Have you looked inside your pets mouth recently?
It’s not something you think about doing on a regular basis, and sometimes the only time your pets teeth will be checked are at their annual vaccination.
It is important to check inside your pets mouth regularly, in order to spot any potential problems.
All dogs and cats have a first (deciduous/baby) and second (adult) set of teeth.
The deciduous teeth should start to be pushed out once the adult teeth start to erupt, just like with humans. By the time your cat or dog is 8 months old, this process should be complete.
Sometimes this isn’t always the case. The deciduous teeth can become stuck resulting in “double fangs”. We tend to see this more commonly in the smaller breed of dogs- lhasa apso, yorkshire terrier, bichon frise, miniature poodles. It can happen in any breed or size of dog however.
As you can see from the picture, food, hair and bacteria can get stuck between the small gap of the two teeth, which then causes discomfort and gingivitis. We recommend having the baby teeth extracted sooner rather than later. Many people choose to do this when their pet is in for neutering, to reduce the need for a second anaesthetic.
Due to the bacteria in the plaque and tartar, the gum become inflammed and sore (gingivitis). When we scale this off the gums often tend to bleed.
As long as good home care is carried out afterwards, the gums can heal which makes the tooth more secure.
What to do?
There are many products you can buy that can help keep your pets teeth healthy, from chews and toys to toothpastes and mouth wash!
The very best thing you can do is to brush your pets teeth. It is advisable to start this when they are young to get them used to it, but you can try with older pets as long as you do it gradually and patiently.