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Dog Dental Care - Bad Breath, Teeth Cleaning, Dog Dentist


Vet in the Woodlands

Why does my dog's breath stink?

Some people think that all dogs have stinky breath. This is a myth that dogs themselves have contributed to over the years through behaviors including drinking from the toilet, eating feces, and self-grooming habits. However, these practices alone do not account for dog bad breath.

The bad breath is likely due to gross bacteria that cause progressive periodontal disease. It will not get better without a thorough veterinary dental cleaning and a proper home care plan. This will only worsen if effective preventive measures aren’t taken sooner rather than later. Routine home care and dental cleanings will help prevent periodontal disease.

How do I know if my dog has dental disease?

During your regular veterinary visits, we will examine your dog's teeth and will show you the obvious issues that need to be addressed. We are most concerned with signs of gingivitis, broken teeth, periodontal disease, and other painful dental and oral lesions. Our doctors may recommend veterinary supervised dental cleaning. Our veterinarians will develop a customized plan of prevention or treatment based on what is found during the doggie dental exam at your next visit.

What are the common signs and symptoms that my dog has dental disease?

The signs of dental disease are:

  • Bad breath / Halitosis
  • Problems eating, loss of appetite (only in the most severe cases)
  • Red, swollen, bleeding gums (usually the molars in the back of the mouth)
  • Loose, broken, missing teeth
  • Blood in saliva or nasal discharge
  • Lesions in mouth

Should you notice any of these symptoms, schedule a veterinary appointment right away.

What are we looking for during your dog's dental exam?

During an oral exam, a veterinarian looks for any signs of abnormality or ill health. Veterinarians are trained to spot many different symptoms, including:

  • Overbite, underbite, malocclusion, teeth that don't fit together
  • Gingivitis and periodontal disease
  • Facial swelling
  • Tartar buildup
  • Fractured or broken teeth
  • Cavities
  • Abscesses

What is a dental cleaning?

A dental cleaning for dogs is much like your own dental cleanings but requires anesthesia. It involves the removal of dental plaque from teeth with the intention of preventing cavities, gingivitis, and periodontal disease. Teeth cleaning is an essential part of keeping your pet healthy.  The health benefits of dental cleanings are much higher than the risk. Periodontal disease can cause damage to the liver, kidneys, and heart.  Routine cleanings will help your pet to live a longer and better life.  At Creekside Animal Hospital we practice pre-anesthetic screening and surgical protocols that ensure your pet is at minimal surgical risk.  

What is oral surgery for dogs?

In some cases oral surgery is necessary, it can provide your canine companion with a new lease on life. In these cases, your dog is dealing with significant pain and is compensating for it in a variety of ways. Our veterinary staff is capable of resolving a variety of oral maladies, including:

  • Gingival surgery - including tumor removal and removal of excessive gum tissue secondary to periodontal disease
  • Extensive extractions of impacted or damaged teeth
  • Oral tumor removal

Do a lot of dogs have periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease in dogs is the most common clinical condition occurring in adult canines. By three years of age, most dogs have some evidence of periodontal disease. Unfortunately, other than bad breath, there are few signs of periodontal disease in dogs evident to dog owners and professional diagnosis often comes too late to prevent extensive damage. Periodontal disease in dogs, if left untreated, will lead to infected, non-viable teeth, significant dental pain, and compromised health.

Is dental disease preventable?

We cannot overstate the fact that periodontal disease in dogs is fully preventable.  Brushing your pet’s teeth is the single most effective means to maintain dental health between professional dental cleanings. But rinses, gels, and chews will make a difference if utilized as directed. For a list of approved dental products visit the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) approved product list. The way to successfully do so is to schedule semi-annual dog dental exams and dog teeth cleaning appointments with your veterinary dog dentist. By doing so, you are ensuring that your canine companion remains at low risk for developing periodontal disease.

Isn't an “anesthesia-free” dental cleaning, just as good?

The American Veterinary Dental College does not recommend dental cleanings without anesthesia because they do not allow cleaning, polishing, or inspection below the gumline, where the most dental disease occurs. Secondly, anesthesia-free dental cleanings can also result in injury to the pet or the person performing the procedure. Lastly, this procedure is a superficial cleaning that removes the visible tartar but does not clean down to the surface or polish the surface to slow the regrowth of new plaque and tartar. 

Schedule your dog's dental today!

Scheduling an appointment with one of our veterinarians is as easy as picking up the phone, or sending us an email. Our veterinary staff is here to help make your dog's dentistry appointment easy for you while making it as painless and pleasant as possible for your canine companion.

Contact Us Today To Schedule Your Dog Dental Care Appointment

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