Dental Disease Prevention

 

 

 

In America statistics show that nearly 80% of dogs start showing signs of gum disease by the time they turn 3. There is no reason why this

shouldn’t hold true for India either. In fact I wouldn’t be surprised if the percentage would be higher here. Vets unfortunately, even some of

the best, don’t really pay a lot of attention to dog dental care until there is an obvious problem like bleeding gums, broken tooths etc. Well

that’s just too late. Prevention is better than cure and you can help your dog keep healthy and shiny teeth throughout his/her life with just a

little extra care. Remember dental problems left unattended, can lead to painful mouth infections and in very severe cases these infections

can spread and become life threatening.

 

Inspect Your Dog's Teeth

 

Do a quick assessment of your dog's mouth by looking at his or her gums: Healthy gums are pink as opposed to red, with no buildup of tartar

along the gum line. Additionally, a healthy mouth does not produce horribly bad breath. Teeth should not be overly yellow, gums should be

smooth.

Look for a vet who specializes in dental care and many do in India. Your dog's vet should do an oral exam at each annual visit especially for

older dogs, who can get abscesses which there may be no visible signs for. Your vet may have to sedate the dog for conducting a thorough

examination.

 

At the Vets

 

Dental diseases in dogs are “silent” more often than not. What that means is that the signs and symptoms may not be obvious at all.

 

If your vet diagnoses dental disease it could range from excess plaque, abscesses, loose teeth to lower-jaw fractures (which can occur due to

dental problems). He/She will probably first recommend a thorough cleaning which will involve getting below the gum line. Once the cleaning

is done with a ultrasonic sclaer or hand scaler then the vet will look for loose teeth, deep infections, exposed roots or other signs of disease

and may even have to extract some teeth.

 

The Key is Prevention

 

Daily brushing and regular checkups are key to protecting your dog’s teeth. Its just like looking after your own teeth. Your dog needs

brushing too but he just cant do it for himself! Once there is a disease it can be costly and painful to deal with so its best to try and prevent

that from happening. There is a range of dog toothbrushes and toothpastes available at Pet Shops in India. Go ahead and get a flavor she

will really love.

 

How to Brush Your Dog's Teeth

 

  1. Start with a soft toothbrush and flavored toothpaste made for pets. Human toothpaste is not recommended because it contains certain detergents that could cause your dog to have a stomach upset.
  2. Go slowly and be very positive, using food treats if necessary. Place the brush at a 45-degree angle to the gum line. Brush in a circular motion, with a firm stroke away from the tooth. Try to reach all tooth surfaces, but concentrate on the outside surface.
  3. For puppies, introduce the brush at around 6 months -- and brush regularly, at least once a day. Dogs like routines so make sure you are consistent.

 

In addition to brushing, foods and chew toys can also help maintain your dog's dental health. Look for treats that contain sodium

hexametaphosphate (SHMP), which lives in the saliva for up to 12 hours, breaking up plaque. Chew toys help deal with plaque mechanically.

While your pet chomps, tartar is broken down. Do not give Bones to your dogs. Add vegetables to your dogs food.

Finally, keep in mind the three D's of doggie dental health: daily brushing, dentistry and diet. Follow these and your dog can have healthy,

white teeth throughout the rest of its life.