Posted on September 05 2011
You're excited because you have finally adopted a family dog for the household. The children have absolutely fallen in love with him or her, and so have you. You naturally want to keep your new family member as healthy as humanly possible, with the wellbeing of their teeth being at the top of the list. When your dog's teeth are healthy, the rest of her little body will be healthy as well. That's because periodontal disease is often a precursor to other more serious illnesses and diseases. However, that risk drops dramatically when your dog's teeth are properly cared for. What you need to watch for when it comes to healthy teeth include:
1. Excessive bad breath
2. Losing teeth or cracked teeth
3. Sores or ulcers in the mouth and bleeding gums
4. Noticeable gum recession (gingivitis will also mean redness and swelling of the gums)
5. Lack of appetite
There are preventative measures you can take to keep your dog's teeth healthy, which include:
1. Teeth cleaning, where the top layer of the teeth is scraped off with instruments while the dog is under general anesthesia.
2. Ultrasonic teeth cleaning, this is a newer procedure that cleans the teeth below the gum line and above as well as polishes the tooth enamel.
3. A disinfectant can be used and sprayed directly on the teeth before the cleaning to keep the bacteria from spreading.
4. Extracting teeth that are rotted and not salvageable.
5. An oral antibiotic can be given to very old dogs that cannot be put under anesthesia to prevent the spread of bacteria and infection in the mouth.
Prevention is the best line of defense against periodontal disease in dogs. One of the best ways to keep your dog's teeth healthy is by daily brushing, but you will want to use toothpaste or gel that is specifically formulated for dogs and not the same kind that you use. If you begin brushing your dog's teeth when they are a puppy, they will adjust to it, but trying to brush an older dog's teeth when they have never been brushed is often impossible.
There is a new vaccine that can help prevent the bacteria that often is the underlying cause of periodontal disease in dogs. However, just like in humans, the best way to prevent tooth disease is by brushing daily, because just like people, food gets stuck between teeth and on the surface of the teeth and just sits there, which can rot away at the teeth.
In addition, the diet you give your dog plays a huge role in periodontal disease. For instance, if you feed your dog a grain-free diet, they are less likely to have the same problems of teeth disease than a dog that is fed a high-grain diet or those foods that are filled with cheap fillers and other byproducts. The food may cost you more to feed, but in the end, it will be worth it because Fido will have a sparkling and healthy smile for much longer.
This article was written by Laura from FireProtectionOnline.co.uk, the leading supplier of fire alarms and fire hose supplies.