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Most humans brush their teeth on a daily basis, once in the morning and once at night. It becomes a part of our morning and nightly routine, it is another way to care for your well-being and overall health. It is easy to forget how important dental hygiene is in our furry friends.

Their dental hygiene is just as important as ours and should be made into a daily routine to prevent dental disease. Dental disease is one of the most common diseases seen by veterinarians and over 80% of dogs over the age of three have an active type of dental disease.

This is a very preventable condition that can be managed through active brushing and oral hygiene. Dogs cannot express themselves in the same way as humans, so it is up to us as owners to take care of their teeth properly.

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What is Periodontal Disease?

The most common dental problems that are seen in dogs are periodontal disease and fractured teeth, both painful and costly conditions. Periodontal disease is an umbrella term that is used to describe teeth problems that include inflammation of the gum or infections surrounding the teeth.

This disease happens when there is such a large buildup of plaque that it creates pockets around the teeth and gum recession. Eventually, the periodontal disease will eat away at the gum and spread into the tooth socket until the bone is destroyed.

We have all heard the saying that a dog’s mouth is the dirtiest part of their body. While this saying is not completely correct the mouth does harbor quite a bit of bacteria. The biggest problem with dental disease is the dog’s inability to fight it.

Since dogs cannot brush their teeth and keep them clean the only natural defense, they have to periodontal disease is chewing and their salvia. Some of the dog’s plaque is removed naturally by their salvia or it is scrapped off when they are chewing on something hard.

Although these are helpful, they do not fight periodontal disease or get rid of the buildup of plaque and tartar from food and other bacteria.

Why Worry about Periodontal Disease?

Brushing your dog’s teeth may seem like a silly thought, but it is extremely important to their overall health. Most people don’t know that Periodontal Disease is more than tooth decay and infection.

When a dog suffers from extreme Periodontal Disease, they start to produce toxins around the teeth, and these toxins slowly absorb into the blood stream. When the toxins are absorbed, they begin to cause problems in the dog’s kidneys, live, and brain.

This means that the dog will have a difficult time filtering out the unhealthy cells and toxins, creating infections in the body. In severe cases this can lead to organ damage that is irreversible. This is usually seen in senior dogs, but it can happen to any dog with dental problems.

The best way to help your dog is by using prevention methods and combating Periodontal disease with professional treatment. There are veterinarians who specialize in dentistry and can help keep your dog’s teeth clean and perform any procedures that your dog may need (Extraction, scraping, filling, etc.).

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Cathy D. Evans
Life-long fan of all dogs including Finnegan pictured here. He's a Chinook about a year old with the most wonderful personality. Please enjoy this dog website and its content. “Dogs don’t rationalize. They don’t hold anything against a person. They don’t see the outside of a human but the inside of a human.” —Cesar Millan (dog trainer)

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