Dental care for dogs is an essential yet sometimes overlooked part of good grooming. Paying attention to canine oral hygiene helps to maintain their overall health and wellbeing and prevent periodontal disease.
Periodontal disease is an infection or inflammation of structures supporting the teeth, such as the gums, the roots, and their interrelated parts. It is the most common dental condition in dogs, with 80% of them developing active dental disease by the age of three.
Here are six common signs and stages of periodontal disease:
1. Bad breath
This condition often goes ignored or unnoticed because dog owners consider it a normal occurrence. But canine bad breath that is severe enough for a human to feel nauseated warrants attention.
2. Appetite and Weight Loss
If canine teeth become inflamed or infected, dogs may show discomfort or pain when eating, or struggle to chew, or lose their appetite altogether.
When bacterial biofilm accumulates on the surface of canine teeth, it gradually transforms into a hardened thin coat called plaque.
Plaque bacteria releases toxins that damage the surrounding tissues, resulting in inflammation of the gums known as gingivitis.
Oral inflammation can lead to loss of the structural tissues surrounding the teeth, which show up as jaw fracture or loose teeth.
6. Organ Disease
Untreated periodontal disease can spread to the heart, kidney, or liver once oral bacteria enters the bloodstream.
Keep canine teeth in good condition by practicing these four tips:
- Brush canine teeth regularly.
- Use dental wipes for quick clean ups.
- Provide dog chews and dental treats for self-cleaning.
- Take your dog to the veterinarian twice a year for a dental check-up.
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