A large part of the problems are caused by tartar. Almost all dogs and cats get tartar with age. Some earlier and much more than others. Common to all is that tartar can be avoided and prevented by brushing .
Tartar can be seen as brown deposits on the animal's teeth. It smells and gives bad breath. Over time, the gums can become inflamed and periodontal disease will develop. If you can see that tartar has formed, then unfortunately you cannot brush it away with the toothbrush. It requires a thorough cleaning and polishing under anesthesia to have the tartar removed.
But the good news is that once the teeth and gum pockets have been cleaned of tartar and plaque, you can keep the tartar completely away with brushing if you start within a week of a teeth cleaning.
Why does tartar occur? And why can the teeth become loose and have to be removed?
Tartar is formed by soft bacterial coatings, so-called "plaque", which stick to the teeth and become calcified in contact with saliva.
In connection with tartar and inflammation, the gums will often loosen, as the tooth's supporting tissue breaks down, and the gum pockets become deeper and deeper. When the attachment of the gums is loosened from the tooth, bacteria and food residues can get stuck between the gums and the tooth. So it is not the tartar itself that causes tooth loss, but rather the inflammation that occurs in the gums and jawbone due to bacteria.
Therefore, the very best preventative measure is: daily brushing to remove plaque. And for those animals with beginning periodontitis, it is tooth brushing in combination with Hexagel . Hexagel has a bactericidal effect, and thus the deep dental pockets are better kept clean.
Why does my dog or cat get tartar again, even though it has had its teeth cleaned?
It is simply because bacterial coatings/plaque constantly appear on the teeth, even if they are cleaned and polished, so that they are perfectly fine, smooth and clean when the dog or cat goes home from the clinic after a teeth cleaning. When the plaque is not removed, the plaque calcifies and becomes tartar. Already after 2-3 weeks, you can see new plaque and tartar starting to form, if the dog or cat belongs to those that form tartar easily. That is why it is important to be able to brush the animal's teeth, and to start it immediately after a teeth cleaning.
What do I do if my pet does not want to have its teeth brushed?
If, despite a gentle start, treats, praise and coziness, the animal just does not want to have its teeth brushed, then you can use Hexagel , which is smeared on the teeth, special food with a teeth-cleansing effect, chewing gum, AquaDent in the drinking water, Plaque Off , which is sprinkled on the feed etc.
There is a lot on the market that can help. BUT it is never enough, despite all these products, tartar will still form, as brushing is the only thing that works properly. And then all that remains is to keep a close eye on the teeth and gums and make sure that the teeth are cleaned under anesthesia at regular intervals. Some dogs and cats can manage with teeth cleaning once a year, others must have their teeth cleaned at 4-6 month intervals. In general, it is the small dog breeds and older animals that form a lot of tartar.
Bettina Noes Dueholm, veterinarian
Veterinary clinic Videbæk A/S