Top Reasons to Keep Your Dog’s Teeth Healthy

February 10, 2021 | We Learn | Tips from Heather Burdo

The health of your dog’s teeth is just as important to maintain as human teeth. Dogs can develop the same issues we can with our teeth as humans, such as gum disease and other oral health problems.  Here are the top reasons you should get your dog to the vet for yearly dental checkups.

Gum Disease:
Periodontitis, another word for gum disease, is a bacterial infection that develops in the mouth.  Dog teeth are just as susceptible as human teeth!  Periodontitis has four stages:  It starts out as plaque that turns to inflamed gums, and next gum disease develops if it goes untreated. The last stage is periodontitis often leads to bone and tooth loss.

Retained Baby Teeth:
Just like humans, dogs can experience retained baby teeth. A retained tooth develops when the tooth’s root doesn’t reabsorb. This causes issues with the permanent tooth that needs to come through. The leftover root can cause the new tooth to grow in an abnormal angle. The end result can be overcrowding in the mouth and an abnormal bite.

Worn Out Teeth:
No doubt dogs are tough on their teeth! After all, they chew anything they can get their paws on, right? Because of the constant chewing, your dog’s teeth can start wearing down. Some wearing of the teeth is normal but it gets extreme, resulting in excess loss involving the top layer of the teeth.  Another name for this process is called attrition.  It’s critical to make a vet appointment if you notice your dog’s teeth start to wear down consistently as it can lead to the root or pulp becoming exposed. A worn-down tooth doesn’t necessarily indicate it will cause health issues; however other serious oral conditions could be present.

“Dogs can develop the same issues we can with our teeth as humans, such as gum disease and other oral health problems.”

Aside from keeping up with checkups, you can help keep your pet’s teeth clean:
If your dog has plaque buildup, the vet may recommend a plaque prevention product that you will need to apply every week. Also, the vet may suggest purchasing milk bones which are good to rid minor plaque from the dog’s teeth.  Just like in humans, daily brushing is necessary!  By brushing your dog’s teeth, you will remove food particles that hide out between your furry friend’s teeth. Pick up a small toothbrush at the store or purchase a finger brush from your vet’s office. Human toothpaste should be avoided at all costs as it can be dangerous to your dog. Make sure you only use pet toothpaste (your dog won’t mind the chicken or seafood flavor.) 

And for more tips on how to and when to brush your dog’s teeth, check out this article!

Photo by Delia Giandeini on Unsplash

If you enjoyed this post, you should read 5-Tips For Sharing Your Space With Your Dog here.

Have you talked to your vet about your dog’s oral health?

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