5 Warning Signs of Dental Disease in Dogs

Dog dental care often goes overlooked but it should be an important part of taking care of your pet. Visit our blog to find out how you can help your dog with better dental care.

Unlike humans, dogs don’t brush their teeth twice a day or floss between meals to keep their breath fresh and their smiles white. Because it’s not a particularly routine part of caring for your pet, dog dental care often goes overlooked. It is, however, a very important part of pet healthcare.

By age three, a whole 80% of dogs and 70% of cats suffer from periodontal disease. Not only does this dental disease cause tooth decay, it can also travel through your dog’s body, affecting the lungs, kidneys, and heart.

Detecting periodontal disease can be as simple as opening your dog’s mouth and checking out his teeth and gums. Here are a few warning signs to look out for:

1. Inflamed gums
Dogs get gingivitis, too. Caused by bacteria that lingers in the mouth from food stuck in the teeth, gingivitis is a disease that causes gums to become red, swollen, and bleeding. The bacteria will gather under the gum line and cause a serious infection.

2. Swollen jaw
As the infection gathers around the root of the tooth, it creates an abscess, causing the jaw to become swollen. You should notice a lump on the lower jaw by the neck or on the upper jaw around the eye.

3. Plaque and tartar
Plaque is a sticky film on the teeth, which is composed of saliva and food particles. When plaque is left unattended, it hardens into a thick formation called tartar. This occurs in both dogs and humans.

4. Nasal discharge
As gums become infected and the roots of the teeth abscess, pockets of pus can reach the sinus cavities. As the infection spreads to the sinuses, your dog may develop cold or flu-like symptoms, including a runny nose and sneezing.

5. Stinky breath
Dogs’ breath typically doesn’t smell like roses, but when infected by a dental disease, it can become much worse than usual. If you notice a sour, acrid odor, it may be a sign of disease in the mouth as well as other internal organs.

Dog dental care is about much more than making sure your pup has a sparkling white smile. Poor oral hygiene can lead to a long list of health problems in both animals and humans. If you notice any of the signs listed above, take your furry friend to the dog vet clinic right away.