Common Dental Problems in Dogs

December 17, 2021
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Dental disease is a condition that affects not just humans but also animals. The disease is one of the most common issues that veterinarians deal with. More than 80 percent of dogs over three years have active dental disease. 


Most dogs do not exhibit obvious symptoms of dental disease in the early stages. As a pet parent, it is up to you to protect your pet’s dental health. A veterinarian can help uncover the often-painful condition. It is vital to know the common dental problems in dogs. 




Dental Problems in Dogs



Dogs often suffer from the same oral diseases that people get. Cavities and tooth decay are the most common condition in humans. Dogs also suffer from the same. The most common dental problem in dogs is periodontal disease. Tooth decay is rarer in dogs, representing 10 percent of all dental issues. Fractured or broken teeth are other common dental problems in dogs. 




Periodontal Disease in Dogs



Periodontal disease is a condition that describes inflammation and infection of the gum tissue. The periodontium is the tissue that surrounds the tooth, namely the gingiva, the cementum, the periodontal ligament, and the alveolar bone. 


Periodontal diseases usually begin as gingivitis. If not treated, the infection spreads deep into the tooth socket, often destroying the bone. Eventually, the tooth becomes loose and may end up falling out. 




Tartar Formation in Dogs



The mouth contains a host of bacteria. As the bacteria grow and increase on the tooth surface, an invisible layer known as plaque is formed. Over time, the plaque can become resistant to natural removal by the dog’s chewing or the tongue. The plaque will often thicken and mineralize, resulting in tartar. 


Tartar is a rough substance that attracts additional plaque that sticks onto the tooth surface. The bacteria encounter the gums, resulting in inflammation. Cleaning or brushing your dog’s teeth regularly will help prevent tartar formation.




Chipped/Fractured/Broken Teeth



The center part of the tooth is known as the pulp, and it is covered by dentin that is harder. Over the dentin is the much harder enamel. A dog’s tooth can become damaged, causing chips, fractures, or breakage. 


A simple chip or fracture exposes the sensitive dentin. A complicated fracture extends deep, exposing the pulp that contains blood vessels and nerves. Chips and fractures often occur when the dog chews on hard objects such as bones, plastic toys, and more. 




Routine Dental Cleaning 



A good way to protect your pet’s dental health is through routine dental cleaning. Professional dental cleaning involves dental examination, dental scaling, and polishing. The process helps remove all plaque and tartar from the tooth surface. 


The veterinarian will begin by performing blood tests to ensure that the liver and kidney function can handle anesthesia. They can use X-rays to assess the condition. The veterinarian will make specific recommendations for your pet. 


As a pet owner, you must know your dog’s mouth. Examine your pooch’s mouth regularly so that you know when there is a problem. Remember, your dog is not likely to tell you of a toothache. 




To understand more about common dental problems in dogs, visit The Vet In Springboro at our office in Springboro, Ohio. You can call (937) 748-6363 today to schedule an appointment.

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