Dogs and Dental Health

Posted by Jesse Tilner on

Dogs and Dental Health

Your pet's dental health is a crucial part of their overall health - dental problems in your dog can result in, as well as be caused by, other health issues. It is recommended that you get your dog's gums and teeth checked by your veterinarian at least once a year to detect early signs of deterioration.

What are Dental Problems in Dogs?

Dental diseases in dogs affect their teeth, gums, and the structure of your pet's jaw and mouth. The problem begins when there is excessive plaque buildup in your canine's mouth. Plaque found in the mouth contains bacteria and different food particles. If the plaque is not cleaned properly, it can harden and form into tartar above the gumline. If you notice a thick layer of yellow buildup on your dog's gums, then take it to the vet, and they can perform a dental cleaning.

If the tartar accumulates below the gums, it can lead to inflammation and potentially result in an infection. Dogs experience extreme pain when the disease reaches this stage.

Other signs of dental problems in dogs include:

  • Loose teeth
  • Bad breath
  • Broken or chipped teeth
  • Bleeding gums
  • Refusal to eat anything
  • Excessive drooling

Why is Dental Care Important for Dogs?

As a responsible and loving pet parent, you want your dog to have a healthy mouth. Here are reasons why good dental hygiene is important for your dog's general health.

Good oral care can prevent tooth loss in dogs. Once the structure of your dog's mouth becomes too weak or gets damaged, there is a risk that loose teeth may fall off. Taking care of your dog's dental health will ensure that its mouth stays healthy and the teeth remain in their place.

Oral hygiene for dogs can also prevent bad breath, which is known as halitosis. If your dog's breath makes your nose scrunch up from the bad odor, then it's time you get to cleaning and brushing your dog's mouth. With a healthy mouth, you won't be facing any problems related to bad breath.

Good dental care can also prevent organ damage in dogs. The bacteria found in plaque has the potential of entering the bloodstreams of your dog, and it can spread to its heart, liver, and kidneys. The rapid spreading of plaque bacteria can damage your dog's organs and make them sick. Good dental hygiene can prevent this from happening.

Ways to Counter Plaque Build-Up

Here are simple tips to ensure your dog has healthy teeth and gums:

  • Brush your dog's teeth a few days a week. You can get a dog toothpaste that is approved by a veterinarian.
  • If your dog doesn't like getting its teeth brushed, you can give them dental treats instead.
  • Some chewable dog toys are designed to maintain good oral health. Give your dog a dental toy to play with that will not only clean your dog's teeth, but it will also freshen your dog's breath!