Looking after your dog's teeth is crucial for their overall well-being. Our vets in Jackson highlight key signs of dental issues in dogs.
Dental Care for Dogs
Just like us, dogs need clean mouths for good health. Yet, many dogs miss out on proper dental care. By age 3, many show signs of gum issues at our Jackson vet clinic.
How can I tell if my dog has a dental issue?
It's not always easy to detect early signs of dental health issues in dogs. That said, if you notice any of the following, it's time to book an appointment with your vet:
- Dropping food
- Excess drooling or blood in drool
- Plaque or tartar build-up 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, commonly known as gum disease, is a condition that occurs when there is an excessive amount of plaque build-up on your pup's teeth.
If plaque (a thin, sticky film of bacteria) isn't regularly removed, it can harden into a substance called calculus or tartar that becomes more difficult to remove.
Tartar causes gaps between the teeth and gums where infections can grow. Without treatment, your dog's teeth might get loose and fall out.
2. Oral Infections
With periodontal disease, the open space around the tooth roots can become filled with bacteria, leading to an infection. This infection can cause a good deal of pain for your dog and can result in a tooth root abscess.
Not only does this affect your dog's oral health, but it can also harm their overall health. Just like in humans, there's a link between periodontal disease and heart problems in dogs.
Bacteria from the mouth can enter the bloodstream, affecting the heart and other organs. This is on top of the clear issues of gum pain and damaged or missing teeth.
3. Tooth Fractures
We all know dogs love to chew! However, as a pet parent, you should be aware that chewing on certain items, such as bones or very hard plastic, can cause your pup's teeth to fracture or break. Tooth fractures are also more likely when your dog is chewing on an object that is too big for their mouth.
When selecting chew toys, be sure to pick something that is an appropriate size and material for your dog. Speak to your vet about what they would recommend.
4. Retained Baby Teeth
Puppies have baby teeth that usually fall out by 6 months. Sometimes, a few might stay, leading to overcrowding and more plaque. Often, vets suggest removing these teeth during a spay or neuter procedure to avoid future problems.
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.