The 4 Most Common Dental Problems for Dogs
By age three, 80% of dogs are inflicted with periodontal disease. Although veterinarians explain the importance of dog dental care, about 65% of pet owners report that they do not brush their dog’s teeth. When it comes to caring for your pet, oral hygiene should be a part of your routine. At the very least, your pet’s mouth should be examined at a dog vet clinic at least once every year.
Dog dental care is an essential part of pet healthcare and is vital for your furry friend’s happiness. You may not know what to look for when considering your dog’s oral health, so below, you can find a list of four common dog dental care issues.
Common Tooth Problems for Dogs
1. Loose Teeth: Just like kids, puppies lose their first set of teeth to make room for their permanent teeth. Your kids may start finding their own teeth beginning to wiggle around age five or six, but your puppy will start to lose teeth between four and six months of age (that’s around seven years old in dog years!). It is important during this time in your dog’s life to regularly check inside his mouth. Just like with people, a baby tooth may fail to fall out, and an adult tooth will come in where there is little or no room to grow, causing it to come in crooked. See your vet if you notice two teeth closely occupying the same spot.
If your adult dog is experiencing loose teeth, this should be a red flag. This usually results from some kind of trauma to the mouth, illness, or gum loss as a result of periodontal disease.
2. Periodontal disease: Symptoms of periodontal disease include swollen and bleeding gums. This is the most commonly diagnosed dental problem in dogs. Plaque builds up on the teeth and becomes tartar. When tartar is under the gum line, gums become puffy and red and develop gingivitis. Gingivitis, if left untreated, progresses to periodontal disease, which causes the gums to recede, eventually leading to tooth loss. This leaves your dog vulnerable to infection, which can spread throughout his body.
3. Broken or cracked tooth: Dogs love to chomp and chew, so you need to be aware of what you dog has in his mouth at all times. Hard objects can crack or break a tooth. When this happens, the nerve of the tooth can be exposed, which can be very painful. The tooth also becomes vulnerable to infection.
4. Tooth root abscess: When an infection sets in as a result of any of the above problems, your dog may experience a tooth root abscess, which occurs if the root becomes exposed to bacteria. This will be incredibly painful, so you will notice that your dog is having difficulty eating or avoid eating altogether, facial swelling, and even an eye infection as the eye is located close to the tooth’s root. Inside his mouth, you will see a bump or swelling of the gums, which will appear red and highly irritated.
If you have any questions, feel free to share in the comments.