Just like people, pets need dental care. Oral hygiene is often neglected as it can be difficult to detect dental disease. The truth is that cats don’t smile! Without regular maintenance, plaque accumulates on the enamel and below the gum line. Over time plaque will mineralize and turn into tartar. Tartar is the yellowish brown material visible on the crown of the tooth and usually accumulates below the gum line. This tartar is a source of bacteria and leads to infection, bad breath, gingivitis, pain and eventually tooth loss. Often up to 80% of dogs and cats by 3 years old have a degree of dental disease. It is important to check their teeth and to discuss a plan if your dog or cat has dental disease. Dental disease does reach beyond the mouth, affecting the kidneys, liver, and heart. Conditions such as endocarditis is avoidable with proper dental hygiene. At Apple Creek Animal Hospital, we have a separate dedicated dental ward with very similar equipment to your own dentist, from ultrasonic scalers, to air driven power tools. We are also equipped with digital dental radiographs to assess the root of the tooth. We pride ourselves in providing the best service for your pet.