Canine Dental Care
Dog Teeth and a Swift Tongue
Is Bad Dog Breath Normal
The majority of people who have dogs resolve themselves to believe that dogs "just come with bad breath". This could not be further from the truth. Tooth and gum problems are the most common medical problem in dogs. Close to 85% of two-year-old dogs show some sign of gum disease. Because the mouth is actually the very first step in the digestion process, it is considered to be the clear indicator of just how good a dog's health really is.
Gum Disease in Dogs
Warning Signs of Advanced Gum Disease in Dogs
Since your dog can't tell you when he is having pain or discomfort, you have to employ due diligence in caring for his health; which includes the important well-being of his mouth. Here are a few sure signs of gum disease in your dog:
- Bad breath
- Sores in the mouth
- Yellow-brownish tartar build-up on teeth
- Missing or loose teeth
- Change in attitude (a little pissy even)
- Bleeding or swollen gums
- Dropping bits of food on the floor
- Favoring one side of mouth when chewing
- Not interested in playing with toys
- Hesitant to eat
What You Think Really Does Matter!
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What Causes Gum Disease in Dogs
If a dog's gums and teeth are not exercised regularly, plaque will build up on the surface of the teeth. This plaque build-up pushes the gums away from the tooth's surface—increasing the margin between the gums and teeth. 80% of plaque is made up of bacteria, leaving the rest of it to be made up of tiny leftover food debris and saliva. Your dog's diet and plaque formation are directly related; some say wet foods contribute to the production of plaque more so than dry crunchy Dog foods.
How Can You Prevent Gum Disease in Your Dog's Mouth
By having our dog simply chew on (not swallow) firm rawhide products, the plaque production on your dog's teeth can be reduced by 25%. (Be sure to take away any rawhide that becomes flabby—it becomes useless and can grow very nasty bacteria).
Dog Teeth and Mouth Problems
Tartar Build-up On Dog Teeth
If left unchecked, plaque will build up on your dog's teeth, turning into hardened tartar that you can actually see. Tartar will widen the gap between the gums and teeth, which is a perfect environment for bacterial growth! The saliva is unable to make it through the tartar to flush the area. This allows the bacteria to build a life deeper and more harmful in your dog's mouth. If this situation is left unattended, the gums decay and become ulcerated, the bone breaks down, teeth loosen and eventually fall out.
Abscesses, Cavities, and Tooth Fractures in Dogs
Vigorously chewing on something hard can cause painful abscesses, cavities, and fractures to your dog's teeth. Most of these are associated with bad dog breath. (Ulcers can be caused by injury, allergy, infection, or poor nutrition.)
Should Dogs Have Real Bones?
Chewing on the skin and bones of prey is good for keeping the jaw muscles in good shape, and also cleans a dog's teeth. Whether you should give your dog real bones is still a great debate among dog experts and vets. Raw bones are less likely to splinter than are cooked bones, it's true; but they do have the very unhealthy and life threatening concern of Salmonella bacteria. Hard-cooked bones can fracture teeth, and swallowing bones is a common and painful cause of intestinal blockages in dogs, which often need surgery.
If think you want to give your dog real bones, you must introduce them early in life so the dog can master how to chew thoroughly. Never give an adult dog bones for the first time, they simply don't have the know-how to handle them.
Do Dogs Get Cavities
Due to their non-acidic saliva, and low-carbohydrate diets, bacteria can't stay attached very well to a dog's tooth surface enamel. K9s do in fact get cavaties, but it is a pretty rare occurrence. If you find out that your dog has one or two cavities—I would be inclined to check the candy bowl for paw prints!
Tooth and Gum Disease Progression in Dogs
What About Brushing My Dog's Teeth
Brushing your dog's teeth is a great way to ensure dental health in your dog. Here are a few things you need to know before you begin:
- Only use dog specific toothpaste on your pet.
- Never use human toothpaste on your dog. If too much fluoride is swallowed it can make your dog sick.
- Be patient and allow the dog to get used to the taste and having you working on his mouth.
- Get your dog familiar with teeth scrubbing by first using your finger, then next time use gauze, then finally work up to an actual toothbrush.
- Brushing the outside of the teeth is most important, but if you can manage it, get the inside as well.
The video below shows you just how to get this dental care underway, and in less than 2 minutes!
Learn How to Brush Your Dog's Teeth in minutes!
Conventional Treatment for Dog Dental Problems
Common Treatment for dog Dental Conditions
No matter how old or how bad the condition of your dog's teeth and gums have become, it is never too late to begin a healthy canine dental care program. The health of your furry friend depends on you to take action! There are several ways to contend with your dog's dental care needs, the chart below can give you a few ways to approach your canine's gum and mouth condition.
Conventional Treatment for Dog Dental Care Table
Tooth removal or root-canal
Eroded tooth enamel
Tooth removal or root-canal
Bad breath, (may be due to gingivitis, digestive problems, metabolic condition-like kindey failure)
Requires diagnosis of cause and appropriate treatment (Antiseptics, antibiotics, painkillers, corticosteroids)
Mouth ulcers (treated according to cause)
Antiseptics, antibiotics, painkillers, corticosteroids
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