One of the first things you’ll notice about bad dental health is bad breath.

Does your pet have dreaded doggy breath? Don’t turn away as bad breath can kill. Bad breath is generally caused by dental disease, a sneaky condition that likes to hide in your pet's mouth. Up to 80% of our pets might be suffering from this nasty disease and it is one of the most common problems vets come across.

If your pet isn’t having to work very hard to chew their food, plaque and tartar build up around the teeth leading to irritation of the gum and an inflammatory condition called gingivitis. Eventually the gum separates from the tooth allowing small pockets of bacteria to accumulate. This bacteria can travel around your pet’s body, affecting the overall health of your pet.

You should not ignore this disease as it is very painful and can impact the kidneys, heart and liver.

 Signs of dental disease might include: 

• Bad breath (also known as 'doggy breath')
• Drooling from the mouth or poking the tongue out
• Bleeding from the mouth
• A loss of appetite or weight loss

 If you take a look in your pet's mouth you need to look out for: 

• Hard yellow tartar
• Red gums
• Bleeding
• Swelling
• Bad breath
• Broken teeth

Sometimes the signs are subtle and you may not notice anything at all. This is just another reason why a regular check up with your vet is important as during a routine examination a vet will always examine your pet's mouth.

Next week we’ll inform you on how to care for your pet’s teeth from home.