Keeping your pet’s teeth clean

Picture of Christian Sadler

Christian Sadler

Veterinary Surgeon and co-founder of Tatton Veterinary Practice

Did you know dental disease affects over 80% of cats and dogs?

Dental disease often goes unrecognised as many pets are very good at hiding dental pain.

Common signs of dental disease include:

  • Bad breath
  • Discoloured teeth
  • Difficulty eating or eating on one side of their mouth
  • Excessive drooling
  • Pawing at the mouth
  • Inflamed or bleeding gums

If your pet is showing any of these symptoms it is best to get them checked.

Dental disease is caused by a buildup of plaque and tartar which leads to an increase in the amount of bacteria within the oral cavity. This increase in bacteria can lead to inflammation and infection not only in the mouth but also around the body.

Like us, at home dental care is the mainstay of keeping your pets teeth clean and healthy. Starting this early in a pet’s life can significantly reduce the amount of dental treatment they may require during their lifetime.

Here are some of the top ways to keep your pets teeth clean:

  • Brushing their teeth daily with a dog/cat friendly toothpaste
  • Selecting an appropriate food that has been shown to improve oral health
  • Providing appropriate toys that encourage your pet to play and chew
  • Food/water additives that soften tartar and reduce bacteria

There are many products that claim to reduce plaque and tartar however these are often not based on scientific evidence.

Follow the links below for a list of dental treatments proven to make a difference to your pets oral health:



Often even with good dental care at home, plaque and tartar can still accumulate below the gum line and further dental treatment may be required.

On average a pet will need at least two general anaesthetics and dentals in their lifetime. The teeth can look clean on the surface however there is often an accumulation of plaque below the gumline. This is very difficult to remove consciously as it can be quite uncomfortable, similar to us having a scale and polish at the dentists.

If you have noticed that your pet has any signs of dental disease then book in with one of our vets or nurses for a dental clinic to discuss your pets individual needs.

Below is an example of before and after a scale and polish here with us at Tatton Vets.


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