Webster Lake Veterinary Hospital

Dental Hygiene:


What Is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal Disease is the inflammation of the structures that support the teeth and gums. It is of the most common infectious diseases in the world in pets and is caused by bacteria that make up plaque.


How important are my pets’ teeth?

~ Imagine what it would feel like to not brush your teeth for 1 week, let alone a year or more.

~ Dental disease is the most common disease in pets today.

~ Over 85% of pets over age 4 have some form of dental disease.

~ Brushing your pets’ teeth can increase their life span significantly.

~ Dental disease has been linked to liver, kidney, and heart disease.

~ Dental disease, including gingivitis (inflamed gums), abscessed or fractured teeth are very painful for your pet. You pet may not show pain until the problem is severe.

~ The main cause of halitosis (bad breath) is dental disease.


Brushing your pets’ teeth daily is a very important tool in keeping your pet healthy and happy. Brushing helps to decrease tarter and bacteria on and around the gum line, along with helping prevent tooth decay. Bacteria can have adverse affects on many of the major organs of the body including heart, kidneys, and liver.


You do NOT have to brush the inside of your pets’ mouth. Most tartar forms on the outer side of the teeth and the tongue helps to keep the inner sides cleaner. You can actually hold your pets’ mouth closed, and insert your finger or toothbrush inside the cheek between the gums and teeth, and wipe/brush along the base of the tooth and gum line (top and bottom).


Tips for successful brushing:

*Make it fun

*Do it every day

*Same time daily

*Same place daily

*Build up tolerance gradually, 30-60 seconds at first


Steps in getting started:


Week 1 pet and play with mouth, lips and work up to touching teeth and gums without being bit

Week 2 use a face cloth or gauze wrapped around your finger, flavored in tuna juice or bouillon to rub teeth and gums

Week 3 Finally, use a finger brush or a soft veterinary tooth brush dipped in tuna juice or bouillon to brush the teeth. To brush the teeth hold toothbrush at a 45 degree angle and brush in circular motions from gum line to the tip of the tooth. It’s ok if the tooth brush is being chewed on. In fact it actually allows the pet to brush its own teeth. Make sure to do both sides and the incisors. A difficult pet may take more than a week per step and a very compliant pet may take less time.


Signs of Disease:

~ Bad Breath

~ Tooth Loss

~ Bleeding Gums

~ Loose Teeth

~ Poor Appetite


We Recommend:

1)     Brushing teeth daily for best preventative measures

2)     An oral exam as part of your pets annual exam

3)     Dental prophylaxis as needed to keep teeth clean and healthy

4)     Hills prescription T/D diet which is specially formulated to help remove tartar from tooth surfaces and lengthen time between professional cleanings

5)     Other tools would be Greenies, Carrots CET Chews, Oral rinses etc.*** look for theVOHCSeal of approval on all products***


**Do NOT use human toothpaste with pets, the fluoride can make them sick is swallowed.**


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