Most Common Causes of Dental Issues in Dogs
When your dog is in pain, it’s hard to keep calm. You’ll want to do everything you can to make them feel better. Sometimes that means making an appointment with your veterinarian and getting professional help. But before you go rushing out the door with a whimpering pup in tow, there are some things you should know about dental issues in dogs first.
Dental problems are one of the most common reasons for emergency vet visits among cats and dogs. According to a report, one in every eight dogs suffers from dental disease. Why? They’re hard to diagnose on your own, can be painful for your pet, and affect their ability to eat normally and enjoy life as much as possible by causing soreness or infections if untreated.
However, there are ways to keep track of your dog’s teeth health to help prevent significant problems down the road (and maybe even save you a trip or two). Here’s what you need to know.
Not Enough Chewing
Dogs can develop dental issues because they’re not chewing enough. When plaque builds up on your dog’s teeth, it forms into tartar, calcified plaque that can only be removed by a professional. If your dog doesn’t chew enough and this buildup isn’t cleaned off regularly, the bacteria from the tartar will cause inflammation in the gums and eventually lead to infection.
If you notice that your dog has difficulty opening their mouth or is drooling excessively, it could indicate a tooth problem in need of attention. It would help if you had your vet examine them so that they can rule out other possible causes, such as cancer or tumors, before determining whether or not dental surgery is necessary to fix any issues found along those lines.
Poor Dental Hygiene in Dogs
Dogs, like humans, need to take care of their teeth. However, if a report is to be believed, more than one in five dog owners have never brushed their dog’s teeth. Brushing your dog’s teeth is essential in keeping them healthy and avoiding dental disease.
You can pick up dog dental hygiene kits, including toothpaste and toothbrushes, from online stores like PetCareRx and start brushing your dog’s teeth as soon as they have their permanent set of adult teeth at around 4-6 months old.
Start by brushing the outsides (or cheek) of the front two teeth on each side (the canines). Then move onto the backs of these same upper front teeth and brush around them to remove any tartar buildup or debris that may be stuck there. It will help keep bacteria from building up inside them over time.
After you’ve finished with this first stage, move on your dog’s molars on both sides, which you will also want to brush lightly to remove any buildup or bacteria that has formed there too.
Gum Disease (Periodontal Disease) in Dogs
Gum disease (periodontal disease) is the most common cause of dental issues in dogs. It occurs when bacteria form plaque on your dog’s teeth, which can irritate their gums and cause them to become inflamed. It can lead to tooth loss and other problems, so you must check for symptoms like bad breath or bleeding gums so you can get your pet treated early if they start showing signs of gum disease.
You can help prevent periodontal disease by brushing your dog’s teeth regularly with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Suppose you’d rather have someone else take care of this task. In that case, most veterinarians offer professional dental cleanings while they perform annual vaccinations or dewormings so that it may make sense financially and emotionally.
Dental Caries in Dogs
Dental caries is a common disease in dogs. It occurs when bacteria in the mouth consume sugars and produce acids, which attack tooth enamel and cause cavities. The most common source of these sugars are treats or other foods that contain sugar (incredibly crunchy ones). Your hands can also spread the bacteria if you have handled something sweet without washing them first.
Dogs with dental caries must receive dental cleaning every three to six months, depending on how quickly their teeth deteriorate. There are several treatments for this condition, including antibiotics and tooth extractions. However, it’s best to prevent it before it starts by ensuring your dog doesn’t get any human food treats or chewing toys with sugar content.
Fractured Teeth in Dogs
Fractured teeth in dogs can cause various dental issues, ranging from mild discomfort to significant health problems. It’s important to recognize this problem as soon as you notice it so your dog can receive the attention they need and return to enjoying their favorite treats.
If you spot signs of fractured teeth, contact your veterinarian immediately so they can adequately assess the situation. Suppose they determine that no treatment is necessary or that it isn’t safe for your dog to undergo dental surgery. In that case, they will recommend other ways to manage his condition and alleviate pain until he fully recovers.
Your Dog’s Dental Health Is Important to Their Overall Health
It can be challenging to determine the best course of action for your dog’s dental health with so many different factors. In general, you must take proper care of your pup’s teeth and gums. Your dog’s teeth are very different from yours. They have pointed cone-shaped ends and grow continuously throughout their lives.
We hope you have enjoyed learning about some of the most common dental issues that affect our canine friends. Now that you know what to look for, keep an eye on your dog’s teeth, so they stay healthy and strong.