Dog Dental Hygiene

Dog dental hygiene is extremely important to securing a healthy future for your dog. The mouth is the wettest and most moist location in all of the body and thus a place that bacteria love to hide. Because the effects of unmaintained dental hygiene can be very unfortunate for your dog, it is important to implement a dental hygiene routine.

Effects of Poor Dental Hygiene

Poor dental hygiene can lead to gingivitis, periodontal disease, kidney failure and heart disease. Gingivitis is a condition which occurs when the gums begin to swell as a result of too much bacteria in the mouth. As the bacteria invade the gums, it can eventually lead to the loss of teeth and a more serious condition, periodontal disease.

When periodontal disease arises, the bacteria slips underneath the gums and begins to infect the roots and the teeth can rot from the inside out. The bacteria can become so lodged down into the root structures that severe measures are required to get it out. It is also important to note that periodontal disease is irreversible and something that your dog will continue to suffer with indefinitely.

Many dog owners think that the problems with a dog's mouth are limited to his mouth. But this is simply not the case. Infection is a powerful thing which has the capability of spreading anywhere in the body that it can get to. The mouth is a perfect setting for bacteria because it is moist, which enables bacteria to thrive and grow, and it is an entrance way leading to all other areas of the body.

Although it is rare, a very severe case of poor dental hygiene (or periodontal disease), can cause the bacteria to find its way into the bloodstream. When this happens, vital organs like the kidney and heart become very vulnerable. If the condition is allowed to progress without treatment, it can eventually lead to kidney failure and heart disease.

Dental Signs of Infection

While it is true that a dog's breath is naturally not pleasant, it becomes quite foal smelling when there is a serious infection at hand. Extreme bad breath may be the first sign to tip you off that there is a problem, but it is certainly not the only sign to look for. Some of the other signs of dental infection include:

  • Rotting of the teeth
  • Swollen or bleeding gums
  • Reluctance to eat normal meals
  • Appearance of pain while eating
  • Yellowish tint of the teeth

Dental Care Tips

Good dental hygiene consists of daily maintenance and a plan of prevention to help your dog avoid serious conditions of the mouth. While it may not seem like common place to brush your dog's teeth everyday, it is something that your dog requires to maintain good dental hygiene.

If you begin by brushing your dog's teeth at a very early age, it will become a normal routine for your dog and he will be less likely to fight you on it. You will need to purchase a toothbrush that is made for use on dogs and toothpaste that is specially formulated for dogs. It is important that you never allow your dog to use human toothpaste because there are toxins in it that your dog cannot tolerate and that can be very harmful to your dog.

You should also invest in some good dental chew toys. Chewing is an excellent way to help keep the teeth clean. When dog's chew, the toys erase a lot of the calcium and plaque build-up on their teeth. Dental chew toys are very effective because there is no extra effort required and they are specially formulated to help keep your dog's mouth clean.