Proper dog dental care is a very important aspect of good dental hygiene of dogs. Gum disease or the periodontal disease is among the most common diseases which veterinarians deal with. Periodontal disease is progressive. The disease begins with formation of the plaque which is a sticky film of bacteria which forms in mouth at gum line. In case it is not removed, the plaque hardens into tarter below and above gum line. The buildup results in gums becoming swollen and red, a condition which is called gingivitis.
Leaving gingivitis untreated can cause advanced disease of gums. The red swollen gums start to recede as infection goes down into root of tooth and jawbone. If the gums are receded, damage becomes irreversible and gums would not grow back. It is called periodontal disease and it results in loss of the teeth and loss of the bone. At this stage bacteria from oral infection can enter bloodstream. It can result in more serious problems like liver, kidney and heart disease. In case these conditions are left untreated, eventually they can be life threatening. Such problems may also be prevented by implementation of good dental care routine of dog.
Why should you routinely inspect your dog’s mouth?
Many pets begin to show the signs of the oral disease when they reach 2 or 3 years of age. You can make sure that your dog has a clean, healthy and a pain free mouth by implementing the home dental care routine for your dog. You can start by inspecting the mouth of your dog routinely. Healthy mouth won’t smell offensive. Teeth would be clean without any brown or yellow spots. Gums will have a healthy pink color and they will hug teeth.
What are signs of gum disease in dogs?
Brownish deposits around gum line, particularly on the back teeth, continuous bad breath, red and swollen gums, painful or/and bleeding gums, loose teeth are all indicators of the oral disease. Most obvious sign that your dog has a problem is the bad breath or the “doggy breath”. Many of the pet owners do not recognize this as an indication of dental problems and it becomes too late. You should check the mouth of your dog if you see even the slightest signs of persistent odor. There can be other indications as well, like weight loss and decreases appetite, lethargy, change in the chewing habits and pawing of feet or mouth.
What should you do if your dog’s mouth shows the signs of gum disease?
The dog dental care begins by checking the mouth of your dog regularly. In case you see any of the signs mentioned above you should call the vet and schedule dental exam. Your dog might just need routine cleaning. Process of cleaning is carried out under the general anesthesia. In case of minor condition, it is not too different than the dental cleaning which humans have. The teeth of your dog will be scaled in order to remove the tarter below and above gum line. After that polish will be done on them. Since dogs are unable to rinse and to spit, the mouth will be flushed in order to clear the loosened debris.
In case of serious condition the vet might be needed to administer some antibiotic in order to clear up infection in gums before the cleaning the dog’s teeth. Usually the blood work is taken in order to know if infection did spread into bloodstream. In case disease is in advanced stages, the vet might extract some teeth. No matter what the outcome is, your dog will feel better after he receives the much needed dental care.
Always remember to inspect the mouth of your pet regularly, to schedule the periodic dental checkups, and to perform the dog dental care at home routinely.
How important is the home dog dental care?
The regular cleaning by the vet along with the dental care program at home can help to keep the mouth of your dog health and to keep it free of disease. Even if the teeth of your dog currently have good condition, it is essential to have a preventive dental care routine at home to make sure that your dog stays healthy. If not removed regularly, the buildup of plaque and the tarter can very quickly progress into full periodontal disease.
In case you are new to the dental care of dogs, you should ask the vet to show you the way of brushing the dog’s teeth. Your vet will tell of the other things as well, which you should add to the preventative dental care routine of your dog at home.