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Doggy Dental Care: The Dangers of Periodontitis in dogs

 by zack on 09 May 2013 |
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So news flash: plaque, tarter, and periodontal issues don’t just exist in the human mouth. Dog chompers might be a good bit sharper and a lot more resilient than your human mandibles, but at the end of the day they need some maintenance as well. Periodontitis in dogs can be a serious condition. It starts out with bad breath, then tooth decay, but eventually it can lead to more serious conditions like infections or even heart disease. Periodontitis is caused by an excess of microbacterial organisms that are allowed to thrive in the dog’s mouth because a lack of proper tooth and gum maintenance. An early sign of this disease is bleeding gums. So be sure to check for that early symptom.

In canine periodontitis’ late stages it becomes irreversible. It forms cavities in dog’s teeth and these cavities then fill up with pus. Eventually the teeth will become loose, and finally the dog’s gums will recede while the roots of the tooth itself die. It’s a horribly gruesome sight, and something that no dog should have to go through. Especially when it’s so easy to prevent.

Prevention is easy to go about. It starts with proper puppy nutrition. The higher quality food you give the dog, the lower the chances of developing a nasty condition like bleeding gums, gingivitis, or the like. You can also help prevent periodontitis in dogs with dental friendly chew toys of which there are many. Dog’s love to chew, so you might as well purchase a toy that has some dental benefit to help meet this psychological puppy imperative. Finally it comes down to a chore that no one really looks forward to, but it’s a necessary part of life: tooth brushing.
Dog’s dental care isn’t as bad as it sounds, and fortunately it’s an effort you can manage in the security of your own home. You can go and get a dog’s teeth professionally cleaned by a veterinarian, and should annually do so, but most of the time it’s more important to grab a soft bristled brush and go to work yourself. You can make a routine of it, and get it down to a daily basis. Preferably start when your dog is tired and relaxed. So perhaps after a big meal or a long walk would be the ideal time to get to work.

Get a tasty toothpaste that you furry friend won’t mind, as well as a handle long enough to reach those out of the way spots in the back of the dog’s mouth. It’s a process getting your dog used to the idea of having the brush in their mouth, but if you introduce the process to them slowly and reward them for their patience, they’ll take to it eventually. Make sure you use circular motions with the brush and concentrate on the outside of the canines and molars.

If you can keep this routine up daily, you can keep your dog’s dental care costs to a minimum.

Image via the Celebrity Dachshund


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