Archive for Dental health

FAQ PNA Prevention “Is feeding dry food the best way to prevent dental disease in dogs and cats?” – Pet Nutrition Alliance

FAQ PNA Prevention “Is feeding dry food the best way to prevent dental disease in dogs and cats?”

From PetNutritionAlliange.org

Answer:

  • No. Unfortunately, there is a lack of long-term research providing evidence that any one method, including a dry dental diet, is “best” for preventing dental disease (i.e. gingivitis, periodontitis).1
  • Dental disease is even more complicated because there isn’t a clear relationship between the amount of plaque and calculus on the teeth and the severity of the gingivitis or periodontitis associated with it.1 Simply, a reduction of plaque and calculus may not result in a significant reduction of gingivitis or periodontitis for dogs and cats.
  • Therefore, mechanical debridement from foods or products that claim to simply reduce plaque or calculus formation cannot guarantee the prevention of dental disease.1
  • Current recommendations:
    • Research shows that tooth brushing is the most effective way to prevent dental disease. It provides mechanical stimulation of the gingiva, which enhances proliferation of fibroblasts and collagen synthesis. Brushing contributes to good dental health by preventing periodontal pocket formation and promoting epithelial attachment.1 Twice-daily brushing shows the greatest benefit in dogs,2 although once-daily brushing in dogs is adequate.3 For cats, there is evidence to suggest that daily tooth brushing reduces gingivitis.4
    • If a pet owner is unable or unwilling to brush their pet’s teeth daily, then it may require a combination of therapeutic strategies to reduce the risk of dental disease.5
      • For dogs: feed diets clinically proven to reduce plaque and calculus development and provide multiple chewing activities.5
      • For cats: feed diets clinically proven to reduce plaque and calculus formation6 and provide chewing activities.1
    • Dental diets may use a number of strategies to reduce dental disease. Mechanisms that might be used  are:
      • Mechanical abrasion
      • Inhibition of calculus formation (i.e. sodium hexametaphosphate-HMP)
      • Antibacterials (sodium ascorbyl phosphate)
      • Plaque retardants
  • Regulation:
    • Foods that claim to cleanse, freshen, or whiten teeth by mechanical action or abrasive action do not need pre-market approval and are permissible by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).7
    • If these types of claims are achieved by any other way (i.e. drugs), they must be approved by the FDA prior to going to market.
  • Options for oral health products:
    • The Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) lists pet diets and products which may help in oral health.8 The VOHC provides a current list at vohc.org/accepted_products.htm.

Citations:

  1. Cave N. Nutritional Management of Gastrointestinal Disease. In: Fascetti AJ, Delaney SJ eds. Applied Veterinary Clinical Nutrition 1st ed. Ames, IA: Wiley-Blackwell; 2012: 188-192.
  2. Yamamoto T, Tomofuji T, Ekuni D, Sakamoto T, Horiuchi M, Watanabe T. Effects of toothbrushing frequency on proliferation of gingival cells and collagen synthesis. J Clin Periodontol. 2004 Jan;31(1):40-4.
  3. Horiuchi M, Yamamoto T, Tomofuji T, Ishikawa A, Morita M, Watanabe T. Toothbrushing promotes gingival fibroblast proliferation more effectively than removal of dental plaque. J Clin Periodontol. 2002 Sep;29(9):791-5.
  4. Ingham KE, Gorrel C, Blackburn JM, Farnsworth W. The effect of toothbrushing on periodontal disease in cats. J Nutr. 2002 Jun;132(6 Suppl 2):1740S-1S.
  5. Harvey CE, Shofer FS, Laster L. Correlation of diet, other chewing activities and periodontal disease in North American client-owned dogs. J Vet Dent. 1996 Sep; 13(3):101-5.
  6. Vrieling HE, Theyse LF, van Winkelhoff AJ, Dijkshoorn NA, Logan EI, Picavet P. Effectiveness of feeding large kibbles with mechanical cleaning properties in cats with gingivitis. Tijdschr Diergeneeskd. 2005 Mar 1;130(5):136-40.
  7. Association of American Feed Control Officials. 2011 Official Publication. Association of American Feed Control Officials, Inc. 2011: 144-145.
  8. Helping to Control the Most Common Disease in Dogs and Cats: Periodontal Disease (Gum Disease). Veterinary Oral Health Council Web site. http://www.vohc.org/. Accessed April 26, 2013.

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Dental Health: How to comfortably brush your pet’s teeth By Dr Kim Tran

By Dr Kim Tran

Dental health WVG pet blog

(Above, a before picture of a dog with severe dental plaque and dental disease)

 Dental health WVG pet blog

Dental health is extremely important to the overall health of your pet, whether a cat or a dog! 

Tartar levels have been correlated with heart disease and kidney disease. We believe it is because the dental tartar creates a pocket of bacteria that are shed to the rest of the body through the blood stream. 

Dental tartar starts to build up earlier for small dogs, who can also be born with defects such as retained deciduous teeth, a condition where the baby teeth do not fall out. Tartar is trapped between the teeth and severe dental disease between them can cause the loss of both the baby teeth and adult teeth. 

Dogs with short faces can also have more crowding in their mouth. The close contact of the teeth can lead to food being trapped between them and eventually severe dental disease.

Dogs who overgroom and eat hair can get it stuck between their teeth. The trapped hair can collect food particles and cause severe dental disease. 

Routine dental cleanings can prevent painful, abscessed teeth, allow removal of diseased teeth, and keep breath smelling fresh and clean. 

Dogs are put under full anesthesia to allow us to clean under the gum line and remove severely diseased teeth. 

Keeping a pet’s teeth clean greatly enhances their quality of life. Clean teeth create fresh breath, and give you peace of mind.  

Teaching dogs how to accept having their teeth brushed can slow the progression of dental disease, and keep their teeth healthy longer. 

How to comfortably brush your pet’s teeth. Our technician Jesse demonstrates with her dog Hendrix, who loves getting his teeth brushed! 

 Dental health WVG pet blog

First, gently introduce the dog-specific toothpaste to your dog’s mouth. He or she often likes the flavor and will take it well. 

Dental health WVG pet blog

Now, gently introduce the brush to the front teeth and use gentle circular motions to clean the surface of the teeth. In general, without preexisting crowding, the front teeth tend to be cleaner than the back chewing molars.

Posted in: Blog, Cat Health, Dental health, Dog Health, Exotic Pet Health, Pet Health, Westminster Veterinary Group

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