When was the last time your loveable canine gave you a big wet kiss? If they have bad dog breath, you may not be the only one who is suffering. But your dog's problem extends beyond the odor. Canine halitosis (dog breath) can be a sign of periodontal disease or a mouth infection.
The symptoms of periodontal disease are not limited to bad dog breath but also includes excessive tartar build up, tooth discoloration and gum disease. Most dogs will suffer from some degree of periodontal disease but with proper dental care and food, the degree of the affliction can be limited.
Periodontal disease can lead to increased risk of heart, liver and kidney disease. There are many factors that influence the development of periodontal disease: age, diet, shape of teeth, occlusion, bacterial flora, immune status, general health, genetic predisposition, lack of oral hygiene, size and shape of dental arches, breed and chewing habits or motion.
Of these, lack of oral hygiene is probably the most significant reason for the development of periodontal disease in companion animals.
Some of the signs of periodontal disease include:
Daily removal of plaque is the key to an effective oral hygiene program. Unless your pet's teeth are brushed daily, plaque, which is an accumulation of bacteria, will build up at the gum line.
Eventually, calculus forms, further irritating the gums, causing infection that progress to destroy the attachment around your pet's teeth. In addition to creating loose teeth, infection under the gum line can spread to the liver, kidneys, and heart.
An astounding 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats show signs of oral disease by age three, according to the American Veterinary Dental Society (AVDS). The most common dental problem among pets is periodontal disease, a painful condition that animals often suffer in silence.
Just like it does for people, tooth brushing removes plaque on the tooth and below the gum line.
Gradually introduce your pet to brushing. For several days, simply feed a small amount of the toothpaste to your pet on your finger or the brush.
This will get them used to the taste. Next, apply a small amount of paste to the brush and brush only one or two teeth.
Repeat this for a few days, and then gradually build by adding a few teeth every few days until you are brushing the entire mouth.
Animals generally buildup most of their tartar on the outer surfaces of their teeth, so this is the area to focus on most for brushing.
Brushing should ideally be done daily for maximum benefit. Brushing less than 3-4 times weekly has little benefit.
Chews are another form of dental care. C.E.T. HEXtra Oral Hygiene Chews are rawhide strips that carry dental enzymes which are released onto your pets teeth as he or she chews.
Dentees Chews are starch based, hypoallergenic and designed by a veterinary dentist