When your dog develops a dental health problem it can lead to chronic pain as well as other health issues. Luckily, lots of dental health problems can be prevented with a combination of regular dental exams, professional hygiene cleanings, and at-home care. Here, our vets in Lafayette share ways you can tell if your dog needs a dental cleaning, as well as if they have developed any dental health problems and how to keep their mouth healthy.
Your Dog's Dental Health
If you have ever experienced a painful toothache you understand how much dental health problems can impact your overall health, from ruining your appetite to reducing your energy levels and exhaustion from managing the pain.
When your pup is suffering from a dental health issue it is very similar. If a dog develops periodontal disease or tooth decay they could experience serious chronic pain that impacts the quality of their life and overall health.
But, how will you know if your dog is suffering from a dental health problem?
How Can I Tell if My Dog Has a Dental Health Problem?
Some various signs and symptoms could indicate your dog has a dental health problem that has to be addressed by a veterinarian. If you see your pup displaying any of these symptoms you need to call your vet to schedule a dental appointment:
- Obvious signs of tartar buildup
- Brown or yellow teeth
- Bad breath
- Bleeding from the mouth
- Reduced appetite
- Chewing, or dropping food from their mouth
- Loose, broken, or badly decayed teeth
- Extra teeth or retained baby teeth
- Swelling in the areas around the mouth
- Abnormal drooling
- Dropping food from their mouth while eating
- Pain in or around the mouth
- Reluctance to play
- Lack of energy
- Short temper
- Weight Loss
Does My Dog Need to Have Their Teeth Cleaned?
Dental cleanings once a year can help to prevent the symptoms above from developing in your dog's mouth. Our vets believe that prevention is always better than treating a progressed disease.
Keeping your dog's teeth in tip-top condition can be easy. Annual professional dental cleanings including examinations, combined with a little extra care at home, can help keep your dog's mouth healthy and looking great.
What Happens at My Dog's Professional Dental Cleanings?
To start, your pooch will be sedated so your vet can safely conduct all their work, and keep your pup safe and calm.
After your dog has been sedated your vet will implement a complete examination of your pet's mouth, and look for any dental problems such as the ones listed above. Dental X-rays might also be taken to obtain a full picture of your dog's dental health.
Then your pup's teeth will be thoroughly cleaned above and below the gum line to help prevent and treat decay and periodontal disease. Sometimes, fluoride treatment and sealant will be applied to your pet's teeth to keep plaque from building up.
Following your pooch's dental appointment your vet will discuss their findings and inform you if additional treatment is needed. Dogs that have advanced dental issues might have to see the veterinarian more frequently for dental cleanings and examinations.
How Can I Clean My Dog's Teeth At Home?
Keeping your pup's teeth clean and healthy between appointments simply requires a little extra care.
Dog toothbrushing may be easier than you think. Traditional style toothbrushes (like you or I would use) or easy-to-use finger brushes are available from most pet supply stores, and when combined with a small amount of canine-specific toothpaste can make brushing your dog's teeth easy and fun for your pooch.
Starting a brushing routine while your dog is a puppy will help to make oral hygiene a normal part of your dog's day.
If your dog will not tolerate you cleaning their teeth, you can find a wide range of treats, foods, and toys designed and formulated to help improve your dog's dental health.
When Can I Schedule My Dog's Teeth Cleaning?
To find out when it's time for your dog's first dental appointment, talk to your veterinarian. Your pup's vet can evaluate the health of your dog's mouth and offer you guidance about when and how often you should bring your dog in to have their teeth cleaned. For the majority of dogs, yearly dental appointments are ideal and can help prevent dental health issues.
Where Can I Get My Dog's Teeth Cleaned?
The good news is that getting your dog's teeth professionally cleaned can be as easy as booking an appointment with your vet. At St. Francis Veterinary Hospital in Lafayette our team of veterinary professionals can work with you to provide your dog with the very best oral health care. We perform a range of dental services from cleanings to dental surgery to help keep your pup's mouth looking and feeling great.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.