Just like humans, dogs need good dental care to ensure they maintain good overall health. Periodontal disease affects dogs from an early age, which can have long-term health consequences for the pet's health and well-being. Plaque buildup can lead to gum inflammation. While it is essential to implement a home oral hygiene routine, regular dental visits to the vet are necessary. 


Annual Dental Appointments

Experts recommend scheduling annual appointments to get dogs' teeth professionally cleaned. Annual cleaning helps prevent the accumulation of plaque and tartar, which can lead to oral health issues.

During the appointment, the vet will conduct an oral exam looking for signs of dental issues, and then clean the teeth. A treatment plan is implemented if the vet detects tooth or gum disease. If your pet is prone to frequent dental problems, you need to schedule more regular appointments. 


Signs of Dental Problems

Some signs can indicate your dog needs dental care. The issues include:


  • Broken or loose teeth

  • Discolored teeth

  • Retained or extra teeth

  • Chronic bad breath

  • Oral pain, swelling, or bleeding

  • The buildup of plaque or tartar

You should let your vet at Montana Veterinary Hospital & Boarding know if your pet shows symptoms, such as excessive drooling, abnormal chewing, or dropping food. They could indicate your dog has tooth pain. 


Professional Teeth Cleaning

Dogs need to be anesthetized before dental checkups and cleaning. Your vet will conduct an assessment to ensure your pet is healthy enough to undergo anesthesia. A complete oral exam is conducted while the dog is sedated, probing and radiographing each tooth. The vet will then clean and polish the teeth and clean under the gumline before using a fluoride treatment. A dental sealant is applied to the teeth to fight plaque. 


Keeping Your Dogs Teeth Clean

You can do some things at home to keep your dog's teeth clean and healthy and fight dental disease. They include:


  • Examine your pet’s teeth and gums regularly

  • Use a finger brush to clean your dog's teeth, removing debris and plaque

  • Use recommended prevention products to prevent plaque buildup on teeth and gums

  • Provide dental treats, chews, and foods that help prevent the buildup of plaque and tartar.


Dental Care for Overall Health

Dental care is a vital part of your dog's overall health maintenance. Periodontitis can destroy the connective tissue that surrounds the tooth. The disease can damage the bone and often leads to tooth loss. Periodontitis can affect the dog's heart, liver, and kidneys. Implementing a dental health routine early will help your pet get used to the process. It will make it easier to perform the cleaning at home. 

Professional cleaning is beneficial for removing plaque from below the gumline and other areas where the brush cannot reach. Some dogs, especially small breeds, are genetically predisposed to develop dental disease.

Chew toys are good additions to dog dental care, but they are not a substitute. Talk to your vet about the best products. Avoid supplying hard objects, such as bones, which can cause dental fractures. 

For more on whether dogs need professional teeth cleaning, visit Montana Veterinary Hospital & Boarding at our Bozeman, Montana office. Call (406) 586-2019 to schedule an appointment today.