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Dangers of Bad Dental Health in Dogs

The American Veterinary Medical Association stresses the importance of good dental health in dogs. Studies show that good dental health is a key part of good general health. It may be difficult at times to maintain your dog’s oral health on your own, since most dogs do not like getting their teeth brushed. Opting for a professional dental cleaning at your local veterinarian is always a good idea. Here are the dangers of bad dental health in dogs that you can prevent with proper dental care.


Increases the Risk of Heart Disease

Dental disease can lead to the development of liver and heart inflammation. It can increase your dog’s risk of developing endocarditis. Regular brushing can help prevent this condition. Getting your dog used to brushing may take some time, but the rewards will be worth the long practice time.


Worsens Diabetes

Research reveals that dogs with diabetes have a higher risk for dental disease. This can then make diabetes more challenging to regulate. This cycle can get out of control, causing both dental disease and diabetes to worsen. Worsening diabetes will increase your dog’s gum infections and inflammation. A diabetes diagnosis makes proper dental care more important than ever.


Spikes the Immune System

Your dog’s immune system can become chaotic if dental disease sets in. This can make your dog’s body incapable of fighting off different infections. Your dog’s general health may deteriorate because of this. Plaque on your dog’s teeth can trigger an inflammatory response. This can either destroy bacteria or healthy tissue.

Worsening dental disease can result in more inflammation. This may allow more bacteria to penetrate the blood vessels. Then, bacteria will be free to enter your dog’s bloodstream. Bacteria can reach the different parts of your pet’s body and do more damage there. This could lead to conditions that could be more difficult and expensive to treat.


Causes Pain and Discomfort

It is difficult to detect dental pain in dogs. In most cases, dogs will still eat despite dental pain. This can lead them to skip chewing. Inhaling food is the way they can eat without putting any pressure on their painful teeth.


Their appetite may decrease if there is tooth pain. Drooling may be evident. The mouth may also bleed or swell. Living with dental disease can affect your dog’s quality of life negatively.


Leads to a Broken Jaw

In less common cases, your dog could suffer from a broken jaw because of poor oral hygiene. Studies show that smaller breeds have a higher risk of getting this complication. Dental disease in dogs can weaken the jawbone. Even minor impacts can lead to a broken jawbone.


Signs of Dental Disease in Dogs

Awareness of your dog’s dental health is important. Knowing the signs of dental disease can help you seek early treatment from your vet. It can also help motivate you to care for your dog’s teeth and gums more. Here are the signs of canine dental disease that you must know about:


  • Bloodstained saliva or drool

  • Difficulty eating because of pain

  • Preferring soft food to hard chew bones or biscuits

  • Halitosis

  • Red, bleeding, swollen gums

  • Weight loss

  • Tartar and plaque

  • Excessive drooling

  • Broken, wobbly, or missing teeth

  • Rubbing the face or mouth

  • Facial swelling


Your dog’s general health depends on how healthy your dog’s teeth and gums are. At Eastern Animal Hospital, we always remind our pet parents to bring their pets in for regular health checks. Call our clinic in Baltimore, Maryland, for an in-person consultation or to inquire about our canine dental care packages - 410-633-8808.

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