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Doggie’s top 9 dental problems

Keeping our dogs healthy requires performing a number of undesirable tasks – like daily manure patrol in the backyard and regular brushing. The time has come to ramp up dental care for our dogs – for their health and to maintain the size of your wallet. Win-win, right?

With the help of two top veterinarian dentists – Dr. Debra Nossaman and Dr. Ben Colmery III – Dogster identified major dental problems facing dogs of all ages and sizes. “Dogs can be very good at concealing pain, so by the time one realizes something is wrong,” said Dr. Nossaman, a board certified veterinarian and Dallas co-founder, said: Their dog, the problem can be heightened. Veterinary Dentistry and Oral Surgery in Texas.

Dr. Colmery, a board-certified veterinarian, co-founder of the American Veterinary Dental Association and owner of the Dixboro Veterinary Dental Clinic in Ann Arbor, Michigan, adds, “When We can find the problem in the mouth and fix it, the dog has a new contract for life. “Here is a rundown of the top dental problems and how to solve them:

Red swollen gums

As a rule, healthy gums should be bubble pink, but they can also have dark pigmentation or athletic dark spots. But swollen, red, and painful gums are signs of gingivitis, a condition caused by a buildup of bacteria and tartar on the teeth.

The solution is to have your vet take X-rays of the teeth, study them and then do a thorough cleaning of the teeth while your dog is under anesthesia.

“We have made great leaps in the innovation of anesthetics and sedatives in veterinary dentistry,” said Dr. Colmery. “Giving pain relievers before, during, and after a dental procedure has been shown to speed recovery and reduce the level of general anesthesia.”

Dr. Nossaman adds, “When you can see that the rim next to the tooth becomes red and inflamed, it’s gingivitis and the teeth need professional cleaning. Do not wait for severe gingivitis, as your dog will be at risk of bone resorption or causing painful, periodontal pocket.

Accumulated tartar & yellowed teeth

Your dog can avoid this if you brush your teeth daily or at least weekly. You don’t always have to struggle for your dog to pry open his mouth and wiggle in a toothpaste-covered toothbrush to reach the back molars.

You can simply wrap a dog-safe toothpaste-soaked towel around your index finger and rub the inside of the cheek surfaces on both sides to remove any residue from the outer surface of your teeth. And then reward your dog with a treat.

Dentists often call this the “lip flip” procedure.

“Let’s make this a joyous event,” said Dr. Nossaman. “Don’t try to pry your mouth open. Dogs have five muscle groups that work to try to close their mouth; expect them to wiggle and resist. By rubbing the inside of the cheeks, you can remove about 80% of what needs to be removed and let the dog’s tongue strike with toothpaste.

Damn Doggie breath

Turning your head and holding your breath may be your choice, but it won’t do your dog any good. Instead, become a pet detective and report what you see inside the dog’s mouth and describe the odor to your vet.

“More than 400 types of bacteria have been identified in the oral cavity of companion animals,” said Dr. Colmery. “That stench comes from two main places: something is wrong inside the mouth or something is wrong inside the GI (gastrointestinal tract).

“Your dog’s bad breath will not go away on its own.

“Bad breath is a sign of poor oral health and needs to be addressed promptly,” said Dr. Nossaman. Talk to your veterinarian about your dog’s diet and consider taking good bacteria in the form of probiotics.

Broken teeth

Dogs are famous for being rodents. What you choose for them could be the difference between whole teeth and broken teeth.

“Take the knee test,” suggested Dr. Colmery. “If you hit the dog’s head on the knee and have pain, don’t let him chew. Chew should be soft and flavorful. When chewing too hard, it will not give. The act of chewing between the upper and lower molars can break the teeth ”.

The clue that something serious is wrong, Dr. Nossaman adds, is if you notice your dog suddenly chews the food on one side of his mouth.

“If the pulp of a broken tooth is exposed, you can see the blood,” she said. “If your dog drops debris during meals or doesn’t play with their toys or entices you to participate, it may be facing a tooth fracture problem.”

Depending on the situation, the tooth will need surgery to remove or attach a metal crown.

Metal crown – Front and Side view.

The teeth are too crowded

Dogs, of any size, should have 42 adult teeth. But small breeds with smaller jaws face more problems with jostled teeth. Dogs with pushed faces, such as Pugs, Bulldogs and Shih Tzu, often need to remove some of the teeth in order to maintain a healthy bite.

“Especially with small dogs, crowding requires us to identify which teeth are important and which we can say goodbye and remove.

Broken jaw

Dr. Nossaman said: “Unfortunately, we see this so often in that a large dog crushes a small dog’s jaw during a fight,” said Dr. Nossaman. “Either a dog gets kicked in the face by a horse or has its head stuck in the gate.”

Repairing calls for on-site chord surgery to allow time to heal. “Fortunately, a dog’s jaw doesn’t need metal plates and it’s pretty forgiving.” she speaks.

Oral Mass

Regularly observing the inside of the dog’s mouth can help you spot overgrown gum tissue, also known as a mouth lump or oral lump. Tumors can be either benign or cancerous and can grow slowly or quickly, Dr. Colmery said.

Oral lumps may also indicate that your dog is facing oral health problems, such as diabetes or kidney disease.

The remaining baby teeth

“The general rule is that no two teeth occupy the same space at the same time,” said Dr. Nossaman. “Without getting dressed, it can interfere with the dog’s bite and cause movement of the teeth.”

Another concern: Baby teeth can cause an infection that affects the ability of adult teeth to poke through the gum line and occupy a designated position in the mouth.

Surgery to remove stubborn baby teeth may be required.


Due to the number of sharp teeth, the dog rarely has cavities. However, any tooth – in humans or dogs – can be chipped. Most cases where metal crowns are required for a dog usually involve police or military dogs.

“We do the job of attaching metal crowns to dogs that need to bite,” said Dr. Nossaman. “The crown doesn’t make the teeth stronger, but it does protect the teeth.”

But sometimes your veterinarian inserts a cast metal alloy crown to repair broken or damaged teeth. These crowns are intentionally placed right above the gum line to help maintain good oral hygiene.

Easy teeth cleaning

Dog dental products can make it much easier to clean teeth. These are just some you would wish you had on hand. All are at chew.com or other pet retailers.



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