4 out of 5 dogs over age 3 may have periodontal disease.
(Source: American Veterinary Medical Association)
All dogs should have a daily oral care routine. To begin, talk to your veterinarian about a professional cleaning. It's easy to start a good oral care routine for your dog, you just have to make time for daily brushing, regular veterinary exams and cleanings. When picking out a toothpaste you shouldn’t use regular human toothpaste. Most human toothpastes include fluoride, which is extremely poisonous to dogs. You can find toothpaste formulated for dogs at most good pet stores or your Veterinarians may recommend one. When it comes to feeding your dog, dry food is better than soft food. It is less likely to stick to your dog’s gums and cause tooth decay. If food particles are not removed, they can mix with saliva and bacteria to form plaque. Within a few days, plaque calcifies and hardens into tartar, which provides a place for more plaque buildup. This may result in gingivitis. Gingivitis may develop into a more serious form of periodontal disease called periodontitis, which is irreversible and can lead to eventual tooth loss. If left untreated, the bacteria associated with periodontal disease may spread to other parts of the body, such as the heart, lungs, and kidneys. Taking care of your dog's teeth may help him live a healthier, happier life. Your dog can enjoy his new oral care routine more if you include some delicious oral care treats. Ask your veterinarian what he/she recommends.
Even if you don’t brush your dog’s teeth daily, you should be aware of the warning signs. See you veterinarian if you notice any of these signs.
· Bad breath
· Change in eating or dog’s chewing habits
· Pawing at the face or mouth
· Excessive drooling
· Misaligned or missing teeth
· Discolored, broken, missing or crooked teeth
· Red, swollen, painful or bleeding gums
· Yellowish-brown tartar crust along the gum line
· Bumps or growths within the mouth