Both dogs and cats develop dental plaque and tartar on their teeth over time. Eventually bacteria under the tartar cause inflammation of the gum tissue (gingivitis) and separation of the gum from the tooth roots (periodontal disease), bone loss, and tooth root abscesses.
Dental disease represents a chronic infection that has been linked to changes in kidneys, liver, and heart tissue. Dental cleaning and treatment is recommended for dogs and cats before permanent damage occurs. During these cleanings, an ultrasonic scaling device is used to remove plaque and calculus above and below the gum line and then enamel surfaces are polished. A wax sealant (Oravet Gel) can be applied to reduce adherence of bacteria to the teeth and slow development of tartar following the cleaning. Loose or damaged teeth are also extracted or repaired.
Home maintenance of teeth is also very important. Oravet gel can be applied weekly to the outer surface of the upper teeth. Wax will melt over all surfaces of both upper and lower teeth to slow tartar development. Teeth can be brushed daily with an enzymatic tooth paste and soft bristle brush or finger brush. And, of course, CET enzyme coated rawhide chews, Greenies, or Hill’s T/D prescription diet food can be given daily as a treat to reduce and help remove plaque.