Dental problems in your dog can lead to chronic pain and other health issues. Many dental health problems can be avoided with regular dental exams and professional cleanings, as well as some extra care at home. Our veterinarians discuss the warning signs of dental disease in dogs as well as simple ways to keep your dog's mouth healthy.
Your Dog's Dental Health
If you've ever suffered from a toothache you know how dental health issues can affect your overall health, from reducing your energy level to spoiling your appetite and the exhaustion of dealing with the pain.
When your dog has dental problems, the situation is similar. If your dog develops tooth decay or periodontal disease, he or she may suffer from severe chronic pain, which can have a negative impact on their overall health and quality of life.
But how can you tell if your dog is experiencing dental health problems?
What are the signs of dental health problems in dogs?
There are a number of signs and symptoms that your dog may be suffering from dental problems that require veterinary attention. It's time to call your vet and schedule a dental appointment for your dog if you notice any of the following symptoms:
- Bad breath
- Loose, broken, or badly decayed teeth
- Extra teeth or retained baby teeth
- Brown or yellow teeth
- Obvious signs of tartar buildup
- Abnormal drooling
- Chewing, or dropping food from their mouth
- Reduced appetite
- Dropping food from their mouth while eating
- Pain in or around the mouth
- Bleeding from the mouth
- Swelling in the areas around the mouth
- Lack of energy
- Weight Loss
- Short temper
- Reluctance to play
Do dogs need their teeth cleaned?
Dental cleanings once a year can help to prevent the symptoms above from developing in your dog's mouth. Our vets believe that prevention is always better than treating a progressed disease.
It's simple to keep your dog's teeth in good shape. Professional dental cleanings and examinations, along with a little extra care at home, can help keep your dog's mouth healthy and attractive.
What is involved in professional dental cleanings for dogs?
To begin, your pet will be sedated so that the dentist can safely perform all the necessary work, and keep your dog calm and safe.
Once your pooch has been sedated your vet will perform a comprehensive examination of your pup's mouth, checking for dental issues such as those listed above. Dental X-rays may also be taken in order to get a complete picture of your dog's dental health.
To help treat and prevent decay and periodontal disease, your dog's teeth will be thoroughly cleaned above and below the gum line. Fluoride treatment and sealant may be applied to your dog's teeth in some cases to help prevent plaque buildup.
After your pup's dental appointment is complete your vet will speak to you about any findings and let you know if further treatment is required. Dogs with advanced dental issues may need to see the veterinarian more often for dental cleanings and examinations.
How do I care for my dog's teeth at home?
Keeping your pup's teeth clean and healthy between appointments simply requires a little extra care.
Brushing your dog's teeth may be simpler than you think. Most pet supply stores sell traditional style toothbrushes (like you or I would use) or easy-to-use finger brushes that, when combined with a small amount of canine-specific toothpaste, can make brushing your dog's teeth simple and enjoyable for your pooch.
Starting a brushing routine while your dog is a puppy will help to make oral hygiene a normal part of your dog's day.
If your dog will not tolerate you cleaning their teeth, you can find a wide range of treats, foods, and toys designed and formulated to help improve your dog's dental health.
When can I get my dog's teeth cleaned?
Consult your veterinarian to determine when your dog should receive his or her first dental cleaning. Your dog's veterinarian will be able to assess the health of your dog's mouth and advise you on when and how often your dog's teeth should be cleaned. Annual dental visits are ideal for most dogs and keep dental problems at bay.
Where should I get my dog's teeth cleaned?
The good news is that getting your dog's teeth professionally cleaned can be as easy as booking an appointment with your vet. At Park Animal Hospital in Simi Valley our team of veterinary professionals can work with you to provide your dog with the very best oral health care. We perform a range of dental services from cleanings to dental surgery to help keep your pup's mouth looking and feeling great.
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.