Dogs require good oral health, just like humans, as they are prone to tooth decay and periodontal disease. In this blog, our veterinarians in Lancaster emphasize the significance of maintaining your dog's dental health and provide instructions on effectively cleaning your pup's teeth at home.
Should I brush my dog's teeth
Ensure your dog's overall health and well-being by prioritizing their oral health. Periodontal disease can manifest in dogs as early as 3 years old, with detrimental long-term consequences. Research has established a link between periodontal disease and heart disease in both canines and humans.
This connection arises when oral bacteria enter the bloodstream, resulting in heart issues and complications with other organs. These health problems compound the visible discomfort caused by eroded gums and damaged or missing teeth.
To maintain your pup's dental hygiene, establish consistent at-home oral care routines and provide dental treats to control tartar and plaque buildup. However, the most effective way to safeguard your dog's oral health is to schedule an annual veterinary visit for a thorough hygiene cleaning and dental examination.
Neglecting this professional cleaning can expose your dog to risks like gingivitis, periodontal disease, bad breath, and, in severe cases, pain, tooth decay, and tooth loss.
What happens at my dog's dental care appointments?
To prevent your dog from developing tooth decay and periodontal disease, the veterinarians at Sears Veterinary Hospital recommend scheduling an annual dental appointment with your pup's primary care veterinarian. If your dog is experiencing severe or recurring dental issues, consider more frequent visits.
When you bring your dog to Sears Veterinary Hospital for a dental check-up, our veterinarians will perform a comprehensive oral examination, searching for signs of dental problems such as:
- Extra teeth or retained baby teeth
- Bleeding around the mouth
- Swelling or pain in or around the mouth
- Plaque or tartar buildup on teeth
- Discolored teeth
- Loose or
- Broken teeth
- Bad breath
If you notice symptoms of periodontal disease in your dog, such as reduced appetite (a potential indicator of tooth pain), drooling, abnormal chewing, bad breath, food dropping from the mouth, or any other signs, immediately contact your veterinarian to schedule a dental appointment for your pet. Neglecting oral health issues can lead to severe discomfort and pain for your beloved companion.
Our veterinarians will evaluate your dog's overall health to ensure they can safely undergo anesthesia and conduct additional diagnostics if necessary, ensuring your pet's safety during the dental examination under anesthesia. Once your furry friend is comfortably sedated, we will perform a comprehensive tooth-by-tooth examination, complete with charting, similar to what your dentist does during your check-ups.
While your dog is securely and comfortably sedated, we will meticulously clean and polish their teeth, addressing both the surfaces above and below the gum line. We will also perform probing and x-rays of the teeth. To prevent future decay and damage, we administer a fluoride treatment and apply a dental sealant to deter plaque buildup.
In cases of advanced periodontal disease, we will collaborate with you to develop a customized treatment plan aimed at restoring your dog's oral health, ensuring they are pain-free and enjoying a healthy mouth once again.
How do I brush my dog's teeth and mouth?
As a pet parent, you are essential in helping your dog fight dental diseases. Below are a few easy ways that you can help to clean your dog's teeth and keep their mouth healthy:
- Use a finger brush from your vet or a child's toothbrush daily to brush your pet's teeth to remove any plaque or debris. It's as simple as brushing your own teeth. If your dog resists having their teeth cleaned, try some doggie toothpaste in flavors your pup will find irresistible. These special toothpaste can turn a chore into a treat.
- Use a plaque prevention product (your vet can recommend some), which you can apply to your pet's teeth and gums. These products act as a barrier to prevent plaque buildup.
- Offer your pup treats such as dental chews or food designed to help prevent plaque buildup and tartar.
Dental care is an important part of your pet's overall health. Be sure to book your pet's annual dental appointment today. Your dog will thank you.
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.