Your dog's oral health impacts its overall health, that's why it's important to ensure that your dog's teeth and gums are clean and healthy. Here, our Las Vegas vets share some ways to keep your pup's teeth in tip-top condition. 

Why should I worry about my dog's teeth?

Similar to humans, a dog's overall physical health and well-being are closely correlated with its dental health. Unfortunately, even in young dogs, periodontal disease and tooth decay are common issues. As the bacteria from periodontal disease spread throughout the dog's body, these oral health problems can have some seriously negative effects on the general health of pets. Therefore, it's crucial to follow these simple instructions to maintain the oral health of your pet.

Should I brush my dog's teeth?

Pooch parents play an important role in helping their dogs fight the battle against dental disease. Here are some tips for how to clean your dog's mouth:

  • Include daily brushing in your dog's oral hygiene regimen. For your dog's teeth, use a dog-specific toothbrush or a finger brush to remove any plaque or debris. Applying a small amount of dog toothpaste to the brush may help if your dog dislikes having their teeth brushed. These goods are available in a variety of flavors that your dog will adore.
  • Use a plaque prevention product (ask your vet for trustworthy recommendations) that you can apply to your pet’s gums and teeth. These products help prevent plaque buildup between professional cleanings.
  • Give your canine companion dental treats, food, or chews designed to help keep plaque buildup and tartar away.

Why does my dog need professional teeth cleaning?

While maintaining an at-home oral care routine (and potentially supplementing it with dental chews or treats) is an important step in preventing plaque and tartar buildup, seeing the vet regularly for a professional cleaning is the best way to ensure your dog’s mouth stays clean and healthy.

Without this yearly cleaning, plaque can build up on the teeth and cause gingivitis, bad breath, periodontal disease, tooth decay, and tooth loss. Due to the connection between periodontal disease and heart disease, this may also have detrimental effects on your dog's general health (when bacteria enters the bloodstream through the mouth, it can infect other organs).

Dental care is an essential element of your pet’s overall physical health. Schedule your dog’s annual dental appointment today - your pooch will be grateful!

What happens during professional teeth cleaning?

We recommend booking an annual dental checkup for your dog. You may need to bring them in more frequently if they are prone to dental problems.

Your veterinarian will perform an oral health evaluation, looking for signs of dental problems, including:

  • Plaque or tartar buildup
  • Bad breath
  • Swelling, pain, or bleeding in or around the mouth
  • Discolored teeth
  • Loose or broken teeth
  • Extra teeth or baby teeth that have been retained

You can also take this opportunity to let your vet know if you’ve noticed any symptoms such as drooling, dropping food from the mouth, reduced appetite (which could indicate your dog is experiencing pain in his teeth), or abnormal chewing.

Your vet will also determine whether your pet is healthy enough for anesthesia, then perform additional diagnostics if required. Once we have safely anesthetized your pet, we complete a full oral exam (tooth-by-tooth) and charting.

Their teeth will be cleaned and polished while they are comfortably sedated (in addition to their gum line). Each tooth will be probed and radiographed by the veterinarian before receiving a fluoride treatment and a dental sealant to prevent plaque buildup. If we discover advanced periodontal disease, we will create a personalized treatment plan to help your pet regain good oral health.

Is it time to have your dog's teeth examined and cleaned? Book an appointment at Island Pet Hospital today. Our vets can help restore and maintain your four-legged friend's optimal oral health.