By Dr Kim Tran
(Above, a before picture of a dog with severe dental plaque and dental disease)
Dental health is extremely important to the overall health of your pet, whether a cat or a dog!
Tartar levels have been correlated with heart disease and kidney disease. We believe it is because the dental tartar creates a pocket of bacteria that are shed to the rest of the body through the blood stream.
Dental tartar starts to build up earlier for small dogs, who can also be born with defects such as retained deciduous teeth, a condition where the baby teeth do not fall out. Tartar is trapped between the teeth and severe dental disease between them can cause the loss of both the baby teeth and adult teeth.
Dogs with short faces can also have more crowding in their mouth. The close contact of the teeth can lead to food being trapped between them and eventually severe dental disease.
Dogs who overgroom and eat hair can get it stuck between their teeth. The trapped hair can collect food particles and cause severe dental disease.
Routine dental cleanings can prevent painful, abscessed teeth, allow removal of diseased teeth, and keep breath smelling fresh and clean.
Dogs are put under full anesthesia to allow us to clean under the gum line and remove severely diseased teeth.
Keeping a pet’s teeth clean greatly enhances their quality of life. Clean teeth create fresh breath, and give you peace of mind.
Teaching dogs how to accept having their teeth brushed can slow the progression of dental disease, and keep their teeth healthy longer.
How to comfortably brush your pet’s teeth. Our technician Jesse demonstrates with her dog Hendrix, who loves getting his teeth brushed!
First, gently introduce the dog-specific toothpaste to your dog’s mouth. He or she often likes the flavor and will take it well.
Now, gently introduce the brush to the front teeth and use gentle circular motions to clean the surface of the teeth. In general, without preexisting crowding, the front teeth tend to be cleaner than the back chewing molars.