The Importance of Dog Dental Health

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A Person Looking at a Dog's Teeth // Healthier Pets Today

Dog dental health matters! A pet’s oral health is critical to their overall health, and dental issues can contribute to or result from other medical problems. Your veterinarian should inspect your fur baby’s teeth and gums at least once a year to look for any warning signs of issues and maintain their mouth’s health.

When To Get Your Pet’s Teeth Checked

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If you notice any of the following issues with your pet’s teeth, get them looked at right away:

  • Foul breath
  • Teeth that are loose or broken
  • Retained baby teeth or additional teeth
  • Teeth that are stained or tartar-covered
  • Abnormal mouth movements such as drooling, spilling food, or chewing
  • Decreased hunger or aversion to eating
  • Discomfort in the mouth or its surrounding area
  • Bleeding in the oral cavity
  • Swelling around the mouth and in the adjacent areas

Any changes in your pet’s behavior should prompt a visit to your veterinarian, as some pets experience irritability due to tooth issues. Always exercise caution when inspecting your pet’s mouth because an uncomfortable animal might bite.

Causes Of Pet Dental Problems

Pet’s are capable of experiencing many of the same dental issues as people, even if cavities are less common in them:

  • Cracked teeth and roots
  • Periodontal disease
  • Abscesses or tooth infections
  • tumors or cysts in the mouth
  • Malocclusion, or improper bite and tooth alignment
  • Broken or shattered jaw
  • Defects of the palate (such as cleft palates)

The most prevalent dental disorder in dogs and cats is periodontal disease, likely present in your pet when they are three years old. It will only worsen with age if appropriate preventive care isn’t given. Prompt identification and intervention are essential since advanced periodontal disease can cause severe complications and discomfort for your pet. Your pet’s mouth is not the only area that could be affected by periodontal disease. Additional health issues linked to periodontal disease include alterations in the kidney, liver, as well as heart muscle.

Plaque forms initially and then solidifies as tartar. Plaque and tartar below the gum line are harmful and create conditions for infection and damage to the jawbone. They also damage the tissues that connect the tooth to the jawbone. Tartar above the gum line is frequently visible and accessible to remove. The severity of periodontal disease is rated from 0 (average) to 4 (severe).

Comprehensive dog dental cleaning is the first step in treating periodontal disease; X-rays could be required to assess the disease’s severity. Based on your pet’s general health and the condition of their teeth, your veterinarian or a board-certified veterinary dentist will offer advice and give you options.

What Is a Vet Dentist, And Who Should Perform It?

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Veterinary dentistry encompasses all factors of oral health care, including cleaning, filing, adjusting, extracting, and repairing your pet’s teeth. A veterinarian or a board-certified veterinary dentist should carry out these treatments. Veterinary technicians can perform specific dental treatments under a veterinarian’s supervision, subject to state or provincial regulations.

The process begins with a veterinarian’s oral exam of your pet’s mouth. Radiographs (x-rays) may be needed to evaluate the jaw’s health and the tooth roots below the gumline. Most dental diseases occur below the gumline, where you cannot see it. Therefore, a thorough dog dental cleaning and evaluation is performed under anesthesia. Dog Dental cleaning includes scaling, which removes dental plaque and tartar, and polishing, similar to the process used on your teeth during regular dental cleanings.

Why Does Dentistry Require Anesthesia?

You know that the procedures performed at the dentist are intended to benefit you and maintain the health of your mouth. For you to go along with the process and try your best to remain still, your dentist uses strategies to lessen any discomfort or pain and can ask you about how you are feeling. Your pet may move, try to get away, or even bite in response to dental operations since they do not grasp their benefits.

Thanks to anesthesia, your pet can undergo dental operations with less anxiety and suffering. Anesthetics also make better cleaning possible because they prevent your pet from moving around and running the risk of getting hurt by dental tools. If your pet requires radiographs (x-rays), they must still obtain clear images, which is difficult without deep sedation or anesthesia.

There will always be risks associated with anesthesia, but these days, the dangers are much smaller, and the advantages of the procedure greatly exceed the risks thanks to advancements in technology. Although they may appear a little sleepy for the remainder of the day, most pets can return home the same day of the treatment.

What Can I Do At Home For My Pet’s Oral Health?

Pets’ most prevalent oral disease can be prevented by regularly cleaning the tartar and dental plaque accumulating on poorly maintained teeth. The best thing you can do for your pet to keep healthy teeth in between dental cleanings is to brush their teeth regularly. This can also minimize or even eliminate the need for your veterinarian to do periodic dental cleanings. Although brushing daily is ideal, this is only sometimes feasible, and touching a few times a week can still be beneficial. While most dogs are amenable to brushing, cats are more challenging to educate and require patience.

Not all pet products are sold with the promise of improving oral health work. Please consult your veterinarian about dental products, treats, or diets tailored to your pet’s needs or ask for their advice.

Maintaining Your Dog Dental Health

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For your pet’s general health, you must maintain their dental health. It is essential to get regular veterinary checkups, pay quick attention to symptoms like bad breath or loose teeth, and be mindful of dental problems. Common periodontal disease can have an impact on general health. Professional veterinary dentistry by a veterinarian or board-certified veterinary dentist frequently necessitates sedation for patient safety and cooperation. Regular tooth cleaning and other at-home dental hygiene can help avoid dental issues. Technology has made anesthetics less dangerous, but it’s still vital to see a veterinarian for specific recommendations on dental items. A proactive strategy that combines in-home routines with expert care guarantees your pet’s long and healthy life.