Your dog's teeth should last for most, if not all, of his or her life. However, dogs can lose their teeth under certain circumstances. Though dogs don't need to keep their "smiles" perfect, tooth infections and loss can cause problems with eating and other health issues. Dogs should have regular tooth care or they could risk losing some, or all of their teeth. Here are three common reasons why dogs may lose their teeth and what you can do to lessen the chance of dental problems.
Like humans, dogs can develop gum problems when too much bacteria builds up along and even under the gum lines. The gums can swell up, pull away, and create pockets where bacteria can settle and cause the gums to get worse or even become infected. All of this, if left untreated, will eventually lead to lose teeth and tooth loss.
Broken or Damaged Teeth
While it's normal for puppies to lose teeth as their adult teeth erupt, it is not normal for adult dogs. Common ways your dog can break his or her teeth is to chew on something hard or break a tooth in an accident. Breaks weaken the tooth and increases the risk of infection. Teeth can also be knocked out directly when there's trauma to the mouth.
If bacteria and plaque manage to make it into the interior of the tooth and cause a cavity, then a painful abscess can form. Early signs include favoring one side of the mouth, bad breath, or even refusal to eat. If the abscess is not treated, it not only could lead to the loss of one or more teeth, but it can cause other serious health issues.
Ways to Reduce Your Dog's Tooth Loss
Fortunately, in modern times there are things you can do to help reduce or eliminate your dog's teeth problems. Here are two things that can help keep your dog's teeth in good condition.
Dental Toys and Treats
There are many toys and treats on the market that are specifically designed to help keep your dog's teeth strong and clean plaque and other buildup. Chewing the appropriate items helps clear off the tarter and plaque which can contribute to gum disease. Check with your veterinarian about what types might work best for your dog.
Professional cleanings are done in the veterinarian's office and are generally given once a year. Most dogs begin their regular cleanings by the time they are middle-aged. However, your veterinarian may require them earlier and more frequently depending on the breed. If your dog is currently having dental problems, see your veterinarian as soon as possible to take care of the problem and get on track for good dental hygiene. Visit this website for more help.