Periodontal disease, or dental disease, affects more adult dogs and cats than any other health condition. The American Veterinary Medical Association found that up to 85% of adult dogs have dental disease. Unfortunately, many dog owners do not know the warning signs of dog dental disease, how it is treated, or how deadly it can become. To help your dog live a long, healthy life, you need to understand these key points of dental disease.
Can Dog Dental Disease Cause Other Health Problems?
Dog dental disease occurs when bacteria and plaque stay on the teeth for an extended period of time, usually five days. When the material hardens into tartar, it causes the teeth to erode. As the bacteria grow, they may produce different strains of bacteria and toxins, which can result in internal organ failure.
How Widespread Is Dog Dental Disease?
Your dog’s risk for developing dog dental disease increases by 20 % every year after age 3. This means that your furry-kid will have a 100 % risk for developing the disease by the time they are 8 years old. However, dog dental disease is completely preventable if you know what to look for.
What Are the Signs of Dog Dental Disease?
The hallmark sign of dog dental disease is and will always be bad breath. However, many dog owners tend to think their dog’s breath will always smell bad. If you have brushed your dog’s teeth, with an appropriate dog toothpaste, and the odor does not clear up, your dog likely has dental disease.
Malaise is the second most-common sign of dog dental disease. The disease causes pain and discomfort for your dog, in the same way you would feel bad if you had a severe toothache or cavity. Since the condition may cause other health problems, you may notice lethargy, restlessness, excessive gnawing on toys, reduced appetite, excessive water consumption, or symptoms of other medical issues, such as changes in excretory habits.
What Can Be Done to Prevent Dog Dental Disease?
Brushing your dog’s teeth is the most effective way to prevent dog dental disease. Brush his or her teeth every day if your dog will allow it. For dogs that won’t, pet-product manufacturers have created a ton of different dental cleaning products, such as Greenies, to help with reducing plaque and tartar buildup. However, you should not substitute all brushing for the use of such dental edibles. For easy at home dental care, you can start by applying a small amount of tooth paste to your finger and quickly/gently rub along the top teeth and gum line.
Additionally, you should stray from feeding your dog table food. Human food may contain harmful amounts of bacteria and disrupt your dog’s state of nutrition, which will exacerbate dog dental disease. Also, you should not give your dog liquids containing sugars, unless directed to do so by your veterinarian.
Your dog’s teeth should be cleaned annually by a professional. The process is simple, and your dog is usually placed under anesthesia to complete a full set of dental radiographs and cleaning. Furthermore, this is the treatment for dog’s already suffering from dental disease. Depending on the severity of the condition, your dog may need to take antibiotics, steroids, or other medication to help deal with the infectious nature of dog dental disease.
Although dog dental disease affects the vast majority of dogs, regardless of breed, you can take action against it. By understanding the disease and encouraging proactive behaviors, you can stop this debilitating disease. Remember dog dental disease is completely preventable.
If you have any more questions about your pooch’s dental care, book an appointment online to work with our professionals who have made animal care their lives work.