- Dental Health

Dog Oral and Dental Diseases and Care


Dental and oral problems are important to learn, to prevent and to cure. Dogs may not live to the fullest if there’s something that bothers on their mouth. Mouth and teeth diseases will also keep the dog owner from getting too close because of unpleasant odor. Proper hygiene and oral care is important, and it ensures our dog is healthy.

Tartar Build Up. The most common form of canine dental disease is tartar buildup. This causes irritation of the gums around the base of the teeth (gingivitis), resulting in exposure of the roots. Ultimately, this leads to infection and tooth loss. Infection will accumulate in the mouth, resulting in gingivitis, tonsillitis, and pharyngitis (sore throat). Infection within the mouth will be picked up by the blood stream and carried to other parts of the body. Kidney infections, as well as infections involving the heart valves, frequently begin in the mouth. One of the main factors determining the amount of tartar buildup is the individual chemistry in the mouth. Some dogs need yearly cleanings; other dogs need a cleaning only once every few years.

Bad Breath and Halitosis. Dog bad breath is a common problem that makes unpleasant situation for dog owners. Bad breath could keep from enjoyable playing and getting close with dogs which upsetting for the dog too. Dog halitosis bad breathe is a particularly foul and offensive odor coming from dog’s mouth. While it’s unpleasant, dog bad breath can also be a sign of a serious health problem like infection or any internal health issues that releases the foul odor. Furthermore symptoms like facial swelling, pawing at the mouth, sneezing, and nasal discharge can all be signs of mouth disorders. However, even if you only observe the foul odor, it’s still important to have your dog examined by a veterinarian so that the cause of your pet’s halitosis can be identified and treated, preventing continuation of the unpleasant odor as well as protecting your furry friend’s health and happiness.

Periodontitis or Periodontal Disease. Periodontitis is the inflammation of the structures that support teeth, the gum tissue, periodontal ligament, alveolus (small cavity) and cementum (bonelike connective tissue covering the root of a tooth and assisting in tooth support). It is one of the most common infectious diseases in the world in dogs and is caused by bacteria that make up plaque. ‘Periodontal’ comes from two Greek words that mean ‘around the tooth.’ Periodontal disease is a series of changes that are associated with the inflammation and loss of the deep supporting structures of teeth. Periodontal disease is inflammation of some or all of the tooth’s support structures (gingiva, cementum, periodontal ligament, and alveolar bone). When compared to gingivitis, periodontitis indicates bone loss. Periodontal disease is caused by bacteria. Initially a pellicle forms on the clean tooth. This pellicle attracts aerobic gram positive bacteria (mostly actinomyces and strepococci). Soon more bacteria adhere forming plaque. With in days the plaque thickens, underlying bacteria run out of oxygen and anaerobic motile rods and spirochetes begin to populate the sub gingival area. Endotoxins released by the anaerobic bacteria cause tissue destruction and bone loss. Small breed and brachycephalic dogs are at greater risk of periodontal disease because their teeth are often crowded together. This results in an increased accumulation of plaque because the normal cleansing mechanisms are hindered. If gingivitis is left untreated, it will progress to periodontal disease which is irreversible. Periodontal Therapy is one of the treatment that controls plaque.

Mouth Infections and Stomatitis. Infection or inflammation in the mouth  – stomatitis – can be caused by cuts, burns, foreign bodies  stuck in the mouth, and diseases of the gums and the structures that support the teeth (periodontal disease). Metabolic diseases such as kidney failure can also cause painful stomatitis. Stick are common and potentially serious, especially those in the back  of the mouth. To treat stomatitis, the cause is addressed: physical injuries are treated, foreign objects are removed, dental conditions are corrected , and any underlying metabolic disorder are controlled to prevent recurrence. Secondary bacterial infection is common, so appropriate antibiotics are almost always used.

Foreign bodies in the mouth and throat. Dogs love to chew sticks, stones, bones and other hard materials but also potentially dangerous: sticks can cause damage to the mouth and can also crack teeth, especially molars. This may lead to tooth-pulp exposure and infection. Sticks can also lodge in the back of the throat, too far for easy removal with a spoon handle. A dog with something in its throat gags, paws anxiously at its mouth, and may drool or vomit. A foreign body in the throat may cause swelling that interferes with breathing. If the object blocks the voice box, the dog chokes and faints. Treat the dog immediately for choking. For severe cases, surgery is needed. Always supervise what the dogs chew, or rather give them balls and other chewing toys instead of sticks and other not safe to chew materials.

Dog Mouth Tumors. Tumors are uncommon but can occur on the gums, tongue or roof of mouth, or in the salivary glands. When possible they are surgically removed, followed by radiation therapy or chemotherapy.

Dog Oral Examination. The annual physical exam must include an oral exam to recognize problems with teeth, periodontal disease, and other oral diseases.  The comprehensive oral exam begins by observing the face, recognizing that there are normal breed variations but carefully observing for abnormalities.

Diet and Chewing Behavior. Studies show that hard kibbles are slightly better than canned foods at keeping plaque from accumulating on the teeth. Dogs that chew on various toys or edible dental chews may remove some of the plaque build-up.

Home Care. The owner plays an important role in the oral health care for their companion animals. We consider the pet owner and the family veterinarian as key members of our dental health care team.  Out Comprehensive Oral health Assessment and Treatment (COHAT) as well as all of our services may be ineffective without the pet owner’s involvement. It is important that the pet owner has interest in their pets’ oral health. Regular teeth brushing are strongly recommended because it is a huge benefit for pets and it allows for close observation for oral problems.


Source by Wishbone

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