July 2023

Don’t turn your nose to your pet’s bad breath!

That odour might signify a serious health risk. August is Pet Dental Health Month – there are essential things to know about your pet’s dental hygiene.

We brush our teeth every day to help avoid tooth decay, loss, and gum disease. However, the importance of dental cleanings for your pets is just as critical.

Four out of every five dogs and cats over three years have some dental disease that becomes more severe with age. This can be a real problem for pets and owners, leading to more severe issues such as heart, liver and kidney-related illnesses. By brushing up on your pet’s oral hygiene, you can discover why it’s essential to prioritise pet dental care.

Throughout Pet Dental Health Month, AWLQ’s Community Vet Clinics are offering 20% off scale and polish procedures and 20% off dental food. Book here online at awlqld.com.au or by calling your nearest AWLQ Community Vet Clinic.


  • Preventing tooth loss – if the structures supporting your pet’s teeth become infected, the teeth fall out. Good dental care will ensure these structures stay healthy and keep the teeth in place.
  • Preventing bad breath – if the odour of your pet’s breath is unpleasant, then it’s time for good dental care. Bad breath won’t be a problem when your pet has a healthy mouth and teeth.
  • Preventing oral pain –severe dental disease can be excruciating for cats and dogs. Keeping their teeth and gums healthy will help prevent oral pain.
  • Preventing organ damage – Bacteria in the plaque can enter the bloodstream and spread to the heart, kidneys and liver. This spread, called bacteremia, can damage organs and make your animal sick.
  • Preventing dental disease – dental disease can develop from a young age; good dental care can prevent dental disease from becoming severe and causing problems throughout the body.


Dental (periodontal) disease affects the teeth, gums and the support structures surrounding your pet’s teeth. It begins with a simple plaque build-up on the tooth enamel containing bacteria and food particles. If the plaque is not addressed, it remains on the tooth surface and eventually hardens into tartar. When tartar is above the gum line, our veterinary team can remove it relatively easily during a professional dental cleaning.

Tartar that makes its way below the gum line is the real problem – it causes inflammation, damages the structures supporting the teeth, and causes infection. If the dental disease reaches this stage, pets can experience severe dental problems and pain.


  • Age: Dental Disease is more common in older pets, but evidence can appear as soon as three years of age.
  • Breed: Flat-faced cats and smaller dog breeds are more likely to have overcrowded or misaligned teeth that are difficult to keep clean, making them more prone to disease.
  • Food/Diet: Some foods can increase your pet’s risk of dental disease, so ask your veterinarian for a nutritional recommendation.


Even if your pet isn’t outwardly showing signs of oral health issues, it’s worth asking our veterinarians during a regular health exam to help prevent potential problems.

Symptoms of oral health problems:

  • Bad breath.
  • Broken or loose teeth.
  • Teeth that are discoloured or covered in tartar.
  • Abnormal chewing, drooling or dropping food from the mouth.
  • Reduced appetite or refusal to eat.
  • Pain in or around the mouth.
  • Bleeding from the mouth.
  • Swelling in the areas surrounding the mouth.

Always be careful when evaluating your pet’s mouth because a painful animal may bite. If you observe any of these conditions, please make an appointment with us as soon as possible. That way, we can alleviate further dental deterioration and get your pet on the right path to a healthy mouth.


Protecting your pet’s oral health is essential for the reasons we’ve outlined above. There are ways to be proactive and help prevent dental disease from developing. Suppose there is one option you can choose to address your pet’s dental health. In that case, we suggest visiting our veterinarian for a professional exam. Investing in preventative oral hygiene is one of the best ways to keep your pet healthy.

  1. Professional Dental Cleanings

One of the many services AWLQ’s Community Vet Clinics offer is dental cleaning. The best way to ensure your pet’s oral health is to have them undergo a professional cleaning by a veterinary team. These cleanings require general anaesthesia to allow our veterinarians to clean above and below the gum line. This ensures that your pet’s entire mouth is scrubbed.

  1. Diet/Prescription Pet Food

It’s always a good idea to discuss nutrition with a veterinarian for many reasons, dental health included. Generally, we recommend a prescribed dental care food as the fine structure of the kibble scrubs the tooth surface to clean teeth and keep their breath fresh. A consultation with your veterinarian will get your pet on the right path to a healthy mouth.

  1. Healthy Oral Hygiene Habits for Pet Parents

The preventative measure pet owners can take is to brush their pet’s teeth. Getting your pet comfortable with brushing can take time and patience, so reward them for cooperation. There are two options – a finger toothbrush or a pet toothbrush.

Throughout Pet Dental Health Month, AWLQ’s Community Vet Clinics are offering 20% off scale and polish procedures and 20% off dental foodBook here online at awlqld.com.au or by calling your nearest AWLQ Community Vet Clinic.