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Signs Your Dog Needs A Dental Cleaning

Ensuring good oral health is crucial to your dog's overall well-being. Today, our Springfield veterinarians discuss the importance of dental care for dogs and some signs that indicate your dog needs a dental exam.

Do dogs need their teeth cleaned?

Yes, just like humans, dogs also require dental cleanings to maintain oral health. A dog's oral health is a crucial aspect of their overall health. Unfortunately, many dogs do not receive the necessary care, and our Springfield veterinarians often witness dogs developing periodontal disease (gum disease) by the age of three. Developing gum disease at an early age can negatively impact their long-term health and well-being.

Studies have demonstrated a correlation between periodontal disease and systemic diseases such as heart disease. There is evidence that bacteria can enter the bloodstream through the mouth and cause harm to the heart and other organs.

In addition to the more significant physical impacts caused by poor oral health, periodontal disease also causes pain and can lead to damaged or missing teeth. The best way to care for your dog's teeth is to take them to the veterinarian annually for a professional cleaning and dental examination.

In between professional cleanings, you should provide your dog with at-home oral care and take them to the veterinarian if you notice any developing issues.

What are the signs of dental problems in dogs?

Our veterinarians recommend bringing in your dog if you notice any of the following symptoms, as they could indicate periodontal disease:

  • Extra teeth or retained baby teeth
  • Bleeding in or around the mouth
  • Inflamed gums
  • Pain associated with chewing
  • Plaque or tartar buildup on teeth
  • Discolored teeth
  • Loose or broken teeth
  • Drooling
  • Bad breath

When should I get my dog's teeth cleaned?

Generally, it is recommended that your dog's teeth be cleaned and examined at least once a year. During the dental exam, our veterinarians will evaluate your pet's overall health to determine if it is fit enough to undergo anesthesia. Dental exams can be stressful for dogs, and they may resist or bite, so anesthesia is often used. With anesthesia, we can take our time to conduct a thorough examination and cleaning without causing any discomfort to your pet.

Once we safely sedate your dog, our veterinarians will perform a comprehensive oral examination, individually inspecting each tooth, cleaning and polishing them, and taking X-rays as needed.

After the dental exam is complete, we will share the results with you and provide any recommendations on how you can improve your dog's oral health if necessary.

How to Tell When Your Dog Needs a Dental Cleaning

It's easy to determine if your dog needs teeth cleaning by examining their teeth. If you notice any buildup of plaque or gingivitis, it's probably time for a dental cleaning.

Addressing these issues early is important to ensure your dog's oral health and well-being, as leaving them unattended can worsen and cause serious dental problems and sensitivity.

Signs of Dental Problems in Dogs:

  • Bad breath (Halitosis)
  • Discolored or yellowing teeth
  • Receding and/or bleeding gums (Gingivitis)
  • Drooling (more than average)
  • Loose or missing teeth
  • Poor appetite
  • Sneezing and nasal discharge (from an abscess that breaks into the nasal passages)

Where can I get my dog's teeth cleaned?

If you need help brushing your pet's teeth, please don't hesitate to contact Springfield vets. Our team can guide you in the right direction.

To schedule professional teeth cleaning for your dog, contact our team at Noll Veterinary Hospital. Just like you visit a dentist annually for a checkup, your cat or dog should also receive a dental examination from us every year. However, pets more susceptible to dental issues may need to come in more frequently.

Our veterinarians can evaluate, diagnose, and treat dental health problems in both cats and dogs.

Should I brush my dog's teeth?

Brushing your dog's teeth regularly and scheduling professional cleanings are important. As a pet owner, you play a crucial role in preventing dental disease in your dog. Here are some simple ways to help keep your dog's teeth clean and healthy:

  • Use a finger brush from your vet or a child’s toothbrush and specially designed pet toothpaste to brush your pet’s teeth regularly to remove any plaque or debris.
  • Use a plaque prevention product (your vet can recommend some), which you can apply to your pet’s teeth and gums or add to their drinking water. These products act as a barrier to prevent plaque buildup.
  • Offer your pup treats such as dental chews or special foods designed to help prevent plaque buildup and tartar.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Is your dog due for a dental cleaning? Contact our Springfield vets today to book an appointment.

New Patients Welcome

Noll Veterinary Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vet and staff are passionate about the health of Springfield companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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