It's very important to care for your dog's teeth because periodontal disease and tooth decay are as threatening to your pup's overall health as it is to humans. In this blog our highly knowledgable Stockton vets talk to you about the importance of maintaining your dog's dental health and the benefits keeping up a good oral care routine.
Is dental care for your dog really necessary?
Your dog's oral health is a very important part of their overall health and wellbeing. Dogs usually start displaying symptoms of gum disease (periodontal disease) by the age of 3 years old. Having periodontal disease from that young age can create severe and negative consequences to their health long-term.
It has also been shown in studies that there is a connection between heart disease and periodontal diseases in both humans and dogs. This link is the result of bacteria going from their mouth into their blood stream causing damage to the heart's function and other organs.
These health issues listed above are all in addition to the more recognizable problems like the pain from eroded gums and damaged or missing teeth.
Taking care of your dog's oral health at-home and giving your pup some delicious doggy dental treats can play a big part in keeping their teeth and gums clean as well as, in controlling the build up of tartar and plaque.
Overlooking professional dental cleanings from your veterinarian can put your canine companion at risk of getting periodontal disease, bad breath, gingivitis and in serious situations, tooth decay, tooth loss and pain.
What's going to happen at my dog's dental care appointment?
To assist in preventing your dog from developing tooth decay and periodontal disease, our Stockton vets at Rosemarie Pet Hospital highly suggest bringing your dog in for a dental appointment a minimum of once each year, or more frequently if they are suffering from recurring or more severe dental conditions.
When you bring your dog to Rosemarie Pet Hospital for a dental checkup our vets will perform a comprehensive oral examination for your pooch and check for signs of dental issues, including:
- Plaque or tartar buildup on teeth
- Swelling or pain in or around the mouth
- Extra teeth or retained baby teeth
- Bleeding around the mouth
- Discolored teeth
- Bad breath
- Broken or
- loose teeth
If you find your dog is showing symptoms of periodontal disease, including reduced appetite (which can be an indication of tooth pain), abnormal chewing, drooling, dropping food from the mouth, bad breath or other symptoms call your vet immediately to book a dental appointment for your canine friend. If left untreated oral health issues can grow to be severe and put your dog in a lot of discomfort and pain.
Our vets examine every pet to make sure that they are healthy enough to undergo anesthesia and complete additional diagnostics if needed to ensure that it is safe for your pet to be anesthetized for their dental exam. As soon as your dog is sedated safely, our team will perform a full tooth-by-tooth examination, complete with charting, (just like your dentist does in your examinations).
While your dog is comfortable and safe under anesthesia, we will thoroughly clean and polish your pooch's teeth, both above and below the gum line. We then probe and x-ray the teeth. To help protect against future decay and damage we use a fluoride treatment before applying a dental sealant to prevent plaque buildup.
If your pup is suffering from advanced periodontal disease, we will work with you to develop a treatment plan to help restore your dog's mouth to a pain-free and healthy state.
Should I brush my dog's teeth?
You as a loving dog owner, play an essential part in helping your dog fight dental diseases. Below we listed easy ways you can help keep your dog's mouth healthy and how to clean their teeth:
- Use a finger brush from your vet, or a child’s toothbrush to brush your dog's teeth everyday in order to remove any plaque or debris. It's as simple as brushing your own teeth. If your dog resists having their teeth cleaned try some doggie toothpaste in flavors your pooch will love. These special toothpastes can turn a chore into a treat.
- Use a plaque prevention product that you can apply to your pup’s teeth and gums ( your vet can recommend one to you). 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 buildup and tartar.
Dental care is an essential part of your dog's overall health. Be sure to book annual dental appointments for your pet, 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.