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Caring for canine teeth can go a long way toward keeping your companion’s mouth healthy. Many dogs show signs of gum disease by the time they are four years old. This is mainly because their owners fail to provide proper oral hygiene. Tartar buildup is usually the root cause for weakening the dogs teeth to the point of loosening or cracking them. The bad news is that very few dog owners understand the importance of regular dog teeth cleaning, which is just as important as dog nutrition, exercising the dog and routine dog grooming.
Signs of Canine Teeth Disease
There are several vital signs indicating oral disease in dogs. Now I know that dog breath doesn’t normally smell like fresh mint. But as a dog owner, you should pay close attention at how your dogs mouth smells because bad breath is typically a sign of disease related to dogs teeth.
If you see loss of appetite, excessive drooling or unusual urinating pattern along with bad dog breath, maybe it’s time for you to have your dog examined by a vet. Dog tartar buildup (the yellowish or brownish colored substance on canine teeth) is another sign of oral disease. It causes swelling and bleeding of gums, and a host of dog dental problems including gingivitis, and periodontal disease.
A few other common signs of oral disease in dogs include:
- Loose dog teeth
- Excessive water drinking
- Whitish, yellowish or brownish tartar buildup
- Tumors in the gums
- Cysts under the tongue
- Loss of appetite
- Reluctance to chewing or crying when chewing
- Pawing at the face or mouth
Failing to provide proper oral care for your dog can have very severe consequence. We have discussed this in more detail in a previous post here. It not only affects his ability to chew, but also causes unbearable pain, bleeding, and even pus. Not a good thing for your beloved pet.
To help you get some idea and make you familiar with possible dog dental problems, we listed the most common ones below.
- Gingivitis– Inflammation of the gums as a result of plaque and tartar buildup. The gums are typically red and swollen, and they might start bleeding when your dog chews on dry food.
- Periodontitis– Disease of the oral cavity that attacks the gum, bone, and delicate tissues around adult dog teeth. Common signs include bad breath, swollen gums, loose teeth, and deep pockets between the teeth and gums.
- Pyorrhea– Inflammation of the teeth sockets and gums. Symptoms are similar to periodontitis, and they are usually accompanied by pus.
- Caries– An area of decalcification of the tooth enamel that results in cavities in the tooth. However, caries are very rare in dogs.
- Plaque– The material that coats canine teeth, adhering to the enamel. Plaque is composed of a mix of salivary polymers, inter cellular matrix of bacteria, white blood cells, and remnants of epithelial cells. Plaque is responsible for caries, periodontal disease, and tartar (calculus) buildup.
- Tartar (Calculus)– Calcium phosphate and calcium carbonate combined with organic material that is deposited on the surface of the skin. Tartar is yellowish or brownish in color, and might cause bad breath, loose canine teeth, and inflamed gums (gingivitis).
Checking your dog’s mouth regularly is important to spot potential signs of oral disease, and treating them on time. The use of dog toothpaste, a finger or regular toothbrush, and other anti-tartar products will help prevent plaque and calculus buildup. This will also prevent other problems that arise as a result of dog tartar.
Keep in mind that regular vet examinations, maybe once every 3 months, will help maintain a perfect oral condition of your dog. Identify the early signs of canine teeth diseases and keep your dog healthy and happy.