Like humans, dogs also suffer from oral conditions. Dental disorders may be due to poor oral hygiene that accumulates some bacteria that mix with the foreign bodies inside the mouth of your dog. If your dog is not that aggressive, you can check for your dog’s teeth on the chewing surface, especially on the gum line or the base of the teeth.
Regular checking for your dog’s oral health is very important because letting him eat or bite anything your dog wants may lead to some severe conditions. To have an idea of the possible oral problems that can occur in your dog’s teeth, here are the most common problem that can happen to your dog.
Types of Oral Conditions in Dogs
There are many types of oral problems in dogs. It does not consist only of having a bad breath or tooth decay. There are also emergency situations for your dog’s oral condition that you need to look to avoid fatal occurrences.
Gingivitis in dogs is the inflammation of a specific part of the gums called the gingiva. One sign of having a gingivitis is too much bleeding and soring whenever you brush your dog’s teeth.
? Periodontal disease
This is the worse level of gingivitis. When the bleeding or inflammation is left untreated, bacteria may travel up to the bones that support the teeth. As a result, you may observe some pus that surrounds the affected tooth of your dog that leads to a very foul breath.
Dental caries are when the dog’s teeth start to decay. The tooth enamel or the protective layer of the teeth is destroyed because of bacteria or eating habits. If you observed your dog having pain or tenderness while eating or drinking, go to your vet to know if your dog already has dental caries.
? Dental Abscess
Too much buildup of pus is called a dental abscess. The group of pus is a result of having a bacterial infection, especially if your dog has poor oral hygiene. If you notice pus in the gums or teeth of your dog, you have to go to the vet as soon as it is observed. A dental abscess is considered a severe condition. Because if it is left untreated, the infection may travel to its whole body leading to death.
Tartar is usually heard that is an oral condition where an unusual yellow film or brown to black discoloration hardens in the teeth. It can be scraped off, but too much tartar can lead to bacteria buildup and bleeding. Too much tartar can also irritate your dog because it can cause a hindrance whenever your dog eats.
? Dental Plaque
Plaque is described as a soft yellow film in the teeth is a typical case for dogs (and humans), but it is advisable to remove it to avoid tartar buildup. Plaque develops when there are crumbs of food left in your dog’s teeth, and then if your dog has poor hygiene, bacteria may mix itself with the plaque leading to a more severe condition.
How Plaques Form in Dog’s Teeth
The most common reason for plaque formation is poor oral hygiene. Your dog is very prone to plaque formation, especially if you are not aware of all the things that it has in its mouth. Dental plaques can form if there is a stocked food in between the teeth, then saliva and bacteria go into the picture. Thick plaques can form as fast as an hour after your dog ate. If you noticed soft yellow or brown discoloration in your dog’s teeth, it is time to go to the vet.
Signs and Symptoms of Plaque Build-up
Dental plaques are very visible because of the unusual discoloration of the teeth. However, aside from the changes in the tooth film, you must be aware of some signs and symptoms of plaque build up and infection to dodge fatal effects.
? Bleeding Gums
If your dog’s gums bleed too much while even you use the softest brush, there may be a bacteria living in your dog’s mouth that causes this bleeding.
? Bad Breath
You must know what the usual smell of your dog’s breath is. Having a bad breath is a possibility of having a plaque in the dental area. Nevertheless, take note also that lousy breath depends on what is the last meal of your dog. Therefore, be observant of what your dog eats because there may be a misunderstanding between bad breath because of plaque and bad breath because your dog is eating rotten meat.
One sign of having any type of oral problems in dogs is having a loss of energy. In addition, lethargy occurs because of having loss of appetite and lack of sleep due to pain in the oral cavities. Weakness is also a sign of inflammation inside the body because the bacteria have already spread in the whole body.
? Spaces Between Teeth
Observe your dog if it has a loose segment of teeth. Loose teeth or wobbly teeth mean your dog has a weak dental support. Go to the vet immediately because your dog may be experiencing an infection.
? Pain when Chewing
If your dog’s teeth have been worn out or broken, it may feel a slight pain while chewing and eating. This may result in irritation that can be uncontrollable if it is not treated as soon as it is observed.
? Pus In The Oral Cavity
As mentioned earlier, pus may build up if the plaque is not scraped off, leading to a dental abscess. The pus buildup may also cause bad breath and pain to dogs.
? Red or Swollen Gums
If your dog’s gums are not bleeding but have deep red in color, there may be an inflammation inside. Inflammation of the gums occurs when there is a foreign body that is living in the mouth. It is a body reaction to show that it needs to have a medical treatment.
? Unilateral Swelling of Nasal Cavity and Under the Eye
If the infection is in the upper part of the mouth and it is not treated straight away, the infection or bacteria may travel upward, causing swelling under the eye. Swelling of eyes may also lead to pus discharges in the eyes and nose that are always visible as a simple cold or cough discharges.
? Weight Loss
Sudden weight loss is connected with oral problems. As mentioned, pain while chewing or eating may cause loss of appetite and can lead to weight loss and weakness. Weight loss in dogs also means there is something wrong with your dog’s health, not only in the oral part but in any other parts of its body.
How To Remove Dog’s Plaque
It is said that having a plaque in the teeth is normal, but it would be best if you do not let it sit there for a long time. Oral hygiene is the best way to keep your dog’s oral health, but these are also some ways to keep your dog away from plaque build up and infection.
- Brushing your dog’s teeth is a very challenging part of making your dog healthy:
- You need to set your dog’s mood to ensure its calmness and relaxation.
- Choose the recommended brush bristles that the vet gave to avoid scratching its gums and tooth enamel. Let your dog feel and taste the toothpaste first so that it will be used to the flavor.
- Talk to your dog to avoid a feeling of threat, especially if your dog has felt the bristles already.
- After brushing, give your dog a reward to train its mind the routine it needs to do before getting a treat.
? Dental Diet Treats
If your dog is too aggressive and you do not have enough time to go to the vet to brush its teeth, you can give your dog dental treats. These treats have antibacterial properties and specific consistency and hardness to scrape off the plaque while chewing. Dental treats also have flavors to enhance the smell of your dog’s breath. However, dental treats must be taken into precaution when giving them to your dog because there are some products that only need once-a-day consumption. Ask your vet on how to give dental treats to your dog correctly.
? Play With Dental Toys
Aside from dental treats, there are also available dental toys for your dog. These dental toys have a unique design that can scrape off plaques like a regular toothbrush. Dental toys also cleanse the saliva of your dog to avoid complications. Just be careful when giving dental toys to your dog because it can cause choking if given without precautions.
? Keep Your Dog Hydrated
Dryness in the mouth may cause bacteria formation. The saliva is responsible for keeping the mouth moist as it is also the reason for the complete breakdown of food. Keeping your dog hydrated, like letting it drink water at regular intervals, is like having your dog gargle out the food stocked between its teeth.
? Visit The Vet
The most important way to remove plaques from your dog’s teeth is to visit the vet regularly. The vet is the one who has the authority to diagnose what kind of oral condition does your dog has. You will also know how to properly take care of your dog’s oral health while enjoying its treats.
How To Avoid Plaques in Dog’s Teeth
☑ You can still avoid too many plaque formations in your dog’s mouth. It is always mentioned that good oral hygiene is the best way for this. Be aware also of your surroundings. You can remove the things that are hard to chew that can break your dog’s teeth.
☑ Avoid also giving rotten foods to your dog as this can lead to transferring of bacteria from the food to the mouth. It is also great to choose oral rinse and toothpaste with green tea because this substance can protect the enamel of the tooth. Antiseptics are also advisable because it reduces the chances of having an infection especially if your dog has a scratch or wound because of too much chewing.
☑ The plaque buildup may start as early as they are still young. Like humans, dogs also experience overcrowding of teeth during childhood. Overcrowding can lead to a high risk of bacteria growth because bacteria can have more homes. Remember that you can also floss your dog’s teeth, but overcrowding can lead to having no space for floss. You will feel a slight resistance while flossing, and this can hurt the dog’s teeth.
What Dog Breeds Are Prone To Dental Disorders?
You must take into consideration that there are specific dog breeds that have a high risk of developing plaques. In addition, as mentioned above, there are cases where dogs depending on their eating habits, environment, and the type of breed.
Yorkies have teeth that are easy to shed. They mostly have loose teeth that can lead to gum damage, especially if you did not notice the tooth spaces before giving them dog treats.
Chihuahua is a small breed that is prone to overcrowding of teeth. With their very small mouth, Chihuahuas have a lot of teeth and can fit more than 42 teeth, including the soft ones. They have a higher risk of periodontal disease because their teeth are scratching each other, leading to severe inflammation.
? Shih Tzus
Shih Tzus are the type of dogs that have delayed shedding off the milk teeth and also have delay onset of the hard permanent ones. As a result, they are prone to tooth impaction like wisdom teeth that can lead to a dental abscess.
Pugs are small dogs that are also prone to overcrowding like Chihuahuas. These dogs have small jaws meaning they have little support for chewing. Pugs also have a chance of developing overbite, especially if you give tricky treats that are not suitable for their tiny jaws.
Boxer type of dog has a greater chance of gingivitis. This is because they have small teeth but overgrowth gums that can cause bleeding while chewing. That is why it is advisable to give Boxers soft dental treats because they mostly use their gums for chewing.
Collies are vulnerable to dental plaques. This is because they are overbite and have many impacted teeth. Most collies also have overlapped teeth that is why plaques form fast.
Dogs’ oral health is as important as humans’. Therefore, it is essential to take care of your dog’s mouth to prevent potentially fatal disorders that can cost you a lot. Improve your dog’s dental health by giving suitable dental treats and toys. Ensure also that its food is healthy and full of vitamins responsible for a healthy gums and teeth. Such vitamins that are needed are zinc, vitamin A, antioxidants like vitamin C, fish oil, and calcium. To sum this up, good oral hygiene, regular vet check-up, and healthy dog foods are the best ways to protect your dog’s dental health.