Dogs have a huge amount of bacteria in their mouths. They settle on teeth in the form of a mushy coating called plaque. Apart from damaging the dental enamel and causing tooth decay, they also form a layer into which minerals are stored. The result of it is the formation of tartar, hard material of yellow-grayish colour that covers teeth, mainly near the gums. This tartar detaches the edge of the gums and enables penetration of bacteria to the root of the tooth. This way they cause gingivitis (inflammation of the gum tissue) and inflammation of periodontium (tissue that surround and support the teeth) – so called periodontitis. The consequence of periodontitis are much more serious than they seem. It is not only unpleasant odor from the mouth, which pesters not only us but also the dog, or premature loss of teeth. Bacteria excrete dangerous poisons that are spread via blood through the entire body and severely damage kidneys and heart.
Untreated parontitida is the cause of heart defects, diabetes and chronic kidney failure. All these diseases impede the removal of tartar, because it has to be done under anesthesia, which is risky especially for dogs with heart disease or kidney disease. A vicious circle is complete. (In addition, these diseases may greatly manifest in your wallet, since the drugs along with necessary diets are expensive).
Lifelong dental care stands for significant extension and improvement of the dog's life by several years.
You should start with taking care of the teeth right from the puppies. Purchase a special toothbrush and clean daily the cheek side of teeth. It takes about a minute at maximum. You can accustom even an old dog to teeth cleaning, you just need to “bribe” it with a dos paste or treats while performing the cleaning.
Force your dog to chew. Give it chew treats, which it has to process at least for two or three minutes. You can also spread a special enzymatic toothpaste all over them. It will dissolve the plaque. Apart from mechanical wiping of the teeth, the dog massages its gums by chewing, which is essential for their blood supply and protection.
Buy larger granules, which the dog has to chew before swallowing. Not only it devours less, but it also chews. If you feed with home prepared diet, dental care is absolutely essential. The plaque is produced much faster at these dogs and in a greater extent.
Check the condition of your dog's teeth. Once you can feel an unpleasant odor from its mouth, it is time to go to a veterinary check up and tartar cleaning via ultrasound. The procedure is performed in a gentle anesthesia, which is much less dangerous for your dog than untreated gingivitis. (And also much less traumatic than your pushing away, saying go away, you stink etc. It does not understand you, does not get the reason why you are so angry).
The formation of tartar may also be reduced when you use bottled water for the dog to drink in the areas with hard water. Likewise, there are special granules that limit the occurrence of plaque. Toothbrush, however, is the cheapest solution in any case.
© This article was taken from website www.mujvet.cz and its publication is subject to prior written approval of Mrs MVDr. Renata Popelářová.
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Hereby I would like to thank Mrs MVDr. Renata Popelářová for the consent to the publication of her article.