Your dog's smile says a lot about his personality and his health. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and many veterinarian groups have come together this February to sponsor National Pet Dental Health Month. Their goal is to bring awareness to the importance of caring for your dog's teeth and how much good oral health contributes to the overall health of your dog.
The AVMA reports that 80% of dogs have some form of dental disease by age 3. Poor dental health can lead to plaque, gingivitis and eventually periodontal disease, which can cause serious problems with your dog's kidneys, heart and liver.
Periodontal disease is caused by the build up of plaque. The build up causes inflammation which eventually leads to bone loss and can also cause tooth loss. Periodontal disease is bacterial disease and the bacteria can spread to other parts of the body and cause quite a bit of discomfort and serious problems for your dog.
Your dog should have his teeth and gums checks twice a year by your veterinarian. Foul smelling breath is often an indicator of a problem that needs to be checked. A healthy dog should have sweet smelling breath that is not offensive.
If your dog has periodontal disease, your vet will need to clean your dogs teeth, getting underneath the gum line to remove the bacteria and give a very thorough cleaning inspecting one tooth at a time.
It is recommended that you brush your dog's teeth twice a day to get rid of the bacteria build up in their mouth. The Veterinarian Oral Health Council has a list of products which they have given their seal of approval on to help keep your dog's teeth clean.
It is essential that you are proactive about your dog's oral health. If you just leave your dog's teeth without doing something on a regular basis to keep them clean and bacteria free, problems will develop.
Show your dog how much you love him by taking care of his teeth. A big white smile is free of tartar and disease and is full of love.