Tooth decay and gum disease are just as bad for dogs as they are for humans. As a result, caring for your dog's teeth is an essential part of caring for your dog's overall health. Our Rabun County vets explain how to clean a dog's mouth and keep your pup's teeth in good shape in today's post.
Is dog dental care really necessary?
The oral health of your dog is an important component of their overall well-being. By the age of three years, dogs frequently show signs of periodontal disease (gum disease). This early onset of dental disease can have serious long-term consequences for their health.
Periodontal disease and heart disease have been linked in humans, and this appears to be true for our pets as well.
The link between heart disease and periodontal disease in dogs is caused by bacteria entering the bloodstream from the mouth, causing heart function to suffer and other organs to malfunction. These health concerns are in addition to the more visible issue of pain caused by eroded gums and missing or damaged teeth.
At-home oral health care routines combined with dental treats can help your dog keep their teeth clean and control plaque and tartar buildup. Nonetheless, taking your dog to the vet for an annual dental exam and hygiene cleaning is the best way to ensure that your pup's mouth stays clean and healthy.
Gingivitis, periodontal disease, bad breath, and, in severe cases, pain, tooth decay, and tooth loss may occur if your dog does not receive an annual professional cleaning.
What are the risks of dog teeth cleaning?
Any procedure performed under anesthesia carries risks, which is why our veterinarians evaluate all pets to ensure that they are healthy enough to handle anesthesia and perform additional diagnostics as needed to ensure that a dental exam while anesthetized is safe for your pet.
What will happen during my dog's dental cleaning appointment?
To help prevent your dog from developing tooth decay and periodontal disease, our Rabun County vets at Rabun Animal Hospital recommend bringing your dog in for a dental appointment at least once each year, or more frequently if they are suffering from more severe or recurring dental problems.
When you bring your dog to Rabun Animal Hospital for a dental checkup our vets will perform a full oral examination for your pooch and check for signs of dental issues, such as:
- Extra teeth or retained baby teeth
- Bleeding around the mouth
- Swelling or pain in or around the mouth
- Plaque or tartar buildup on teeth
- Discolored teeth
- Loose or
- Broken teeth
- Bad breath
If you notice signs of periodontal disease in your pet, such as decreased appetite (which can be an indication of tooth pain), abnormal chewing, drooling, dropping food from the mouth, bad breath, or other symptoms, contact your veterinarian immediately to schedule a dental appointment for your pet. If left untreated, oral health problems can become severe, causing your pet a great deal of pain and discomfort.
We will perform a full tooth-by-tooth examination, complete with charting after your pet has been safely sedated (just like your dentist does during your examinations).
We will thoroughly clean and polish your dog's teeth, both above and below the gum line, while he is safely and comfortably sedated. We probe and x-ray the teeth, then use a fluoride treatment to help protect against future decay and damage before applying a dental sealant to prevent plaque buildup.
If your pooch is suffering from advanced periodontal disease, we will work with you to develop a treatment plan to help restore your dog's mouth to a pain-free and healthy state.
How long does it take for a dog to recover from teeth cleaning?
Although every dog is different, you can expect your pet to begin recovering from the anesthetic within a few hours, though in some cases it may take up to 48 hours to fully recover. During this period, your dog may appear drowsy and have a decreased appetite.
How much does dog teeth cleaning cost?
The cost of dog dental cleaning varies greatly depending on a variety of factors, including the size of your dog, the condition of your dog's teeth, where you live, and your veterinarian. To get an accurate estimate for having your dog's teeth cleaned, contact your veterinarian.
However, with regular veterinary dental care, more invasive and costly procedures - and surgeries - could be avoided. Regular care will enable your veterinarian to take preventative measures to help avoid advanced tooth decay and gum disease, which can result in pain, tooth loss, and jaw deterioration.
Should I be cleaning my dog's teeth?
You, as a pet owner, play a critical role in assisting your dog in combating dental disease. Here are a few simple ways you can help keep your dog's mouth healthy and clean his teeth:
- Brush your pet's teeth daily with a finger brush from your vet or a child's toothbrush to remove any plaque or debris. It's as straightforward as brushing your teeth. If your dog is resistant to having its teeth cleaned, try some doggie toothpaste in flavors that your dog will love. These unique toothpastes can turn a chore into a pleasure.
- Use a plaque prevention product (your vet can recommend some), which you can apply to your pet’s teeth and gums. These products act as a barrier to prevent plaque buildup.
- Offer your pup treats such as dental chews or food designed to help prevent plaque buildup and tartar.
Dental care is an important part of your pet's overall health. Be sure to book your pet's annual dental appointment today, your dog will thank you.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.