What do I need to know about dental health in dogs?
Periodontal disease is one of the most common health problem affecting dogs. The issue if left untreated it has the nasty side effects of foul odour and more serious inflammation and oxidative stress effecting not only the mouth but digestion system and vital organs.
How we maintain our dog’s dental and oral health care will reflect on their overall general health in the longer term, periodontal disease can lead to not only much discomfort, but life shorting health conditions if not taken care of in the shorter term, foul breath, and an over production of saliva, two major tell-tale signs.
The good news is that it doesn’t have to be a big stressful issue; we can and should intervene early, like a lot of things when it comes to health “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”, but even in more serious cases there are effective solutions.
What are the common types of dental disease in dogs?
- A build-up of food particles, saliva/drool, causing bacteria to form plaque on the surface of teeth
- Plaque then hardens into tartar
- Due to gum inflammation and infection a condition known as gingivitis develops
- Inflamed gum tissue surrounding teeth become damaged, known as periodontal disease
- Abscesses development in the root of teeth, resulting in loose and weakened teeth structure
- Damaged/broken teeth
Checks for Dental Heath
What are the signs that a dog has an oral disease?
- Bad breath
- Discolouration of the teeth
- Disproportionate drooling
- Inflamed and discoloured gums
- Swelling or abnormal growth in the gums
- Loose or broken teeth
How can I practice dental hygiene with my dog?
Select a dog toothbrush as they are specially designed with specially angled and softer bristles, don’t use human tooth paste as the chemicals can be harmful for a dogs gut system, instead use the specially formulated and dog-friendly flavoured toothpaste. Introduce the tooth brushing as a game in a relaxed and calm state, working up to a daily routine would be ideal, in healthy dogs two or three a week can make a big difference. When everyone is in a nice and relaxed and comfortable state, start off slowly reassuring and praising him or her.
Raw meaty bones do work wonders, are a great pacifier that your dog will get hours of enjoyment out of, and at the same time the chewing action will help loosen and scrap away plaque and tartar from teeth and gums. Remember raw, and not cooked, the cooking alters structure of the bone making it more prone to splinter and cause damage, it is also believed by many holistic and veterinary practitioners that fresh raw meaty bones contain enzymes that can help fight bacterial plaque. Ask your friendly butcher for marrow bones and select for the size of your dog.
Seaweeds for Dogs Oral Health
The use of seaweeds goes back into prehistory, especially in eastern and costal cultures. How seaweeds help with oral health, just one aspect of their many properties lies in the sulphated polysaccharides which have antimicrobial and antibiofilm properties. Properties that result in dislodging plaque and tartar by neutralising the plaque building bacteria, these properties are found in many types of seaweeds in varying amounts.
Dental+ by TonicTreat contains brown, green and red seaweed purposefully formulated to promote teeth and gums against plaque causing bacteria.
An antioxidant rich diet can play an important role in your dog’s diet, oxidative stress occurs from free-radical damage to the body’s cells and tissue, periodontal disease is a sign that oxidative stress is occurring so antioxidants play an important role in good dental health.
Essential fatty acids (EFAs) omega-3 fatty acids found in oily fish and flaxseed oil are both good sources and are known to support and are beneficial for the kidney, heart and brain function but are also beneficial for management of periodontal inflammation.
Probiotics are gaining credit for both gut and immune health in humans and dogs. Applying probiotics to the gum line is thought to introduce beneficial bacteria helping to create a healthier biofilm in the mouth; this can be achieved by giving a daily probiotic dose and applying some of the probiotic by rubbing it along the gum line.
Dental+ by TonicTreat contains special blends of herbs and botanicals containing these nutritional elements designed to support dental health in dogs.