Caring for your dog's teeth is an important part of their oral and overall health. In today's post, our Smokey Point vets share 5 reasons why dog dental care is important and how you can help your pup achieve and maintain their optimal oral health.
Does my dog really need a dental appointment?
Keeping your dog's mouth clean is essential to their overall well-being, but most dogs don't receive the dental health care they need to keep their teeth and gums healthy.
In fact, our Smokey Point vets often see dogs developing signs of periodontal disease (gum disease) by the time they reach about 3 years of age. This early start to dental disease can have serious negative consequences for their long-term health.
The best way to ensure your dog maintains oral health is to combine at-home dental care with an annual professional dental exam.
How can I tell if my dog has a dental issue?
It isn't always easy to spot early signs of dental health issues in dogs, however, if you notice any of the following it is time to arrange an appointment with your vet:
- Extra teeth or retained baby teeth
- Bleeding around the mouth
- Swelling or pain in or around the mouth
- Plaque or tartar buildup on teeth
- Excess drooling or blood in drool
- Discolored teeth
- Loose or broken teeth
- Bad breath
- Dropping food
- Chewing on one side
How can dog dental care help my pup maintain their health?
Good dental care can play a large part in helping your dog live a long and healthy life. Here are 5 reasons our Smokey Point vets think dental care for dogs is important:
1. Dental care helps prevent periodontal disease.
Routine dental care can help prevent your dog from developing periodontal disease, a painful condition caused by plaque buildup on your pup's teeth. When plaque is allowed to sit on the teeth it hardens into a substance called tartar which creates pockets of infection between the teeth and the gums. These pockets can be painful and can lead to gum erosion, tooth decay, and eventual tooth loss.
2. Dental care keeps your dog's breath smelling fresh.
It's normal for dogs to have some smell to their breath but if you can't stand to get close to your pup's mouth they're likely in need of some dental care. Regular brushing at home and visits to the vet's office annually can help alleviate bad breath in dogs.
3. Dental care helps prevent oral pain.
Many of the issues caused by poor oral health can cause your dog significant oral pain. If you've ever had a toothache, you'll understand! Keeping your dog's teeth and gums healthy will help prevent oral pain.
4. Dental care promotes overall health.
Did you know that in both humans and dogs periodontal disease has been linked to serious overall health conditions such as cardiovascular (heart) disease? This is because the bacteria from the infection in the mouth can travel through the bloodstream and cause damage to other organs. By taking care of your dog's teeth you're helping to care for their entire body!
5. Routine dental care helps you save money in the long run.
Proactive care and regular visits to the vet for dental care can help your veterinarian spot dental health issues early on. This can preventive care can help stop larger issues that are more complex and expensive to treat from developing in the future!
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.