85% of all pets have periodontal disease by the time they are 3 years of age. Periodontal disease is a progressive disease of the supporting tissues surrounding teeth and the main cause of early tooth loss. This disease starts when bacteria combine with food particles to form plaque on the teeth. Within days, minerals in the saliva bond with the plaque to form tartar, a hard substance that adheres to the teeth. The bacteria work their way under the gums and cause gingivitis --- inflammation of the gums. Once under the gums, bacteria destroy the supporting tissue around the tooth, leading to tooth loss. The bacteria associated with periodontal disease can also travel in the bloodstream to infect the heart, kidneys, and liver.
A professional vet dental cleaning is the only way to remove tartar from the teeth and under the gum tissue to protect your pet's health. With a professional dental cleaning and follow-up care, gingivitis is reversible. Periodontal disease is not reversible, but diligent at-home dental care and regular vet cleanings/groomer brushing can slow down the progression of the condition.
Just like humans, your dog's teeth should ideally be brushed daily. Unfortunately, with most having busy schedules, that may not be a realistic expectation. Brush your dog's teeth as often as you can or at least once weekly plus your regular vet brushing and grooming brushing. If your dog doesn't like tooth brushing, it's important that you learn to train them for it, as it is vital to your pet's health and well being. If your dog is not a fan of having their teeth brushed, try choosing a better time like once they've exercised and are tired.
** Don't ever use human toothpaste! Human toothpaste contains fluoride, which is poisonous to dogs. Since they can't rinse or spit, they swallow everything you put on their teeth. Dog toothpaste can be purchased at your pet store or online, as well as dog toothbrushes/finger brushes.
With the busy lifestyles of most people these days, luckily, they have treats or toys that can aid with your dog's dental health. It's important though not to rely solely on the teeth cleaning treats and toys and neglect tooth brushing. They are a great tool, but still don't forget to brush your dog's teeth!
If you're not sure how to brush your dog's teeth, there are YouTube videos that will show you or you can check here Dental Care or here How To Brush
February is Dog Dental Hygiene Month and our salon is offering $5.00 tooth brushing (regular price $10) and tooth brushing is a walk in service!