Does my dog have canine dental disease?

There are several symptoms of dental disease in dogs that make it fairly easy to recognize. Check this list, and see if you have noticed any of them in your dog.

  • Drooling. Dogs with bad teeth and sore gums often dribble. If the disease is bad enough, the saliva may be blood tinged.
  • Bad breath. If your dog’s breath knocks you over when he comes up to give you a kiss on the cheek, it’s time to have a closer look in his mouth.
  • Difficulty eating. If your dog has sore teeth and gums, it will be painful to chew his kibble. Because there’s nothing wrong with his appetite, he will be keen to eat but will back off when it hurts.

If any of these symptoms sound familiar, take your dog along to your veterinarian to have his teeth and mouth examined.

There are 12 separate steps to having your dog’s teeth checked and cleaned by your veterinarian. Let’s look at them one by one.

1.    Your dog will have a general health check, and pre-anesthetic blood tests if necessary.

2.    His teeth will be examined closely under general anesthesia.

3.    Any obvious hard chunks of tartar will be removed.

4.    The tooth roots below the gum line will be cleaned and scaled.

5.    All surfaces of the teeth will be polished.  Plaque appears to be less able to stick to a smooth surface.

6.    The gums and gum sockets will be flushed to clean out any leftover debris.

7.    Fluoride is applied to the teeth to help prevent decay.

8.    X-rays are taken to look closely at the tooth roots and areas below the gum line that can’t be seen with the naked eye.

9.    Further treatment such as extractions may be needed depending on the results of the x-ray.

10.  A dental chart will be made which will be a permanent record of how many teeth your dog has, and what treatment has been given so far.

11.  Your veterinarian will give you detailed instructions on how to care for your dog’s teeth at home.

12.  Many veterinarians will invite you back for a follow up visit to check that your home care is going well.

Ideally however you can avoid all of this by  brushing your dog’s teeth daily to prevent the accumulation of plaque, which will lead to gingivitis and periodontal disease.

Any job is easier if you have the right equipment. To properly care for your dog’s teeth at home, you will need a KissAble toothbrush and  toothpaste.  The unique design of this doggie toothbrush allows you to clean all parts of your dog’s tooth at once, which means it gets done quicker, and he doesn’t have to sit still as long.  The KissAble toothpaste is pleasant for your dog because it doesn’t lather and it tastes great. If you are looking for a quick fix, invest in some canine breath freshener. This is a fast and easy way to get rid of a very smelly problem!

Good dental care is an important part of your dog’s preventative health care program.  Don’t wait until your dog has dental disease before taking action. Start brushing your dog’s teeth at home today. A few dollars for some canine dental products will save you a lot of money over the long run.


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