Your pup's oral health impacts their overall health. That is why it's key that you help to ensure your dog's teeth and gums remain clean and healthy. Here, our Clearlake vets share some ways you can help keep your pup's mouth in good condition.
Why should I worry about my dog's teeth?
Your furry friend's dental health is crucial to their overall physical well-being, just like it is for humans. Sadly, even young dogs can fall prey to periodontal disease and tooth decay. These issues can lead to serious health problems since bacteria can spread from their mouth to other organs in their body. Therefore, it is essential to maintain your pet's oral hygiene and keep their mouth clean and healthy.
How can I keep my dog's teeth clean?
As a pet parent, you hold a vital responsibility in safeguarding your furry friend against dental ailments. To maintain your dog's oral hygiene, consider the following tips:
- Make daily brushing a part of your dog's oral health routine. Use a finger brush or dog-specific toothbrush to remove any plaque or debris from your pup's teeth. If your dog isn't a fan of having their teeth brushed, it may help to apply a small amount of canine toothpaste to the brush. These products come in a range of flavors your pup will love.
- Use plaque prevention products recommended by your vet by applying them to your pet's teeth and gums. These will help to prevent plaque buildup from occurring between professional cleanings.
- Give your canine companion dental treats, food, or chews designed to help keep plaque buildup and tartar away.
Why does my dog need professional teeth cleaning?
While maintaining your at-home oral healthcare routine is incredibly important (as well as supplementing it with dental treats or chews), seeing your vet regularly for a professional cleaning is the missing piece of the puzzle for preventing the buildup of plaque and tartar and ensuring your dog's mouth stays clean and healthy.
Without this annual cleaning, teeth can become covered with plaque, which can lead to bad breath, gingivitis, and eventually periodontal disease, tooth decay, and tooth loss. This can also have severe consequences for your pup's overall health, as periodontal disease may lead to heart disease (when bacteria enters the bloodstream through the mouth, it can infect other organs).
Dental care is an essential part of your pet's overall physical health and wellbeing. Schedule your pup's annual physical and dental checkup appointment today. Your dog will thank you.
What happens during professional teeth cleaning?
We recommend booking an annual dental checkup for your dog. You may need to bring them in more frequently if they are prone to dental problems.
Your veterinarian will perform an oral health evaluation, looking for signs of dental problems, including:
- Bad breath
- Discolored teeth
- Plaque or tartar buildup
- Extra teeth or baby teeth that have been retained
- Swelling, pain, or bleeding in or around the mouth
- Loose or broken teeth
If you have noticed any symptoms in your dog, such as drooling, reduced appetite, and abnormal chewing, it's important to inform your vet before the dental procedure. Your vet will evaluate whether your pet is fit for anesthesia and conduct additional diagnostic tests if needed.
Once your pet is safely anesthetized, we will perform a thorough oral examination and charting. During this time, we will also clean and polish your pet's teeth and gum line.
The vet will probe and radiograph each tooth and apply a fluoride treatment to prevent plaque build-up. If advanced periodontal disease is found, a personalized treatment plan will be created to restore your pet's oral health.