Canine Oral Disease Issues
Dogs teeth attract food particles which get stuck between the teeth and attract bacteria. Plaque and tartar build-up begins to form and gets down into the gum line. In older dogs bad breath is evident and you can see the discoloring of the molars. Dog dental care is a must! Minerals, together with saliva, work to form tartar on the plaque. This sticks on the tooth and will then irritate and inflame the gums. Gingivitis is a common canine periodontal disease which occurs when the plaque mineralizes. If this is neglected, calculus will grow and begin to separate teeth from the gums. This then will form loose 'pockets' and enable even more bacteria to grow. There is little to be done except expensive professional periodontal care. The pain and expense is avoidable these days. There are many quality products easily available to take care of your dog's teeth at home.
Many factors contribute to plaque formation. Periodontal disease is the result of different conditions. Wet food, poor nutrition, breed, age, tooth alignment, mouth environment and grooming habits are a few. Some dental chews remove a little plaque but not enough or regularly enough. Small breed dogs are susceptible to oral diseases because their teeth are crowded together, resulting in accumulating plaque and less room for cleaning. Grooming can also cause problems when the hair gets stuck between the teeth and causes tartar development. Some dogs have open mouths much of the time. This also invites a build-up of tartar as the oral cavity is dryer.
Control as well as treatment for periodontal disease is essential. This is not just to preserve healthy gums and teeth but to prevent harmful bacteria from spreading into the body affecting the heart and kidneys.
It is suggested you have your veterinarian diagnose the oral health of your dog. If home cleaning is suggested, he or she will show you how. There are sprays, gels, dog toothpastes and brushes available to use at home. Regular brushing last thing at night is better, since these products work best with the saliva. Remove the water dish and replace it first thing in the morning. Patience and persistence are necessary along with plenty of praise. Swiping a finger with a little toothpaste or gel along the gum line would be a good way to start before introducing the toothbrush. This may take some time, but being aware of the alternative should be enough to prove how beneficial and rewarding home cleaning is.