Your dogs oral health affects their overall health and wellbeing. Because of this, it's important to ensure that your dog's teeth and gums are clean and health. Here, our Grayson vets share some ways to keep your pup's teeth in tip-top condition.
Why should I worry about my dog's teeth?
Just like with people's mouths, a dog's dental health is very closely related to their overall physical health and well-being. Unfortunately, periodontal disease and tooth decay are common health issues for dogs - even for young dogs. Oral health issues may lead to some pretty dire consequences for the overall health of pets and bacteria from periodontal diseases travelling through your dog's bloodstream. Because of this, it's important to take these easy steps to keep your pet's mouth as healthy as possible.
How can I keep my dog’s teeth clean?
Dog owners play an important role in helping their dogs to fight against dental disease. The following are a few tips for maintaining your dog's oral health and cleaning their teeth:
- Make sure to make daily brushing a part of your dog's oral health routine. Use a finger brush or some other kind of dog-specific toothbrush to remove any plaque or debris from your dog's teeth. If your dog isn't a fan of having their teeth brushed, it may help to apply a small amount of canine toothpaste to the brush. These products come in a range of flavors that your dog will love.
- Use a plaque prevention product (ask your vet for trustworthy recommendations) that you can apply to your pet’s gums and teeth. These products help prevent plaque buildup between professional cleanings.
- Give your canine companion dental treats, food or chews designed to help keep plaque buildup and tartar away.
Why does my dog need professional teeth cleaning?
While keeping an at-home oral care routine (and possibly supplementing it with dental chews or treats) is important in preventing plaque and tartar buildup, visiting your vet regularly for professional tooth cleanings is one of the best ways to help make sure that your dog's mouth stays healthy and clean.
Without this annual cleaning, teeth can become covered with plaque, which can lead to bad breath, gingivitis and eventually periodontal disease, tooth decay and tooth loss. This can also have severe consequences for your pup’s overall health, as periodontal disease may lead to heart disease (when bacteria enters the bloodstream through the mouth, it can infect other organs).
Dental care is a critical element of your pet's overall physical health. Schedule your dog's annual dental appointment today and your dog's smile will thank you!
What happens during professional teeth cleaning?
We recommend booking an annual dental checkup for your dog. You may need to bring them in more frequently if they are prone to dental problems.
Your veterinarian will perform an oral health evaluation, looking for signs of dental problems, including:
- Bad breath
- Discolored teeth
- Loose or broken teeth
- Plaque or tartar buildup
- Swelling, pain, or bleeding in or around the mouth
- Extra teeth or baby teeth that have been retained
At these checkups, you can also take the chance to let your vet know if you have noticed any symptoms like drooling, dropping food from their mouth, decreasing appetite (which may indicate pain in your dog's mouth), and chewing strangely.
Your vet will also determine whether or no your pet is healthy enough for anesthesia and perform addition diagnostic as required. Once we have safely anesthetized your pet, we have completed a complete oral exam an charting.
While they are safely under anesthesia, their teeth will be cleaned and polished (in addition to their gum line). The vet will probe and radiograph each tooth, then apply a fluoride treatment before using a dental sealant to fight plaque. If we find advanced periodontal disease, a custom treatment plan to help restore your pet's good oral health.