Dogs require good oral health just as much as humans do, as they are prone to tooth decay and periodontal disease. In this blog, our Jackson vets discuss the importance of dog dental health and how to clean your pup's teeth at home.
Does my dog need dental care?
Ensuring the oral health of dogs plays a crucial role in their overall well-being and vitality. Periodontal disease symptoms can manifest in dogs as early as three years of age, potentially impacting their long-term health adversely.
Studies have uncovered a compelling link between periodontal disease and heart issues, affecting both dogs and humans alike. This connection arises when oral bacteria enter the bloodstream, impairing heart function and complications in other organs. These health concerns compound the visible discomfort caused by deteriorating gums and tooth damage or loss.
To maintain your pup's oral hygiene effectively, it's essential to establish at-home oral care routines and incorporate dental treats. However, the most effective strategy for preserving your dog's oral health is to schedule an annual veterinary visit for a thorough hygiene cleaning and dental examination.
Neglecting this professional cleaning can expose your dog to the risk of developing gingivitis, periodontal disease, halitosis, and, in severe cases, pain, tooth decay, and tooth loss.
What happens at my dog's dental care appointments?
To prevent your dog from developing tooth decay and periodontal disease, Jackson Animal Clinic veterinarians in Jackson recommend scheduling your pup's annual dental appointment with their primary care veterinarian. Consider more frequent visits if your dog experiences severe or recurring dental issues.
When you bring your dog to Jackson Animal Clinic for a dental check-up, our veterinarians will perform a comprehensive oral examination to identify any dental problems. They will look for signs such as:
- Extra teeth or retained baby teeth
- Bleeding around the mouth
- Swelling or pain in or around the mouth
- Plaque or tartar buildup on teeth
- Discolored teeth
- Loose or
- Broken teeth
- Bad breath
If you notice signs of periodontal disease in your dog, such as a decreased appetite (indicative of potential tooth pain), excessive drooling, unusual chewing habits, foul breath, difficulty holding food in the mouth, or any other concerning symptoms, take prompt action by contacting your veterinarian immediately to schedule a dental appointment for your beloved pet. Neglecting oral health issues can lead to serious complications and cause significant discomfort and pain to your furry friend.
Our veterinary team ensures your dog's overall health, assessing their suitability for anesthesia and conducting additional diagnostics as necessary to ensure a safe dental examination under anesthesia. Once your companion is comfortably sedated, we conduct a comprehensive, tooth-by-tooth examination, meticulously charting their dental condition, akin to the way your dentist examines your teeth during your check-ups.
While your dog is under anesthesia and relaxed, we meticulously clean and polish their teeth, addressing the visible and hidden areas below the gum line. We employ probing and X-ray techniques to evaluate the teeth thoroughly. To safeguard against future decay and damage, we administer a fluoride treatment and apply a dental sealant, effectively preventing plaque buildup.
In cases where your pup is grappling with advanced periodontal disease, we collaborate closely with you to devise a tailored treatment plan to restore your dog's oral health, ultimately alleviating pain and ensuring their well-being.
How to clean your dog's teeth & mouth?
As a pet parent, you are essential in helping your dog fight dental diseases. Below are a few easy ways that you can help to clean your dog's teeth and keep their mouth 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. It's as simple as brushing your own teeth. If your dog resists cleaning their teeth, try some doggie toothpaste in flavors your pup will find irresistible. These special toothpaste can turn a chore into a treat.
- 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.
- Offer your pup treats such as dental chews or food designed to help prevent plaque buildup and tartar.
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.