Say Cheese: Keep Those Canines Clean!

Does your dog reek of bad breath? Dogs don’t brush their teeth when they wake up or before they go to bed like we do. If we didn’t, we would develop dental disease just as easily! One of the most overlooked health issues concerning pets is their oral hygiene. Periodontal disease is found in most dogs and cats over the age of 3 and can quickly infect other areas of the gums if not treated. If left untreated, the disease will continue to spread and may damage internal organs. Those who are affected are in greater risk of having heart disease, so let’s try to practice preventative care before it’s too late!

There are several stages of periodontal disease, starting from gingivitis to periodontitis. When bacteria or food particles are present on the surface of a dog’s teeth, it can lead to the growth of plaque. When the plaque hardens, it will cause the formation of dental calculus (tartar) to deposit onto the surface of the tooth and affect the gum line. Over time, the bacteria on the oral cavities will spread, and will lead to gingivitis, which is the inflammation of the gums. The gum lines will be affected and begin to appear to be red and sore, making it uncomfortable for your pet to chew. Periodontitis is a bacterial infection in the mouth that destroys the bone and tissues that surrounds the teeth. This can cause teeth to loosen or lead to loss of teeth.

Oral hygiene should be taken seriously in pets. Check their teeth regularly by lifting their lip to see if there is any plaque build up or tartar found on their teeth. If they have smelly breath or has yellow or brown teeth, there is a high chance that your dog has dental disease. Try to brush your dog’s teeth regularly to get them in the habit of allowing you to do so. This may take several attempts for them to get used to the routine. Use toothpaste that is specifically formulated for dogs, such as the Advanced Oral Care Natural Dog Toothpaste by Nylabone, or Advanced Pet Care Tartar Control Enzymatic Dog Toothpaste by Arm and Hammer. These products will help maintain healthy gums and breaks down tartar buildup if used correctly. They are safe for your dog to consume and will help keep their breath fresh!

Teeth cleaning and dental procedures can be very costly. The more time and money that is spent preventing them will save pet owners a lot of money! Don’t forget to take your pet to the veterinarian to get regular checkups and oral examinations, just like how you would make regular visits to the dentist.


Here are some related links that you may find useful about your pet’s dental hygiene:
https://www.avdc.org/periodontaldisease.html

http://pets.webmd.com/dogs/features/perlis-gum-disease-dogs

 

Winnie Goh