth Fairies before we hang up our wings.

Pet dentistry is a real passion of mine, it is so incredibly satisfying to see how much happier and healthier pets are after their dental disease is treated. A common response from clients is “He is just like a puppy again”. Because animals are so adept at hiding signs of pain, we tend to seriously underestimate just how much they are suffering when they have bad teeth.

We now know that;

  • over 85% of adult pets have periodontal disease.
  • periodontal disease causes damage to the kidneys, heart and liver.
  • animals with periodontal disease have increased levels of C reactive protein (which is a marker for inflamation in the body), and these levels decrease after dental treatment.
  • dental disease in humans is linked to heart disease, adverse pregnancy outcomes, diabetes, stroke, respiratory disease and neurodegenerative disease.
  • dental disease is PAINFUL!
  • dental disease causes BAD BREATH.

We are proud that we are one of the few veterinary practices in Brisbane with a digital dental x-ray machine. This allows us to find disease BENEATH the gumline. Dental x-rays are standard in human dentlisty, and now your pet can access that same level of care. I have been truly horrified at how much significant disease there can be lurking beneath the surface! In these x-rays  you can see the areas where infection has caused abscess formation around the roots of the tooth – very painful!

Yellow circles around tooth root abscesses!

Unfortunately, this tooth is past saving and all we can do is an extraction. At Zillmere we are all about preventative healthcare, so flip the lip and have a look at your pet’s teeth (especially way down the back). If the teeth have brown stuff on them, drop in for a free dental check. With regular cleaning and home care we can stop periodontal disease before it becomes irreversible like this poor baby.

So what can you do to help? First look at your pet’s diet, human food and table scraps tend to stick to the teeth and encourage plaque formation. Most premium quality diets have oral care elements and the Hills T/D diet is proven to reduce plaque by 30%. Daily brushing is really the gold standard for preventative home care. There is too much fluoride in human toothpaste so you need to use proper pet toothpaste – available in the delicious flavours of beef, chicken or cheese! Stay tuned for our you-tube video (still in production) on toothbrushing cats and dogs or come in and have one of our super-nurses demonstrate.


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