It has now become clear that good dental hygiene is as important for animals as it is for humans. Unfortunately many animals will develop dental disease which in turn leads to pain and discomfort, drooling and halitosis. Worse still, the bacteria that cause the disease can also get into the blood stream leading to infection in the kidneys, liver and heart. As with humans prevention is always better than cure and there are several things you can do to keep your pet’s teeth clean. At the dental clinic we can talk through thee and get your pet onto a regular dental care regime which should prevent any unpleasant trips to the dentist later on! Cats and dogs are like us – after each meal, plaque (an adhesive layer of bacteria) forms on the animal’s teeth. If this is not removed it will eventually solidify to form tartar. Tartar provides an ideal surface for further bacteria to adhere and so with time large deposits develop. The presence of the tartar, and the bacteria within it, irritate the gum and cause inflammation (gingivitis). If this remains untreated the gums will begin to recede allowing bacteria to penetrate deep along the roots of the teeth where they can form an abscess. This in turn will cause erosion of the supportive tissues and loss of the teeth.