Dental problems in dogs are very similar to those found in humans. Dental disease is common in dogs and frequently occurs in those who are two to three years old. The good news is that there are some things you – as a responsible pet owner – can do to correct these issues and prevent them from reappearing.
Here is a list of the most common dental problems in dogs, and how to correct them.
1.Tartar and Plaque: Tartar and plaque are the most common dental problems in dogs. When a dog’s teeth are not cleaned properly, plaque and tartar build up and affect both the teeth and gums. Plaque looks like a brown film or tint on your dog’s teeth.
2.Periodontal (Gum) Disease: If left untreated, dental problems in dogs can worsen and result in periodontal disease, which affects a dog’s tissues in the mouth. This is a cause for concern, but the most serious problem lies underneath the gum line where you are unable to see, and special tools are needed to clean it.
3.Toothache: If you have ever experienced a toothache – whether for a short period or a longer one – you know how painful it can be. All you want is the pain to stop and your dog feels the same way. Dental problems in dogs can cause severe toothache, which can cause your dog to stop eating. A dog that stops eating is a problem because they begin to lose weight, leading to other health risks.
4.Other Illnesses: In addition to causing pain, periodontal disease can create other issues, including heart and kidney disease. Periodontal disease can lead to bad breath, loss of teeth and stomach problems. If your dog has breath that smells like stagnant toilet water, it is a certain indication that something is wrong, and dental disease is probably to blame.
5.Stomatitis: While common in cats, dogs can also suffer from stomatitis, which is defined as inflammation of the oral mucous membranes. It is a painful disease that affects more than one area of the mouth.
6.Tumors: Oral tumors can appear as small or large lumps. They are typically found in the mouth near a dog’s teeth or the area of the inner jawbone. Some tumors are cancerous while others are not. Cancerous tumors need to be examined and removed immediately.
7.Salivary Cyst: A salivary cyst looks like a swollen mass under a dog’s neck or inside the mouth cavity. They are sacs that are filled with saliva from a gland that is leaking and damaged.
Tips for Maintaining a Dog’s Oral Health
To prevent dental problems in dogs, their teeth need to be brushed daily and thoroughly cleaned. You should inspect your dog’s mouth at least once a day to check for signs of oral diseases. A dog also needs to visit the vet at least once per year to get a dental exam. Feeding your dog healthy, watery, and crunchy vegetables and fruits such as carrots, celery, apples and cucumbers, is the perfect way to keep a dog’s teeth healthy and strong.
A good way to slow plaque formation is feeding your dog hard, dry food and dog biscuits, which help remove plaque that forms on your dog’s teeth from eating, especially moist food. Dogs require fresh water on a daily basis to help not only their teeth, but also their overall health. Make sure you clean your dog’s food and water dish every day.
Following these tips can help prevent dental problems in dogs and put yours on the right track to great oral health. If you have any questions regarding your dog’s dental or overall health – don’t hesitate – call our office today to schedule a consultation.