Our In-House Vet Dr Barbara Fougere BSc BVMS (Hons) MODT MHSc (Herb Med) BHSc (Comp Med) Grad Dip Herb Med, Grad Dip VCHM, Grad Dip VWHM, Grad Dip VA gives advice on Dental Care. Imagine not being able to clean your teeth. It wouldn’t take long before the bacteria (plaque) in your mouth began to damage your gums and breath! So how about our four-legged family? Their teeth and gums are affected by bad bacteria in the same way. And about 80% of pets over 3 years have gum disease and worse. There is a ligament below the gum that holds the teeth into the jawbone. If bacteria make their way down this ligament from the gums, then the ligament can be destroyed and teeth can become loose and fall out. You would think that’s bad enough, but the other problem is that those bacteria also get into the blood stream and contribute to poor health, aging, kidney and heart problems. Knowing that, what can we do to prevent this from happening, especially when dental disease isn’t always obvious? The most important thing is to have the teeth checked by a veterinarian. Dental health checks should be scheduled at least annually, and more regularly if a dental problem exists. Gum disease can generally be identified by a thorough oral exam. And your vet might recommend professional cleaning. This allows your vet to look for disease under the gum line during a general anaesthetic where they will use probes to look for pockets of infection and xrays to look for issues which are impossible to do in an awake animal. Deep seated infection and tooth root problems are easy to miss without this step and the reason why professional cleaning is important. Some vets will recommend tooth brushing- and that is a good step but needs to be done at least once daily. Other vets will recommend raw bones- but there are pros and cons with bones- they can work well but do not suit all animals, and they can cause problems. There are dental treats and foods too that can provide some benefit. Your veterinarian can recommend a program of dental care that is tailored for your pet. Dental Deep is a nutritional supplement that is designed to support oral health in animals both above and below the gumline. The natural ingredients have been shown to positively affect various parts of the mouth, saliva, gums, periodontal ligament and the dental bone. For example calendula reduces inflammation, plaque and gingivitis and helps protect the periodontal ligament. Chlorella has anti-bacterial and antioxidant activity. While A. nodosum helps reduce plaque and calculus build up. Other ingredients support the health of the periodontal ligament, bone, and gums. Dental Deep is a nutritional strategy to support oral health in conjunction with an oral care plan that your veterinarian can provide. Dental Deep helps optimise oral health with the intention of slowing down or preventing the most common disease that occurs in pets- periodontal disease. Its easy to add to food on a regular basis so that you can do something daily to make a difference.