Are you wondering if your dog is due for a dental cleaning? Our Glendale vets list signs that it's time to schedule an exam and cleaning, how often it should be done, and more.
Do dogs need their teeth cleaned?
If you've ever come home to greet your dog at the end of the day and smelt their bad breath, you are not alone - this is one of the most common complaints of dog owners everywhere.
Fortunately, a thorough dental cleaning can get your dog's breath smelling fresh again, and should be part of your pooch's regular dental care and health routine.
Indeed, most pets don't receive the oral hygiene care they need to keep their gums healthy, and this can lead to dental problems and periodontal disease that can affect their oral and overall health.
So, if you're wondering, 'Do dogs need a regular dental cleaning?', the answer is a resounding 'Yes'.
How to Tell When Your Dog Needs a Dental Cleaning
One easy way to tell if your dog needs a teeth cleaning is to check their teeth. If you see a buildup of plaque, which can cause gingivitis (gum disease) in your dog's mouth, it's likely time for a dental cleaning.
These issues will only worsen if they aren't addressed early, and can lead to serious oral health issues and gum sensitivity for your dog.
Other Signs You Might Need to Schedule a Dog Teeth Cleaning
Here are some signs of dental problems in dogs that indicate your pooch will need their teeth examined and cleaned:
- Bad Breath (halitosis)
- Discolored or yellowing teeth
- Drooling (more than usual)
- Poor appetite
- Receding and/or bleeding gums (gingivitis)
- Sneezing and nasal discharge (due to an abscess that breaks into the nasal passages)
What happens during a dog teeth cleaning and exam?
Your veterinarian can perform cleanings as well as thorough dental examinations. X-rays should also be done regularly to identify any underlying oral health issues.
After cleaning your pup's teeth, your vet will polish them to remove the plaque and tartar that often cause periodontal disease. Your dog will need to be sedated during their dental exam and cleaning for your pet's safety and the safety of the staff.
Once your dog has been anesthetized, your veterinarian will examine your dog's mouth with the help of a veterinary assistant, noting any abnormalities. A dental probe will be used to assess any gum bleeding and periodontal pockets, where food can accumulate and cause tooth decay if not properly cleared away.
If your dog has periodontal disease that's advanced past a point where the badly affected teeth can be saved, your veterinarian may need to extract these teeth during the examination or book an appointment to have the extraction performed separately.
When and how often should I get my dog's teeth cleaned?
Our veterinarians recommend having your dog's teeth cleaned once a year, although this will vary from dog to dog. Certain dog breeds are more prone to tooth problems and periodontal disease, so they will typically require more frequent dental cleanings. Be sure to ask your vet how often your dog should have his teeth cleaned.
Where can I get my dog's teeth cleaned?
Our veterinarians at Limehouse Veterinary Clinic in Glendale offer complete dental care services for your dog, from the basics such as dental cleanings, dental exams, and polishing to diagnosing dental problems, taking dental X-rays, and performing surgeries.
What You Can Do At Home
While we offer dental care services for pets at our veterinary clinic, we also believe in educating pet parents about home dental care for their pets.
The best thing you can do is brush your dog's teeth at home frequently! The more the better but if you can get in two or three brushings per week you will be in good shape. The more you brush your dog's teeth, the more they become used to it and it becomes easier to implement a daily routine.
If you need to be shown how to brush your pet’s teeth or have any questions about at-home dental care for your dog, feel free to contact Glendale vets and we will get you started in the right direction.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding people or pets. Always follow your doctor's advice regarding asthma or other allergy symptoms.