oral health

Why is Poor Oral Hygiene Dangerous for Dogs?

Poor oral hygiene in dogs is more serious than most pet owners know. Roughly 70-80 percent of dogs develop periodontal disease by the time they are three years old. That's a significant figure, especially, since poor oral hygiene is also linked to shorter life span.

The first stage of poor oral hygiene in dogs is accumulation of plaque. This leads to gingivitis, reddening and irritation of the gum tissue. You might note signs of gingivitis by examining your dog's mouth. You will see a red line along the teeth instead of the bright pink color that signifies a healthy mouth.

stages of periodontal disease

Gingivitis is actually a bacterial infection. When left untreated, the bacteria begin to move under the gum line, where they infect the teeth at their roots. This is periodontal disease, and it has numerous symptoms. These include bad breath, excessive drooling, yellow or brown tartar deposits on the teeth, angry red gums, and loose or missing teeth.

Periodontal disease is not curable, but it can be treated. Treatment may generally involve extractions of teeth that have become severely infected, regular cleaning appointments, or antibiotics as needed to help reduce infection. Untreated, infection can enter the blood stream where it can cause damage to the liver, heart, and kidneys.

If you notice signs of poor oral hygiene in your dog, be certain to contact Wags K-9 Teeth Cleaning as soon as possible. It is better to get an early start on combating the issue, rather than allowing your dog's health to deteriorate.