BAD DOG BREATH?
There's a diet for that!
Dental disease is one of the most common medical conditions seen by veterinarians. Over 68% of all dogs over the age of three are estimated to have some form of periodontal or dental disease. Periodontal disease is a term used to describe inflammation or infection of the tissues surrounding the tooth. Accumulation of tartar(calculus) on the teeth causes gum recession around the base of the tooth. Infection soon follows and the gums recede further, exposing sensitive unprotected tooth root surfaces and the bony tooth sockets. Left untreated, the infection spreads deep into the tooth socket, destroying the bone. Ultimately, the tooth loosens and falls out.
Periodontal disease in dogs is measured in four stages. Below is a description and a picture of each of the stages. Take a look at the descriptions and when you're visiting the clinic talk about your dog's dental health.
Stage 1: Gingivitis Plaque – a transparent film of bacteria, cells and food particles – forms on tooth surfaces. Bad breath (halitosis) and reddening and inflammation of the gum line (gingivitis) occurs even though the teeth appear 'clean'.
Stage 2: Early Periodontitis Dental plaque calcifies forming tartar(calculus). Increasing inflammation is evident, along with swelling of the gum line.
Stage 3: Moderate Periodontitis Existing tartar is covered with newly-formed plaque (a transparent film of bacteria, cells and food particles). Toxins and enzymes secreted by plaque bacteria cause severe inflammation of periodontal tissues, along with some loss of tissue attachments and the beginning of bone loss.
Stage 4: Advance Periodontitis Gingivitis – inflammation of the gums – progresses to an infection of the tissues with subsequent tooth loss, gum recession and bone loss.
Like us, most pets require professional dental care during their lives. Consider that dogs experience dental pain just like people – they just have a harder time telling us about it. Also, left unchecked, periodontal disease is a leading cause of heart disease in dogs.
Regular brushing and nutrition goes a long way. When you're visiting the clinic with your pet, make sure to discuss a treatment plan with our team.
In addition to brushing and regular checkups an easy and effective way to maintain your dog's oral health is in selecting a diet especially formulated to keep your dog's teeth clean and help control the oral bacteria found in plaque. Examples include Hill's t/d and Royal Canin's Dental Formula between those who have it and those who need it. However, the Internet can bury you in contradicting views and misinformation.
Contact the clinic today to learn more about your pet's dental health and to book a complimentary dental checkup.