It is incredibly important to the overall health of your dog to ensure that they receive adequate pet dental care. In this post, our Bakersfield vets share a few reasons why dog dental care is so important to their life-long wellbeing.
Dog Dental Care
If you stop brushing your teeth it is not a great feeling. You can physically feel the food particles and plaque building up on your teeth. When you don't brush your teeth all of the bacteria and food particles begin to give you a bad taste in your mouth as well as bad breath that not even you could handle. On top of that, you would be setting yourself up for pain and discomfort as well as the need to have future dental diseases managed by your dentist. Just as it is for us, the same goes for our dogs. Dental care is incredibly important to the overall care of the dogs in our lives.
When they do not receive the appropriate pet dental care, dogs are prone to dental disease. By the age of three, these issues are common and most dogs have some form of dental disease or periodontal disease. Dental disease in dogs can have a serious impact long-term, so preserving their overall health with consistent dog dental care and routine dental exams done by your dog dentist are imperative.
Dental disease in dogs
Dental disease can not only affect the teeth themselves but also any of the nearby structures of the face. One of the things that happen without proper oral hygiene is that plaque, which contains food particles and bacteria, will begin to form on your dog's teeth. This plaque needs to be cleared away as soon as possible because otherwise it will harden and form tartar which is more difficult to remove than plaque would be. Tartar that's above the gumline will be easily visible and can be removed by your veterinarian relatively easily during a professional pet dental cleaning.
However, just because your dog's teeth are sparkling white doesn't mean all is well. Tartar that gets under the gumline is a real issue since it damages the supportive structures of the teeth and causes infection and inflammation. This is where serious dental issues, pain and other symptoms become a problem.
Signs of dental problems in dogs include:
- Loose teeth
- Fractured teeth
- Bad breath
- Bleeding or painful mouth
- Inability or refusal to eat or drink
What makes dog dental care important?
Every pet parent wants their dog to have great lifelong dental health. Here are five reasons why attentive pet dental care for dogs is so important to your dog's general health.
1. Prevents teeth from decaying and falling out
If the structures surrounding a dog's teeth become infected or damaged, this will eventually lead to loose and missing teeth. By providing good pet dental care, you are protecting your dog and you can make sure these supportive structures remain healthy and that the teeth stay in place.
2. Prevents oral discomfort
Severe dental disease (or dental disease at any stage) can be quite painful for dogs. Prevent oral pain and make sure your dog's teeth keep functioning as they're supposed to by keeping your pup's teeth and gums healthy.
3. Prevents bad breath from occurring
While halitosis or bad breath is a common problem for dogs, but it's actually a sign of dental disease. While a mild odor is normal, a strong smell of fish, poop, acetone, urine, garbage, sewer or other scents can indicate trouble such as an infection or buildup of bacteria. When your dog's teeth and mouth are healthy, very bad breath won't be an issue.
4. Prevents advanced gum disease
Many dogs have periodontal disease by the time they are just 3 years old. That said, diligent pet dental care can keep dental disease from progressing and causing problems in the rest of the body.
5. Prevents possible organ damage
Unfortunately, one of the things that can happen when your dog's teeth aren't properly cared for is organ damage. Dental disease causes organ damage due to the bacteria in plaque which will enter the bloodstream then travel to the heart and spread to organs such as the liver and kidneys. This in turn will result in your dog becoming incredibly ill and possibly needing urgent treatment. Good oral hygiene prevents the spread of bacteria and subsequent organ damage (along with expensive procedures to correct these problems).
What is the best way to clean my dog's teeth?
Bringing your dog in for routine oral health care which includes yearly cleanings and examinations from your veterinary dentist are important, but appropriate pet dental care for your dog also involves at-home maintenance. Here are a few things to add to your at-home routine to help your dog keep healthy teeth:
- Brushing your dog's teeth is the main way that you can ensure that your dog's oral health is being properly taken care of. Be sure to use a toothbrush and toothpaste that are approved for use with dogs.
- Give your dog dental treats occasionally. Dental treats are a great way to supplement brushing and ensure that your dog's teeth are being thoroughly cleaned.
- Providing your dog with an assortment of durable dental toys will help to clean their teeth and freshen their breath. These toys will be strong and are designed to withstand your dog's chewing.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding people or pets. If you are concerned about your pet's health, contact your veterinarian right away for diagnosis and treatment.