Dental Care

Keep your pet’s teeth in top shape with regular dental checkups

Dental disease or periodontal disease is caused by an infection called plaque. Plaque is made up of food particles, saliva and bacteria. It sticks to the tooth surface and if not removed will calcify into tartar (or calculus).
Bad Breath, gingivitis, gum infections and eventually periodontal disease will result. The infection can then extend into the tooth roots and surrounding bone causing significant pain and discomfort. Bacteria can enter the blood stream via the diseased gums and cause infections in other parts of the body (septicaemia).

More than 80% of dogs and 70% of cats over three years old have some form of periodontal disease.

There are various signs you can look out for such as:

  • Bad Breath.
  • Discoloured or loose teeth.
  • Excessive drooling, sometimes blood stained inflamed gums.
  • Dropping of food from the mouth when eating, or reluctant to chew or eat at all, especially hard food.
  • Pain when handled around the head or behavioural changes (e.g. lethargy, increased aggression).
  • Facial swelling.
  • Pawing at the mouth.
  • Receding gums.

Prevention and Management

For adult cats and dogs with existing dental disease a dental treatment may be required. This treatment involves a general anaesthetic and a full dental examination, including charting and scaling, both ultrasonically and by hand, and then finishing with a polish.

It may also be necessary to remove teeth that are fractured or loose and in certain cases may be followed by treatment with antibiotics to prevent infection of irritated gums.

Here are some tips on how to prevent your pet from getting dental disease:

Many premium dry pet foods are available for both cats and dogs and are specially designed to keep pets teeth cleaned whilst still providing them with a complete balanced diet.

Many of these suppliers offer a 100% money back guarantee if your pet does not like them. If your pet hasn’t started these specially designed foods at an early age, it is best to start them after their teeth have been professionally scaled and polished.

These foods contain enzymes and ingredients similar to those found in our toothpaste that help to slow the dental disease process and help prevent plaque from forming on the teeth. We stock the following foods; Advance, Hills and can order others if necessary.

Only raw marrow bones should be offered to your animal. Ideally cut crossways and not lengthways. 

August every year is Pet Dental Month and we offer nurse dental checkups during this month for free!

Have a question about your pet’s dental care? Call our friendly staff for great advice, or to book an appointment.

South East Vets

314 Commercial St West
Mount Gambier, SA 5290

Opening Hours

Mon to Fri: 8.30am - 5.30pm
Saturday: 8.30 - 11.30am


Emergency Services are available outside of these hours.

Please call before you come in.