Dental disease

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Google Maps location for Willunga Vet  Services

Willunga Vet Services
37 Main Rd
SA 5172

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8556 2075
8556 2654

Aldinga Vet Services
16 Heathersay Ave
Aldinga Beach
SA 5173

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8556 5498

Dental disease is one of the most common problems affecting our dogs and cats. Tartar accumulation is the real culprit. As this builds up, it leads to gingivitis and tooth decay. This not only causes mouth pain, but it can also lead to jaw bone infections, and liver, kidney and heart disease.

Q: What are the signs of dental disease?

A: Dental decay may not be that obvious. Bad breath is definitely a common sign but sometimes, despite high pain levels, your pet can appear quite normal when they chew their food. You may sometimes see your pet drool, chew on one side of their mouth or with a head tilt. You may also see pawing at the mouth, a decrease in appetite or your pet becoming fussy with their food. Pets will often start to prefer softer foods to their dry biscuits.

We have had numerous clients report to us that they thought their pet had just been "aging" (becoming quieter, slower and a little irritable). It was not until their pet's teeth had been treated had they realised that it was mostly due to dental disease.

As the old saying goes - it is much better to prevent than treat a disease. A timely dental scale and polish goes a long way to preventing much pain!

Our Willunga and Aldinga Veterinary Clinics offer Free Dental Checks for your pets. Phone either clinic to make a time for one of our dental vet nurses to check your pet's mouth.


Prior to your pet's dental scale and polish, each tooth is graded separately. This is done as soon as your pet is anaesthetised so that we can have a much closer look at what is happening in the mouth.

At your pet's Free Dental Check, we visually assess the teeth but there are times when this may not be entirely possible. For example, some pets do not tolerate an oral exam and there are some teeth problems that hide underneath tartar build-up or exist below the gum level. These are usually detected when your pet is either sedated or under anaesthetic.

Thus, the very first step in any dental procedure is to grade every tooth individually and assess the mouth for any additional problems. There are times when we detect additional problems other than the tartar build-up we may have seen during a Free Dental Check. These can be jawbone fractures, broken teeth, resorptive lesions (little cavities at the gum level) and gum recession.

We will always contact you if we find something unexpected with your pet's mouth.

Clinic tour

This is classified as Mild Dental Disease; i.e. usually no greater than Grade 1 Calculus and Gingivitis;

Ok, this could be the start of something a little more serious!

We recommend;

Having your pet's teeth professionally cleaned by a vet does prophylactic Scale and Polish -This. This ultrasonic cleaning removes plaque and helps prevent tooth decay and gum disease.

Regular cleaning of your pet's mouth will prevent the progression of Dental Disease.


Clinic tour

This is classified as Moderate Dental Disease; i.e. usually no greater than Grade 2 Calculus and Gingivitis. This develops from grade one in approximately 6 months.

The time has come for serious intervention!

We recommend;

Prophylactic Scale and Polish

Extractions and antibiotics become a real possibility.


Clinic tour

This is classified as Severe Dental Disease; i.e. Grade 3 Calculus and worse. This develops from grade 2 in approximately 6 months.

We recommend;

Prophylactic Scale and Polish

A very strong possibility of MULTIPLE extractions and antibiotics.

Extensive tooth root infection can lead to bone loss and fracturing of the jaw.

Tooth Extractions- A tooth extraction may be needed when the tooth is badly decayed, mobile or when there is a serious infection affecting the tooth.

So, unsure how your pet's mouth is faring? Want to prevent serious health issues before they arise

Why not book a free dental check for your pet today?

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