This may come as a surprise, but studies have shown 4 out of 5 pets over 3 years old have dental disease. And if you think about it, we brush our teeth twice a day (or at least, that’s what we tell Mum), but when did your pooch or puss last take up the tooth brush? Well now’s the time to brush up on your dental know-how.

  1. What is dental disease?

Periodontal disease, or dental disease, is incredibly common in our pets. It involves the build up of plaque and tartar on the teeth, leading to inflammation of the gums and bacterial infections. When left untreated it can cause pain, discomfort and can even lead to serious health issues in the rest of the body from the bacteria. Luckily it is reversible in it’s early stages and later stages are treatable by a vet.

  1. Does my pet have dental disease?

Common signs of dental disease include:

  • bad breath
  • difficulty eating
  • dropping food
  • sore/painful around the mouth
  • drooling
  • loss of appetite or weight loss
    Phone Midwest Vets on 99643 671 to book your pet’s FREE dental check appointment, to have your pets teeth graded by one of our experienced team members.

    1. What can I do about it?

    The best and only treatment for existing dental disease is to have an annual scale and polish procedure at the vet, safely under general anaesthetic.

    Nurse Hannah monitors Cheeky Charlie’s anaesthetic closely, along with her SmartFlow iPad to chart the procedure

    To prevent dental disease in the first place the best thing is… teeth brushing! A daily brush with a soft tooth brush will keep your pet’s pearly whites exactly that, pearly white. Start with just your finger, to get your pet used to having something in their mouth. You can then move on to using some gauze or cloth and finally a tooth brush. You can even get nifty tooth brushes that fit over your finger. Just remember to make it a positive experience for your pet and do NOT use human toothpaste, as this can be toxic. You can get special pet toothpaste with yummy (?) flavours like chicken and beef!

    At this point a lot of you are probably thinking “tell her she’s dreaming”, Castle-style. And I don’t blame you. So if you have a sneaking suspicion your pet may not take to teeth brushing there are alternatives. There are many dental chew products available which will mechanically remove plaque from your pets teeth. Hard food (dog biscuits), in particular dental diets, will do the same. Regular check ups will also help identify dental disease before it gets too serious.

    Talk to your friendly team at Midwest Vets about what would be best for your pet

    1. What happens during a dental procedure?

    Well, it’s not exactly the same as at the dentist. For one, we can’t just tell your pet to open wide. All dental procedures involve a general anaesthetic so that the vet can thoroughly assess all the teeth and clean right to the back and under the gum-line. As well as having a routine scale and polish, during the procedure we can remove any unhealthy teeth and take x-rays to assess what is happening at the tooth roots.


    After using a probe to check all of the gumlines around each tooth, it was then time to start removing plaque using our ultrasonic dental scaler


    Cheeky Charlie now has sparkling teeth that will help to make his sore gums feel better!


    Phone Midwest Vets on 99643 671 to book your pet’s FREE dental check appointment, to have your pets teeth graded by one of our experienced team members.