You and your children may brush, floss, and visit the dentist regularly, but your dog also deserves this attention to their mouth, teeth, and gums. While surprising for most people to learn, dogs are capable of developing harmful infections that can lead to pain and even the loss of one or more teeth. In addition, most dogs have some form of gum disease before they reach the age of three. Thankfully, with proper cleanings and examinations, you can protect your dog's oral health. Here are a few signs that it may be time for your dog's dental cleaning.
Most dogs have foul breath from time to time, but if your dog's breath is consistently bad, there may be an underlying dental issue to address.
Foul breath may stem from food particles that have built up inside your dog's mouth. Brushing your dog's teeth can remove this food and any plaque that are on the surface of the teeth. However, if your dog's breath smells like rotten eggs, they may have an early form of gum disease that requires a more involved cleaning.
Pay special attention to your dog's eating and chewing abilities. If they are not eating or eating very little, they may be experiencing pain in their teeth or gums related to a dental injury or infection.
A broken or chipped tooth can quickly become infected without treatment, causing pain and inflammation of the tooth and surrounding gum tissue. Also, dogs with gum disease may have swollen gum tissue and loose teeth that make it difficult and uncomfortable to chew and eat.
Loose or Missing Teeth
Plaque and tartar that are left on your dog's teeth will spread, increasing the risk of bacteria and serious dental issues that will break teeth, causing them to become loose or fall out. If you see your dog is missing teeth, be sure to schedule a consultation with a veterinarian immediately. Without efficient treatment, an infection may develop in the root of the missing tooth.
Some breeds tend to drool more than others. For example, an English bulldog and mastiff will drool more than a Labrador retriever or beagle. Unfortunately, drooling is also a sign that there is an issue inside your dog's mouth.
Unusual drooling is a common sign that your dog has an abscessed tooth. This infection can cause a good amount of pain and swelling in the mouth, which increases saliva production, resulting in the excess drooling.
If your dog has recently started drooling more than usual or you are noticing blood in the drool, contact a veterinarian soon.
Regular cleanings and dental examinations are important for your dog's oral health and wellness. If you are noticing one or more of the above signs, schedule a consultation with your vet today. For more information, visit a website such as http://www.gulfportveterinarian.com.