4 Top Risks of Poor Dental Hygiene in Dogs

Did you know that dental disease in dogs increases the risk of heart, kidney, and liver disease?

When it comes to pet care, owners often overlook their teeth. Just like us humans, dogs need their dental health to be in an ultimate condition to avoid oral illnesses and other infections in their bodies. Besides, dental disease can cause tooth loss, leading to periodontal disease and heart, kidneys, and liver issues.

Periodontal disease is the presence of infection and inflammation of the tissues surrounding and supporting the teeth called periodontium because of plaque bacteria.

Possible Health Risks of a Dog’s Poor Oral Hygiene

1. Increases the Risk of Heart Disease

According to the World Small Animal Veterinary Association or WSAVA, evidence links periodontal disease with endocarditis. This is a heart valve infection wherein the heart’s inner lining is inflamed in response to an infection in a dog’s body. Experts also said that this condition is six times higher in dogs with moderate to severe (stage three)periodontal disease than those without it.

As it progresses, this can affect the functioning of a dog’s heart, leading to shortness of breath or difficulty of breathing.

2. Complicates Diabetes 

Diabetic dogs are most likely to have higher levels of periodontal disease. Though it’s often impossible to identify which came first, the infection and inflammation associated with periodontal disease can affect blood sugar metabolism. As a result, vets need to treat periodontal disease first to manage a dog’s diabetes better.

Otherwise, as their diabetes progresses, other health complications can arise, including cataracts that can lead to complete loss of vision. You may visit this page to learn more about animal opthalmology services.

3. Dog Pain

Dogs don’t usually show signs they’re in pain even if they’re behaving and eating normally. They can suffer from oral disease, so owners postpone taking them to a vet. While you can see some signs, such as drooling, swelling or bleeding, and lack of appetite, this is not always the case. 

By the time severe symptoms show, it might be too late to save their tooth. This can also mean that they have been quietly living in pain for some time. The saddest part is that you may need to bring them to an oral surgeon for pets because you didn’t act immediately.

4. Broken Jaw

Poor oral hygiene can result in broken jaws, especially for smaller breeds with disproportionately huge teeth, like Maltese, Shih Tzu, and Chihuahua. Mouth infection to these types of dogs can weaken their tiny jaws. In most cases, a fractured jaw due to periodontal disease can become difficult because of the lack of teeth and good-quality bone in the area. 

Taking Care of Dog’s Teeth to Prevent Health Issues

The most effective and less expensive way to prevent dental disease is to maintain your dogs’ regular and consistent oral hygiene routine. You can do this at home by brushing their teeth daily to keep harmful bacteria from building up on their gums and teeth. Feeding them appropriately also helps, such as giving dry food instead of soft food. Crunchy food is better since they scrape away tartar as dogs eat.

Moreover, take your canine companions to the vet for annual oral exams. If they need it, consider an anesthetized oral exam with a complete tooth-by-tooth exam and dental x-rays. Remember, a dog’s oral hygiene is more than just cleaning their teeth and addressing bad breath.

On the other hand, ensure that you choose a vet clinic or hospital with 24/7 emergency care, such as this Cordova emergency pet hospital. Keep in mind that this is a crucial factor in saving your pet’s life.