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Dog Dental Care: How to Take Care of Your Dog's Teeth

Dog Dental Care: How to Take Care of Your Dog's Teeth

Just like humans, dogs can suffer from gum disease and tooth decay. It's important to take care of their teeth to keep them healthy. Our vets at Somerset have tips for maintaining your dog's oral hygiene.

Is dog dental care important?

Did you know your dog's oral health is closely tied to their overall health? Most dogs begin to show signs of gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, by the age of three. Dental disease can start early and may have serious consequences for your furry friend's physical health and well-being.

Research shows that periodontal disease in people can lead to heart disease as bacteria enters the bloodstream from the mouth. This can be harmful to not only the heart but also other organs. In addition to the immediate pain caused by damaged teeth and gums, organ damage can have long-term effects.

Although gum disease is a serious concern, it is preventable. The best way to ensure your dog's mouth stays healthy is to work with your vet in maintaining their oral health. A consistent and effective at-home oral health care routine, combined with dental treats, can help keep your dog's teeth white and control plaque and tartar buildup.

You'll also want to schedule annual dental exams and cleanings at your vet's office. Skipping this essential step can leave your dog at risk for gingivitis, bad breath, periodontal disease, and in even more severe cases, pain in the mouth, tooth decay, and even tooth loss. 

What will happen during my dog's dental care appointment?

Our veterinary clinics in Somerset recommend scheduling an annual dental appointment to keep your dog's teeth healthy and prevent tooth decay and periodontal disease. However, more frequent visits may be necessary if your pet is experiencing recurring or severe dental issues.

At Midway Veterinary Hospital, when you bring your dog for a dental checkup, our experienced vets will conduct a thorough oral examination to spot any signs of dental problems.

  • Swelling or pain in or around the mouth
  • Bad breath
  • Discolored teeth
  • Plaque or tartar buildup on teeth
  • Loose or broken teeth
  • Bleeding around the mouth
  • Extra or retained baby teeth

If your pet is showing signs of periodontal disease, such as decreased appetite (which may indicate tooth pain), unusual chewing, drooling, food falling from the mouth, bad breath, or other symptoms, it's important to get in touch with your vet as soon as possible. Neglecting oral health issues can lead to serious problems and discomfort for your pet.

We make sure to examine all pets before administering anesthesia to ensure their safety and conduct further tests if necessary to ensure a safe dental exam under sedation. Once your pet is safely sedated, we perform a thorough oral exam, charting each tooth, just like your dentist does during your check-up.

While your furry friend is comfortably sedated, our team will thoroughly clean and polish their teeth, both above and below the gum line. We also probe and X-ray their teeth and apply a fluoride treatment and dental sealant to prevent plaque buildup and protect against future decay and damage.

If your pet is experiencing advanced periodontal disease, we will collaborate with you to create a treatment plan that will help restore their mouth to a healthy and pain-free state.

Should I brush my dog's teeth?

As a pet owner, it is crucial for you to assist your dog in combating dental disease. Here are some effortless methods that you can utilize to ensure your dog's teeth stay clean and healthy:

  • Use a finger brush from your vet or a child's toothbrush to brush your pet's teeth daily to remove any plaque or debris.
  • Offer your pup treats such as dental chews or food designed to help prevent plaque buildup and tartar.
  • Use a plaque prevention product (your vet can recommend some), which you can apply to your pet's teeth and gums. These products act as a barrier to prevent plaque buildup.
  • Dental care is an important part of your pet's overall health. Be sure to book your pet's annual dental appointment today, 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.

If it's time for your dog to have a dental exam and oral hygiene cleaning contact our vets at Somerset vets today for more information or to schedule an appointment.

New Patients Welcome

Are you looking for a new vet in the Somerset area? Midway Veterinary Hospital is accepting new patients! Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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Contact (606) 679-7319