Maintaining your Dog’s Teeth and Oral Health
– by Randy Jones
The most common oral condition suffered by dogs is periodontal disease. This disease affects the tissues that surround and support the teeth. Plaque is the usual cause of periodontal disease. It gradually covers the teeth, quickly hardening into tartar.
The bacteria in plaque irritate the gums, causing them to swell. This swelling is called gingivitis. Each day the gums grow more inflamed, producing other damaging bacteria, causing the gums to recede. Over time the tooth becomes loose, followed by tooth loss.
Aside from being very painful, and the possible loss of teeth, periodontal disease can become a reservoir of infection and bacteria to the blood, and from the bloodstream, to the vital organs, such as heart, kidneys, lungs, and liver. Common symptoms of periodontal disease are consistently bad breath, yellow to brown masks on the teeth, reddened gums and exposed tooth roots, reluctance to eat, drooling, difficulty in chewing, and mouth pain, usually shown by pawing at the mouth, or rubbing his face against the ground.
All dogs are at risk, especially in dogs with small mouths, short muzzles and flat faces, as well as senior dogs. Tooth brushing on a regular basis can minimize plaque buildup, and regular visits to the vet can identify any hidden damage to the teeth and gums before it gets out of hand.
Treatment can range from tooth brushing, descaling, usually carried out by the vet with the patient under a general anesthetic, to advanced dental-surgery techniques. Early detection is the best treatment of all. Controlling your dog’s diet can have a big impact on his teeth. Dogs who are fed mostly soft foods suffer more periodontal disease than those who must chew.
Help your dog maintain his good health by frequent visits to the vet, regular tooth brushing, maintaining a healthy diet, and occasionally giving him a chew toy or bone. The benefits will last a lifetime.
About The Author: Randy Jones and his partner Brent Jones have been in the pet industry for a long time. Recently they formed www.joncopets.com. On the site, customers can shop for the latest dog collars, dog clothes, pet supplies and more. Visit the site at www.joncopets.com.