Periodontal disease can seriously impact the health of dogs and humans. This makes brushing and caring for your dog's teeth a very important part of their oral and physical health. Today the White Settlement vets go into detail about the importance of dog oral care and discuss ways you can keep your dog's mouth healthy and clean.
Is dog dental care necessary?
The dental health of your dog plays an important part in their overall health and wellbeing. Your dog will start displaying signs of periodontal/ gum disease by the time they are 3 years old. When your pup develops periodontal disease this early in their lives it can have a negative and long term affect on their health.
Studies show a link between periodontal disease and heart disease in dogs (and humans).
The link between heart disease and periodontal disease in dogs occurs when bacteria enters the bloodstream from the mouth, damaging heart function and causing issues with other organs. These health issues happen on top of the more obvious problem of pain caused by eroded gums, and missing or damaged teeth.
Pairing at-home oral health care routines and dental treats can go a long way in helping your pup's teeth stay clean and in controlling the buildup of plaque and tartar. But overall, the best way to make sure your dog's mouth stays healthy is to take them to the vet for annual dental exams and hygiene cleanings.
Skipping your canine companion's professional cleanings could put them at risk of developing gingivitis, periodontal disease, bad breath, and in severe cases pain, tooth decay and tooth loss.
What will happen at my dog's dental care appointment?
To help prevent your dog from developing tooth decay and periodontal disease, our White Settlement vets at Frontier Veterinary Hospital advise you to bring your dog in for a dental appointment a minimum of once a year, or more frequently if they are experiencing more severe or recurring dental problems.
When you bring your pup to the vet for their dental checkup our veterinarians will conduct a full oral examination for your pooch and check for signs of the following dental issues :
- Plaque or tartar buildup on teeth
- Bleeding around the mouth
- Swelling or pain in or around the mouth
- Extra teeth or retained baby teeth
- Bad breath
- Discolored teeth
- Loose or
- Broken teeth
If you notice your dog displaying any symptoms of periodontal disease, such as reduced appetite (which can be an indication of tooth pain), abnormal chewing, drooling, dropping food from the mouth, bad breath or other symptoms contact your vet immediately to book a dental appointment for your pooch. Oral health conditions can become severe if they go untreated, causing your dog a great deal of pain and discomfort.
Our vets examine every pet to make sure they are healthy enough to undergo anesthesia and perform additional diagnostics if needed to ensure your pet is safe to go through a dental exam while anesthetized. When your dog is safely sedated, we will complete a full examination tooth-by-tooth, with charting, (just like your dentist does during your examinations).
While we have your dog safely and comfortably under anesthesia, we will clean and polish your pooch's teeth, above and below the gum line. We probe and X-ray each tooth, then to help protect against future decay and damage we use a fluoride treatment before applying a dental sealant to prevent plaque buildup.
If your dog has advanced periodontal disease, our vets will work with you to customize a treatment plan to help restore your dog's mouth to a healthy and pain-free state.
How do I clean my dog's teeth?
You as a pet owner play an essential role in helping your dog fight and prevent dental diseases. Below are a few easy ways you can help keep your dog's mouth healthy, we have also listed how you can clean your dog's teeth:
- Use a finger brush (provided by your vet), or a child’s toothbrush to brush your pet’s teeth everyday to remove any plaque or debris. It's as easy as brushing your own teeth. If your dog resists having their teeth cleaned try using doggie toothpaste in flavors your pup will love. These special toothpastes can make a chore a treat for your dog.
- Apply a plaque prevention product (recommended by your vet) to your pet’s teeth and gums. These products act as a barrier to prevent plaque buildup.
- Offer your dog treats such as dental chews or food designed to help prevent plaque and tartar from building up.
Dental care is an important part of your pet's overall health. Be sure to book your pet's annual dental appointment today, your dog will thank you.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.