One of the most common medical problems that dogs suffer from is tooth and gum disease.
Most dogs from about the age of three will have some degree of gum disease. The warning signs are:
- Bad breath
- Yellow or brown tartar on the teeth and around the gum line
- Dribbling saliva
- Swollen or bleeding gums
- Eating to one side of the mouth
- Refusing to play with toys
- Not wishing to eat due to sore or loose teeth.
Painful teeth and gums can also cause your dog to become irritable or miserable, so check regularly to maintain a healthy mouth.
Many dogs are given dried food and they tend to eat their food by crunching and using the tongue to push the food to the back of the mouth to swallow.
This way of eating food means that the dog’s teeth and gums do not get the exercise needed to remove plaque deposits.
These deposits, which are made up of bacteria and food particles, build up on the surface of the teeth and cause a small pocket to form between the tooth and the gum. As time goes by, this plaque hardens into tartar (that yellowish formation on the teeth). The pocket between the gum and tooth deepens and infection can then enter causing gum, and in some severe cases, bone disease. When the supporting bone is affected some teeth then become loose and fall out.
There are some dogs, and also people, who seem to have the type of saliva that increases the build-up of plaque.
It is very important for owners to help keep your dog’s gums and teeth as clean as possible to minimise expensive and sometimes stressful dental work in your dog’s life.
All puppy owners should teach their puppies to get used to their mouth being felt. This is strange for a dog to begin with but they soon get used to it.
How to get rid of tartar
on your dogs teeth:
LOOK at your dogs teeth, it things are really bad you probably need to contact your vet. So, try to catch it early, so that you can follow this plan
Use a product to work on engrained plaque and tartar. Plaque off is simply added to your dogs meal and the natural seaweed improves the state of your dogs saliva thus helping to reduce plaque. Dental gel is an enzymatic product to help to reduce tartar and plaque.
Treatment for keeping a healthy mouth
Getting down to the bones of it.
The most natural way for dogs in the wild to keep their teeth and gums healthy is to chew on rawbones. There is, currently, a lot of controversy about feeding your dog bones, so you must do your research and decide on this for yourself.
Chewing on bones can help to keep the teeth clean and massage the gums. Raw bones are less likely to splinter than cooked ones, but there is a possibility that they may harbour salmonella bacteria. Cooked bones have the fat seeped out of them and are less stable, so much more likely to splinter and cause problems. Hard baked bones can cause fractures in the teeth if the dog chews too hard. No matter what you choose, bones should never be given unsupervised.As an alternative to bones, you could give your dog a dental chew. Some of these have special enzymes to help prevent the build-up of plaque.
Or you could try one of the plastic or nylon bones or tugger ropes.
Specially made toothpaste such as Dorwest Roast Dinner Toothpaste (available from www.k9centrel.co.uk) can be used to gently massage your dog’s gums and teeth. Many dog toothpastes have enzymes designed to inhibit plaque-forming bacteria. They have an appealing taste, are safe for the dog to swallow, and need no rinsing. The paste can be applied to a soft bristle brush or a rubber finger brush.
In order to be effective this needs to be done every day, as plaque starts to develop 6-8 hours after previous brushing. If you have a puppy, you can start getting him used to having his teeth cleaned and mouth handled, by massaging his gums with your fingers on a daily basis.
|An addition to this is to use a Dental Kong - let your dog brush their own teeth!
This is a strong rubber toy with grooves that gently clean the dog’s teeth and gums as he chews. Toothpaste can be squeezed into the grooves to give a mild abrasive and aid the removal of plaque.
Use a nylon chew to help to gently massage the teeth and gums and get rid of more plaque and tartar.
Use a dental kong or kong dental stick. Dental Kongs have grooves and ridges that massage the teeth and gums. Hints on how to teach your dog to like chewing them are here.