Most dogs and cats over the age of seven years have significant problems with oral health. This is often unrecognised by their owners, and they suffer in silence. The main reason for this is a diet which does not need much chewing, and therefore allows the build-up of plaque and tartar. Plaque and tartar then cause gum disease, which is the commonest reason for tooth loss in dogs.
Feeding of appropriate foods, chews etc will help reduce the build-up, but many dogs and cats need to have regular dental scaling to keep their mouths healthy.
Cats also develop a painful condition called "feline odontoclastic resorbtive lesions" (FORLs for short). Here small areas of tooth enamel are dissolved away by cells in the cats own gum tissue. The holes that result are very painful, and they grow larger until the tooth breaks off at the gum. Unfortunately, nothing can be done to save affected teeth, and usually by the time an affected tooth is found, the best treatment is removal.
Rabbits have a different range of dental problems, mostly involving overgrowth of thier continuouisly erupting teeth. These may need to be filed down regularly. Sometimes rabbits also develope tooth absesses.
We have long recognised the importance of thorough and careful dental scaling and surgery so we have: