If your dog is experiencing dental health problems they will not only be in pain but also at risk of other health concerns. Luckily, by ensuring routine dental care and cleanings you can help keep your dog's mouth healthy. Our Albany vets share the signs that your dog is in need of their teeth cleaned and how you can help care for their teeth at home.
Your Dog & Their Teeth
Just as with humans, if your dog is experiencing discomfort or tooth pain it will affect their overall health, from reducing their energy level to having a reduced appetite and the exhaustion of dealing with the pain.
If your pup develops tooth decay or periodontal disease they can experience significant chronic pain that affects their overall health and quality of life.
But how can you tell if your dog is experiencing dental health problems?
What are some signs that your dog has dental concerns?
There are a number of signs and symptoms that can indicate that your dog has dental health issues that need veterinary attention. If you notice any of the following symptoms it's time to call your vet to book a dental appointment for your pooch:
- Bad breath
- Loose, broken or badly decayed teeth
- Extra teeth or retained baby teeth
- Brown or yellow teeth
- Obvious signs of tartar buildup
- Abnormal drooling
- Chewing, or dropping food from their mouth
- Reduced appetite
- Dropping food from their mouth while eating
- Pain in or around the mouth
- Bleeding from the mouth
- Swelling in the areas around the mouth
- Lack of energy
- Weight Loss
- Short temper
- Reluctance to play
Does my dog need their teeth cleaned?
Dental cleanings once a year can help to prevent the symptoms above from developing in your dog's mouth. Our vets believe that prevention is always better than treating a progressed disease.
Keeping your dog's teeth in tip-top condition can be easy. Annual professional dental cleanings including examinations, combined with a little extra care at home, can help keep your dog's mouth healthy and looking great.
How do dogs have their teeth professionally cleaned?
Your vet will need to sedate your dog in order to provide proper dental care, as this is the safest way to perform examinations and to have your dog's teeth cleaned.
Once your pup is successfully sedated your veterinarian will perform a comprehensive examination of your pup's mouth, checking for dental issues such as those listed above. Dental X-rays may also be taken in order to get a complete picture of your dog's dental health.
Your dog's teeth will then be thoroughly cleaned above and below the gumline to help treat and prevent decay and periodontal disease. In some cases, fluoride treatment and sealant will be applied to your dog's teeth to help protect against further plaque buildup.
Once your vet has completed the dental examination they will share any of their findings or concerns with you. Dogs with advanced dental issues may need to see the veterinarian more often for dental cleanings and examinations.
Does my dog need to have their teeth cleaned at home?
Keeping your pup's teeth clean and healthy between appointments simply requires a little extra care.
The task of brushing your dog's teeth may be easier than you think. Traditional style toothbrushes (like you or I would use) or easy-to-use finger brushes are available from most pet supply stores, and when combined with a small amount of canine-specific toothpaste can make brushing your dog's teeth easy and fun for your pooch. Ensure that you never use toothpaste that is made for human use as these can be toxic for your dog.
Brushing and cleaning your dog's teeth will be easiest if you begin this task when they are still a young puppy.
If your dog does not do well with having their teeth cleaned at home, you can find a wide range of treats, foods and toys designed and formulated to help improve your dog's dental health.
When will my dog need their teeth cleaned?
Your vet will recommend the appropriate time for your dog to have their first dental visit. Your dog's veterinarian will perform a complete oral examination and provide you with guidance as to when and how often you should have your dog's teeth cleaned. For most dogs, annual vet dental appointments are ideal and keep dental health issues at bay.
Where can I bring my dog when they need their teeth professionally cleaned?
When your dog needs to have their teeth cleaned you can bring them to have the cleaning professionally done with your vet.
If your dog is experiencing a severe dental condition that may require surgery then our vets at Dockery, Mobley & Associates Animal Hospital in Albany are able to perform comprehensive dental surgeries in order to restore your dog's oral health.
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.