Taking good care of your dog's teeth is really important for their mouth and overall health. In this blog, our vets in Hohenwald share some common signs and types of dental issues in dogs.
Dental Care for Dogs
Like humans, dogs also need clean mouths for good health. Unfortunately, many dogs don't get the dental care they need, and our vets in Hohenwald often notice signs of gum disease or other dental issues in dogs as young as 3 years old.
Early dental problems can harm their long-term health. To keep your dog's mouth healthy, it's best to do at-home dental care and have a professional dental check-up once a year.
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 buildup 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
Gum disease in dogs happens when too much sticky bacteria film called plaque sticks to their teeth. If this plaque isn't cleaned away regularly, it turns into hard tartar, making it tougher to remove.
This tartar creates little pockets between your dog's teeth and gums where infections can grow. If gum disease isn't treated, your dog's teeth might become loose and fall out.
2. Oral Infections
Periodontal disease in dogs can lead to serious problems. Bacteria can gather around the roots of their teeth, causing infections and tooth abscesses that can be painful.
But it doesn't stop there; these infections can harm your dog's overall health. Like in humans, periodontal disease in dogs has been linked to heart disease.
This happens when bacteria from the mouth get into the bloodstream, affecting the heart and other organs. These health issues add to the pain from damaged gums and 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, also known as deciduous teeth. Most of these teeth naturally fall out by the time your dog is 6 months old.
However, sometimes, some of them don't fall out, which can lead to overcrowding and extra plaque buildup in your pup's mouth.
To prevent future problems, your vet often recommends removing these teeth while your dog is already under anesthesia, commonly done during a spay or neuter procedure.
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.