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Common Dental Diseases in Dogs

 
By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. September 7, 2017
Common Dental Diseases in Dogs

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A Dog's dental health is just as important as being strict with the vaccine schedule or the type of food that you feed your pet. Many times we forget to take care of our dog's teeth because we believe that if in nature they don't brush or rinse, why would they need to at home?

However, this statement is not entirely true. Even in the wild, canines have certain mechanisms that allow them to protect their teeth and gums, and when they fail to do so, an oral problem can become lethal. That is why AnimalWised want to highlight the most common dental diseases in dogs.

You may also be interested in: Most Common Diseases in Rabbits

Teeth that don't fall out

As with humans, dogs have temporary "milk" teeth, after which their final set of teeth should appear. In spite of this, in some cases one or several of their milk teeth do not manage to detach from the gum by themselves at the right time.

This is more common than you think, and the biggest problem is that, because the space is not empty, the new teeth cannot fit into the oral cavity and are "trapped" in the gum, pushing the rest of the teeth and causing displacement and pain. If the problem persists, it is possible that several of the new teeth will fall due to pressure.

In these cases, the best option is to extract the milk teeth, for which a surgical intervention is usually necessary.

Common Dental Diseases in Dogs - Teeth that don't fall out

Tartar in dogs

Tartar is not just a dental problem itself, but is also the main culprit for most diseases that can affect your dog's mouth. In the oral cavity there are bacteria responsible for everything in order, but unfortunately they are not alone there. As your dog eats, drinks and bites, what they find in their path is introducing new bacteria and microorganisms, which will form plaque.

The plaque is deposited in the gums and between the teeth, where it gradually changes to become the annoying tartar. There the tartar begins to infect the root of the tooth, causing inflation, pain, lesions and undercutting of the tooth, which at an early stage generates gingivitis, and if it is not treated will become periodontitis.

It is possible to avoid the aggravation of the effects of tartar with deep cleanings carried out by a veterinarian, for which the use of anesthesia is required. Sometimes it is even advisable to remove the most affected teeth.

Some dogs are more likely to suffer from tartar than others, so be careful if yours meets any of these options:

  • Dog older than 5 years
  • Brachycephalic dog
  • A dwarf breed
Common Dental Diseases in Dogs - Tartar in dogs

Gingivitis in dogs

This is the first consequence of tartar, so to speak. It is characterized by bad breath, bleeding wounds on the gums, inflammation and pain. It is very common in dogs, especially in those who do not receive any kind of dental care.

The treatment is very simple, starting with the elimination of tartar and the administration of the necessary drugs to stop the effects of the infection. However, if it does not stop in time, it evolves into a periodontitis.

Periodontitis - Gum disease in dogs

This is the last phase of the consequences of tartar. At this stage, the infection has spread much more, accentuating the symptoms of pain and bleeding gums. At this point, not only the gingiva but also the root itself of the tooth is damaged, which is why the loss of the tooth is imminent.

The major risk involved in this type of infection is not the teeth falling out, but vital organs such as the heart can be affected by the problem.

Common Dental Diseases in Dogs - Periodontitis - Gum disease in dogs

Mouth lesions

Although it is not a disease, it is often a problem in dogs. The dogs are very curious and nibble what they find in their path, especially during the puppy stage, so it is common for the mouth to suffer the consequences of this exploration in a negative way.

In this sense, injuries by objects that cut the gums, or that have been embedded in them, are common. That is why it is so important to be aware of what objects the dog often takes in their mouth, and avoid anything that is sharp or even too hard, like stones.

How to prevent these diseases

When it comes to dental problems, it is best to choose to prevent them: it will save your dog much pain in this way. To do this, we give you the following recommendations:

  • Consider adding a brushing routine to your dog's teeth. There are many commercial brands of toothpaste specially formulated for dogs, with delicious flavors and that don't need rinsing after use. Never use toothpaste for humans!
  • Incorporate dry food made to maintain the health of your dog's teeth, different brands of feed have this in mind.
  • Provide toys designed to clean the gums, because while the dog has fun the object is responsible for removing the plaque.
  • Avoid giving your dog human treats or any food that could easily get stuck in their teeth.
  • Periodically check the mouth of the dog for inflammation, bad breath and embedded objects.
  • Before any symptoms of discomfort, go to the veterinarian immediately. Once a year ask the specialist to perform a checkup for all their teeth.
Common Dental Diseases in Dogs - How to prevent these diseases

This article is purely informative. AnimalWised does not have the authority to prescribe any veterinary treatment or create a diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian if they are suffering from any condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to Common Dental Diseases in Dogs, we recommend you visit our Other health problems category.

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