Dogs rarely show signs of pain from dental problems. On the other hand, dentists estimate that more than 85% of dogs over 4 years old will have some kind of gum disease. Other dental problems include cracked or broken teeth.
Your dog can’t tell you he is suffering so It’s up to you to inspect his mouth regularly and look out for signs o discomfort.
Gum Disease In Dogs
Dogs have a more alkaline mouth than humans and this makes them more susceptible to plaque formation. Plaque is a film that forms over the teeth. It is made from saliva and food particles and contains a high concentration of bacteria. If the plaque is allowed to remain in place, it thickens and hardens forming plaque. Plaque can be visible on the teeth where they emerge from the gums. (The gum line) The plaque will also be present under the gums and it is this that causes most of the problems. The bacteria are trapped in what is, for them, ideal breeding conditions. They cause infection and damage to the surrounding tissue.
Gingvitis is inflammation of the gums caused by the tartar below the gum line.
Periodontal disease is where the bacteria are excreting toxic substances which, as well as causing inflammation, cause actual tissue damage. Once this damage starts, the bacteria can penetrate further. They can destroy the root of the tooth and eventually the attachment to the jaw. This is known as periodontitis.
The white blood cells try to fight the infection and large quantities of them move to the infected area. This large accumulation of white blood cells forms a pus and the result is often an abscess on the root of the tooth.
This will eventually cause teeth to fall out or require removal because they are loose. As bad as this sounds, it is not the end of the story. Bacteria from the damaged areas can enter the blood stream and damage a dog’s kidneys, heart and liver.
Symptoms of Periodontal Disease In Dogs.
The first sign of this disease could be bad breath. Your dog could also have trouble eating
Other symptoms include:
Inflamed or swollen gums
Pawing at mouth
Loss of weight or loss of appetite
What You Can Do
By far the best thing your can do is prevent the problem in the first place.
Your dog should have his teeth cleaned regularly and tis process should start when he is a puppy.
Start with a clean slate, so get your vet to check your dog’s mouth before you start.
Ask your vet about changing your dog’s diet to one that promotes clean healthy teeth. This could include replacing kibble with meat bones.
Related Article: How To Clean Your Dog’s Teeth.
Problems With Dogs’ Teeth
Problems With Dogs’ Teeth
Apart from damage from gum disease, most problems with your dogs teeth will stem from physucal damage. Dogs rarely need fillings. The broken or cracked teeth which appear, are usually be caused by trauma or by biting down on a hard object.
Avoid feeding your dog brittle bones.