Not all pet owners are aware but a dog’s dental health plays a vital role in keeping their overall health in check. Veterinarians highly suggest that you keep your dog’s teeth healthy like yours to avoid complications like periodontal disease. Just like humans, they also need proper dental care, this includes brushing their teeth and regular visits to their doctor. In this article, we are going to figure out why dog teeth cleaning risks and complications occur.
Importance of Dog Teeth Cleaning
As mentioned, your dog’s dental health is just as important as yours. It may not be obvious but they are very much prone to periodontal disease and cavities. According to studies, dogs start manifesting inflammation, infection, and breakdown once they reach the age of 3. Dog teeth cleaning is important because just like us, they also develop plaque and tartar which will eventually cause other health problems.
The bacteria build-up can harm their kidneys, lungs, heart, and organs as it flows through the bloodstream.
Your dog might need regular dental cleaning if they are showing dental problems such as follows:
- stained teeth
- unpleasant breath odor
- bleeding gums
- missing teeth
- little to no appetite
- sneezing and nasal discharge
Dog Teeth Cleaning Procedure
Prior to undergoing dental cleaning, their dentist will conduct a thorough examination to ensure that they are qualified for the procedure. Sometimes, the vet will require laboratory tests to examine the dog’s overall health. This will also give them the idea as to what kind of anesthesia should they provide. The procedure is often harmless, however, risks and complications will arise if the dog is not put under anesthesia.
To guarantee the success of the cleaning and reduce risks, ensure that your dog is given anesthesia prior to the treatment. After the anesthetics set in, the vet will start cleaning their teeth by scaling the surfaces of the teeth to remove plaque and tartar. The vet will then proceed to clean their gums from underneath to prevent periodontal disease from happening.
After the initial process, their teeth will be polished. This will prevent plaque from redeveloping to start gingivitis. Depending on the condition of your dog’s teeth, they might be given fluoride or substances to block tartar build-up.
Dog Dental Care At Home
You can avoid dental problems in your dog by being a responsible owner and providing them dental care at your home. Pets are supposed to have their own hygiene kit including a personal toothbrush and toothpaste. This will greatly help in preventing the occurrence of dental diseases and you can even save money since veterinary dental cleanings are quite expensive.
Pet shops often offer hygiene necessities like soap, shampoo, toothpaste, and toothbrush that are specifically made for dogs. Brushing their teeth every day is one of the most effective ways to avoid periodontal disease and gingivitis. Select the size of the toothbrush according to the size of your dog. Additionally, make sure that the bristles are soft so they won’t feel uncomfortable. A fluoride-free toothpaste for dogs are also recommended, choose a product that is safe for your dog to swallow.
Note that water additives are not a replacement for tooth brushing and should be considered as additional dental care only. These substances help in promoting healthy oral health by killing off the bacterias in their mouth. There are a lot of odorless and tasteless water addictives in the market so you don’t have to worry about your dog being picky about it.
Dental treats and chews are typically made to help in cleaning their teeth. These products are often rich in protein and low in fat which makes them safe for frequent consumption. But if in case your dog needs to follow a strict diet, vegan and gluten-free products are also available these days.
Risks Caused By Neglected Dental Health
(Avoid Dog Teeth Cleaning Risks)
As you may already know, poor dental health in dogs might start periodontal diseases. However, that is just the beginning. It has been proven that neglected dental health is linked to many health issues that dogs usually suffer from. Below are the most common effects of periodontal disease on their overall health.
- It weakens their immune system. Once the bacteria start to set in and build-up under their gumlines, an inflammatory response will automatically follow. This inflammation can kill the bacteria but on the negative side, it can also destroy tissues. This will then result in tissue loss and infection. When this happens, the bloodstream might open up a pathway for the bacteria to dive in and infect other body parts.
- It risks your dog’s heart. Dogs with severe periodontal disease will most likely suffer from heart disease according to research. recent studies show that a huge rate of dogs suffering from heart disease is also suffering from periodontal diseases.
- It adds complications related to diabetes. Diabetes and periodontal diseases in dogs often co-exist. Dentists even testify that these two can actually complicate each other. In short, if the periodontal disease is severe, then so is diabetes and vice versa.
- It gives them pain that you’re probably not aware of. Some dogs don’t usually show signs of pain. In fact, they can even eat and play as if nothing is wrong. This is the reason why their health is usually left unchecked because owners think that everything is okay and normal. Vets recommend that you bring your dogs to regular check-ups so that irreversible health problems may be prevented.
- It might result in a broken jaw. One of the risks of poor dental hygiene is having a broken jaw. This is most commonly seen on breeds like Chihuahuas, Maltese, and Shih Tzus. Once you notice that they have an abnormally large tooth, it’s best to consult the doctor right away. This can be a very painful experience for them, so fixing the jaw immediately is very important.
Pets, most especially dogs, are typically considered as members of the family. Some people even treat them as if they are their children, giving them a comfortable home, delicious meals, and toys to play with. You will be able to give them a happier life if they are healthy inside out, so make sure to provide good oral hygiene and visit the vet from time to time.