If your dog is suffering from chronic pain and other health problems, these could be due to dental health issues. Fortunately, bringing your dog in for routine dental exams and professional cleaning, along with taking a little extra care at home can prevent many dental health issues. Our Leighton vets share signs of dental health issues in dogs and ways to keep your dog's mouth healthy.
Your Dog's Dental Health
Chances are, at one point in your life you've suffered from a toothache or some dental health issue. If so, you know how dental health problems can impact your overall health, from stealing your energy to destroying your appetite and leaving you feeling exhausted with pain throughout the day.
It's much the same for dogs when they experience dental health issues. If your pooch develops tooth decay, gingivitis or advanced periodontal disease, they may experience significant chronic pain that affects their overall health, well-being and quality of life.
That said, how can you tell if your dog is experiencing dental health problems?
What are signs of dental health problems in dogs?
Numerous signs or symptoms can point to your dog having dental health issues that require veterinary attention. If you notice any of these symptoms, it's time to call your vet to schedule a dental appointment for your pup:
- Pain in or around the mouth
- Yellow or brown teeth
- Bad breath
- Extra teeth or retained baby teeth
- Clear signs of plaque or tartar buildup
- Loose, broken or badly decayed teeth
- Dropping food from the mouth while eating
- Swelling in the areas around the mouth
- Reduced appetite
- Abnormal drooling
- Bleeding from the mouth
Other symptoms related to poor dental health in dogs include:
- Reluctance to play
- Weight loss
- Lack of energy
- Short temper
Do dogs need their teeth cleaned?
Many dog parents come to us asking, 'Do dogs need dental cleanings?'. The answer is: yes. Annual dental cleanings can help to prevent the symptoms above from developing in your dog's mouth. Our vets believe that prevention is always better than treating a progressed disease.
Keeping your dog's teeth in tip-top condition can be easy. Annual professional dental cleanings including examinations, combined with a little extra care at home, can help keep your dog's mouth healthy and looking great.
What is involved in professional dental cleanings for dogs?
To begin, your pet will be sedated so that the dentist can safely perform all the necessary work, and keep your dog calm and safe.
Once your pooch has been sedated your vet will perform a comprehensive examination of your pup's mouth, checking for dental issues such as those listed above. Dental X-rays may also be taken in order to get a complete picture of your dog's dental health.
Your dog's teeth will then be thoroughly cleaned above and below the gumline to help treat and prevent decay and periodontal disease. In some cases, a fluoride treatment and sealant will be applied to your dog's teeth to help protect against further plaque buildup.
After your pup's dental appointment is complete your vet will speak to you about any findings and let you know if further treatment is required. Dogs with advanced dental issues may need to see the veterinarian more often for dental cleanings and examinations.
How do I care for my dog's teeth at home?
Keeping your pup's teeth clean and healthy between appointments simply requires a little extra care.
Dog toothbrushing may be easier than you think. Traditional style toothbrushes (like you or I would use) or easy-to-use finger brushes are available from most pet supply stores, and when combined with a small amount of canine-specific toothpaste can make brushing your dog's teeth easy and fun for your pooch.
Starting a brushing routine while your dog is a puppy will help to make oral hygiene a normal part of your dog's day.
If your dog will not tolerate you cleaning their teeth, you can find a wide range of treats, foods and toys designed and formulated to help improve your dog's dental health.
When should I get my dog's teeth cleaned?
To find out when your dog should have their first dental appointment, speak to your vet. Your dog's veterinarian will be able to assess the health of your dog's mouth and provide you with guidance as to when and how often you should have your dog's teeth cleaned. For most dogs, yearly dental appointments are ideal and keep dental health issues at bay.
Where can I get my dog's teeth cleaned?
The good news is that getting your dog's teeth professionally cleaned can be as easy as booking appointment with your vet. At All Animal Clinic in Leighton our team of veterinary professionals can work with you to provide your dog with the very best oral health care. We perform a range of dental services from cleanings to dental surgery to help keep your pup's mouth looking and feeling great.
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.