Dog Health & More
Thursday May 10th, 2012
If left untreated, gum disease leads to tooth decay and tooth loss. Other problems, such as a chipped or fractured tooth, can cause infection, which may necessitate extracting the tooth. Worse still, untreated problems can have a domino effect on overall health, leading to heart, lung, and kidney disease.
While it may not be a priority for most owners, dental care is serious business for your dog, especially since he so often uses his mouth to interact with the world.
Fortunately, dental care is one area where dog owners can have a significant positive impact without too much effort. To tell the truth, it's a lot like taking care of your own teeth: simple steps taken now can prevent many problems (and expenses) down the road.
Regardless of your diligence with your dog's dental care, it's important to have your vet examine his teeth and gums at least once a year. This is the best way to catch problems before they become too serious.
If there's a problem with your dog's teeth, the first sign is often bad breath, caused when bacteria begin to multiply in food trapped between teeth or at the site of an infection. Other signs to watch for:
Treatments for your dog's dental problems will vary, depending on the source of the trouble. Solutions range from simple brushing at home to get rid of bad breath to medication or surgery for more serious problems.
You can take easy steps at home to help keep your dog's teeth shiny, healthy, and clean: