Most people look at us in total amazement when we suggest daily brushing of their dogs’ teeth. This is not a new idea, just one that has not been emphasized in the past.
Is it necessary to brush a dog’s teeth everyday?
Think of how your mouth feels when you skip your morning brushing – how awful! Now think how your dog feels if he hasn’t had his teeth brushed in five years. Sometimes you are looking at a total garbage-can mouth! And a garbage-can mouth has the potential for all kinds of medical problems. Dental care is very important if you want to get rid of bad breath in dogs.
Preventative and corrective measures help your dog live a longer and more comfortable life. As you dog grows older he or she will need a good dental routine since this kind of dental care has a big impact on his health in general.
Some common dental problems come from plaque and tartar build-up. Food, bacteria, and saliva may adhere to the tooth surface forming a soft plaque. If this continues, this can form a harder dental plaque on the tooth surface. Plaque is seen more frequently in older dogs and dogs that eat mostly soft food.
This plaque build-up leads to inflamation and infection of the gums, and the membrane lining of the tooth pocket. Without proper treatment, the teeth may loosen and fall out. The infection may spread to other parts of the body such as kidneys or valves of the heart. These signs are so subtle that they may go undetected for months, even years and can be far advanced when discovered.
Most owners complain of bad breath, mouth breathing, sneezing or coughing, loss of appetite, abnormal salivation, chewing or pawing at the mouth or nose, and swelling of the face.
Many of these dogs are affected by dental problems. Your veterinarian will give an oral examination which will enable him to see if your dog’s problem is related to a dental problem.
Some dogs will regularly allow you to brush their teeth, or rub their teeth with a gauze pad. There are products available at your veterinary office for this. We suggest the use of a product called Nolvodent Oral Cleaning Solution. It helps prevent the plaque build-up and is an easy way to prevent and get rid of bad breath in dogs. We recommend using it everyday. It goes to work killing bacteria that cause plaque build-up and bad breath.
Regular dental exams by your veterinarian are recommended, just as your dentist recommends a recall visit every six months. If your veterinarian suggests a teeth cleaning, the normal procedure will be a scaling of the teeth under anethesia. Your pet may go home later in the day. By the next day he will be his old self again, only with a much healthier mouth.
Gum inflamation may be caused by plaque injury, foreign bodies, or malnutrition. Any gum or mouth problem should be given prompt attention to prevent serious dental problems from developing.
Dog owners should be on the lookout for symptoms such as tender gums, difficulty eating, refusal to eat when he usually is interested in food, drooling or foul odor from the mouth.
Some of these symptoms can he caused by something other than oral disease. With proper attention to our animal’s health needs we can give our dogs longer and healthier lives. The preventative dental care that the veterinary profession offers will reduce pain, soreness, odor and the incidence of other diseases. This will give your pet a longer and healthier life and will enable your pet to eat without pain.
So lift up the lip of your dog and take a look. If you see something other than pearly white teeth you need to consider a visit to the veterinarian. Once the teeth are cleaned then you need to picture yourself doing daily oral hygiene for your dog.