Ensuring proper dental care for your furry friend is imperative to maintain their oral hygiene and overall physical well-being. In this article, our team of veterinarians in Somerset will enlighten you with some tell-tale indications and various kinds of dental issues that your canine companion might face.
Dental Care for Dogs
Just like humans, dogs require oral hygiene maintenance to ensure their general health and well-being. However, despite the importance of keeping their teeth and gums clean, most dogs don't receive the necessary dental care they need.
Our veterinarian in Somerset frequently encounters dogs showing early signs of periodontal disease or other dental issues before they reach three years old.
Such early onset of dental problems can significantly impact their overall health in the long run. A combination of at-home dental care and regular professional dental check-ups is essential to ensure your furry friend enjoys healthy teeth and gums.
Our team recommends annual dental exams for dogs as the best approach to maintaining optimal oral health.
How can I tell if my dog has a dental issue?
Maintaining your furry friend's dental health can be challenging, especially when it comes to spotting the warning signs of potential problems. However, there are several red flags that every dog owner should watch out for, including:
- Dropping food
- Excess drooling or blood in drool
- Plaque or tartar buildup on teeth
- Bleeding around the mouth
- Swelling or pain in or around the mouth
- Bad breath
- Discolored teeth
- Loose or broken teeth
- Extra teeth or retained baby teeth
- Chewing on one side
Common Dog Dental Issues
1. Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease, also referred to as gum disease, is a serious oral condition that affects dogs when an excessive amount of plaque accumulates on their teeth. Plaque, a thin and sticky film of bacteria, can harden over time, turning into calculus or tartar, which can be challenging to remove.
The buildup of tartar can lead to the formation of pockets between your dog's teeth and gums, which can become infected if left untreated. Eventually, if gum disease goes untreated, it can cause your furry friend's teeth to become loose and even fall out. Therefore, it is crucial to maintain good oral hygiene in your dog to prevent gum disease and other dental problems.
2. Oral Infections
Periodontal disease is a serious condition that can lead to bacterial infection and subsequent tooth root abscess, causing pain and discomfort for your furry friend. However, the negative impacts of a tooth infection go beyond oral health and can have detrimental effects on your dog's overall well-being.
Studies have shown that periodontal disease in dogs can lead to heart disease and other organ complications, as harmful bacteria from the mouth enter the bloodstream and damage vital bodily functions. In addition to the obvious symptoms such as eroded gums and missing teeth, tooth infections can have far-reaching consequences and should be addressed promptly to ensure your pet's optimal health.
3. Tooth Fractures
As pet owners, we understand the joy of watching our furry friends chew on everything in sight, but it's important to remember that not all chew toys are created equal. While dogs love to chew, certain items like bones or hard plastics can cause dental damage, including tooth fractures and breakage. In fact, using chew toys that are too big for your dog's mouth increases the likelihood of dental problems.
Therefore, as a responsible pet parent, it's crucial to choose the right chew toy for your furry friend. Make sure you select something that is an appropriate size and material for your dog, as this can make a significant difference in their dental health. Don't hesitate to speak to your vet for their expert advice and recommendations on the best chew toys for your pup. By taking these steps, you can ensure that your dog's love of chewing is both fun and safe.
4. Retained Baby Teeth
Baby teeth, also known as deciduous teeth, are a common feature in all puppies. While most of these teeth fall out naturally by the time your furry friend turns six months old, some may persist, leading to over-crowding, plaque buildup, and difficulty in maintaining oral hygiene.
In such cases, it is advisable to consult a veterinarian, who may recommend removing these teeth under anesthesia to prevent future complications. In fact, many vets prefer to carry out this procedure during a spay or neuter surgery when the dog is already under anesthesia, minimizing any discomfort or stress to your pup.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. Please make an appointment with your vet to accurately diagnose your pet's condition.