Dental health issues are capable of leading or chronic pain in addition to other health issues for your dog. Thankfully, many dental health issues are actually quite easily avoidable through routine dental exams and professional tooth cleanings alongside some extra attention at home. Here, our Sacramento vets explain some of the key signs of health issues in dogs and easy ways to keep your pup's mouth healthy.
Your Dog's Dental Health
If you have ever suffered from a toothache yourself, you will be familiar with how dental health issues can affect your overall health - including anything from reducing your energy levels to spoiling your appetite or causing extra exhaustion from having to deal with the pain.
When your dog experiences oral health issues, they feel that way too! If your pooch develops periodontal disease or a cracked tooth, they may experience severe and chronic pain that will affect both their overall health and their general quality of life.
But how can you tell if your dog is experiencing dental health problems?
What are the signs of dental health problems in dogs?
There are a number of signs or symptoms that may indicate that your dog has a dental health issue requiring veterinary attention. If you notice any of the following symptoms, it's time to call your vet and book a dental appointment for your canine companion:
- Bad breath
- Reduced appetite
- Brown or yellow teeth
- Abnormal drooling
- Loose, broken or badly decayed teeth
- Extra teeth or retained baby teeth
- Pain in or around the mouth
- Bleeding from the mouth
- Obvious signs of tartar buildup
- Chewing, or dropping food from their mouth
- Swelling in the areas around the mouth
- Dropping food from their mouth while eating
- Weight Loss
- Short temper
- Lack of energy
- Reluctance to play
Do dogs need their teeth cleaned?
Dental cleanings once a year 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.
Brushing your dog's teeth may be easier than you think. Traditional styles of toothbrush (like you or I would use) or an easy-to-use finger brush available from most pet supply stores. 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 can I get my dog's teeth cleaned?
To learn when your dog should have their first dental appointments, 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, annually scheduled dental appointments are ideal and will help to keep dental health issues at bay.
Where should 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 Veterinary Medical Center in Sacramento 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.