Dog Tooth Decay

Dogs and humans share many dental illnesses, including gingivitis and tooth decay. The good news is that if caught early enough, canine gingivitis is reversible. If left untreated, gingivitis in a dog will progress to periodontitis and tooth loss. Like in people, dog tooth decay comes in the form of cavities and abscessed teeth. Tooth extraction in dogs needs to be done under anesthesia, which may be costly – far more costly than treating canine gingivitis with natural dog teeth cleaning methods.

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Early Symptoms

It's good to get into the habit of looking into your dog's mouth. The earliest symptoms of dog gingivitis show up on the dog's gums. The dog will have far more stinky breath than usual because uneaten food or other organic materials will be trapped in the gums and rotting. Hair can sometimes be trapped in the teeth after a dog grooms himself. This rotting material forms a yellowish soft plaque which can begin the process of dog tooth decay.

Healthy dog gums look pink, like the color of fresh fillet of salmon. Gums that are a brick pink or red are not a good sign. The teeth may also seem to have shrunk, but in reality the gums have swollen, covering up part of the dog's teeth. These swollen parts of the gums trap other bits of food or fur in between the teeth and may accelerate the process of dog tooth loss.

The dog with tooth decay needs to go to the vet for an immediate teeth cleaning in order to avoid dog tooth loss. The teeth need to not only be cleaned and polished, but all traces of plague need to be removed – outside and inside of the gums. Dogs need to be sedated for this process, because it will involve cutting into and cleaning the gums.

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Worse Symptoms

If the dog's gingivitis is not taken care of, periodontitis will set in. The infection which began in the gums will spread onto the surface and roots of the teeth, causing dog tooth loss. The soft yellow plague will become hard and brown or tan in color. Anyone who has ever had a cavity or a root canal will know how incredibly painful this can be.

Dog tooth decay will give far more obvious symptoms because of the pain, including tilting their heads to one side when they eat; drooling far more than usual; not eating as much as usual; food dropping out of the mouth when trying to eat and weight loss. If nothing is done now, dog tooth loss will be inevitable.

Worst Case Scenarios

The absolute worst symptoms dog tooth decay can get in his or her teeth is ruptured tooth root. At first, the area will swell noticeably. If it bursts, then thick, foul-smelling yellow pus-like material may drip out of one or both of the dog's nostrils or produce a large swelling right below one eye. The only treatment is dog tooth loss – pulling out the bad teeth and cleaning out the infection.

Cavities in canine teeth can quickly accelerate into dog tooth loss. The easiest way to treat a cavity may be to have the tooth pulled out. Afterwards, the dog is given a round of antibiotics to kill off the rest of the infection.

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