According to the Australian Veterinary Association, dog dental disease or periodontitis is an irreversible destructive process involving the loss of the tooth’s supporting structures (the periodontium), which includes the gingiva, periodontal ligament, cementum and the alveolar bone.
This inflammation of the teeth and gums is normally caused by a build-up of plaque. Plaque is made up of food particles, saliva and bacteria. When it sticks to the tooth surface and is not removed, it will calcify and form tartar.
More than 80% of dogs over the age of three suffer from some form of dog dental disease and this only gets worse as they get older. Annual check-ups at the vet are important for best pet expert advice on general dog dental health because they also provide an opportunity for you to have your dog’s teeth examined and when necessary, professional dental cleaning is carried out.
The signs of dog dental disease
- bad breath
- pawing at the mouth
- loose teeth
- discoloured teeth
- blood-stained or inflamed gums
- pain when handled around the head
- receding gums
- excessive drooling
- dropping of food from the mouth when eating or reluctance to chew or eat at all
- facial swelling
- behavioural changes
A toothache hurts your dog just as much as it hurts you. So how can we prevent and treat periodontal dog disease at home?
How to Treat Periodontal Disease in Dogs at Home
Dog Treats and chews
Large, hard products such as pig’s noses, ears, rawhide bones and raw bones encourage your pets to chew. This chewing action will prevent and remove plaque by physically rubbing on it and by allowing the spread of protective saliva in the dog’s mouth.
It’s important to know that cooked bones have the potential to splinter and perforate the digestive tract as well as be a choking hazard. Bones can also be difficult to pass and may cause obstructions that require surgical intervention to remove.
The Australian Veterinary Association advises that if you want to feed your dog raw bones, do so with caution and reduce risk by ensuring the bones are not soft enough to splinter and are big enough to be chewed, not swallowed.
Raw bones should be given while under supervision and removed once your dog has finished with them.
However, do not rely solely on dog treats and chews for dog dental health and hygiene because they are not 100% efficient. Include dog treats and chews in your dog dental health routine.
Starting the routine of brushing your dog’s teeth can sometimes be difficult because it is an unusual sensation for them. For the best dog dental health and hygiene, you and your dog are better off if you start brushing their teeth when they are still a pup. When brushing your dog’s teeth, be gentle, patient and don’t forget to always reward them with a treat!
Dog Dental Diets
There are many premium dry pet foods and special dental treats available in the market for dogs. These dental diet dog foods are designed with special fibre matrix technology to keep your pet’s teeth clean while providing complete and balanced nutrition. The best dog food for bad teeth contains enzymes and ingredients which help to slow dog dental disease and help prevent formation of plaque on their teeth. Dog dental food will simultaneously clean your dog’s tooth surface and fight bacteria-laden plaque. Consider starting your pet on quality dental diet dog food at an early age for optimal dog dental hygiene and a healthy mouth.
Oral and Dental Dog Home Treatments
(Photo courtesy of greencrossvets.com.au)
For pets with severe or persistent dental and gum disease or bad breath, it is advisable to use a rinse or gel available from your veterinary clinic. Also ask your vet about using ozonated oil or Ozone, which has powerful antibacterial properties and has been shown to promote healing in dog dental diseases by acting on the tissues to decrease pain, inflammation and swelling.
To administer it to your dog, simply place the oil on a Q-tip and rub it on any of your dog’s teeth that have plaque to remove it.
Making bone broth for your dog and feeding it several times a week is another great way to promote dog dental health. Bone broth is not only delicious but is also chock-full of minerals that strengthen teeth and gums. So why not make some broth that both you and your dog will enjoy?
Aloe Vera Gel
Aloe vera gel is tremendously soothing for the gums of a dog with dog dental disease. Unlike the stuff sold in a tube at the drugstore, a natural, organic brand of aloe vera gel without any additives is best for dog dental health.
If your dog has inflammation or painful gums, just place the gel directly on teeth and gums. It won’t be a pleasant taste, I bet you that, but it will cause relief and can even cure dog dental health problems altogether.
Every dog is different. It is good to speak to a vet for a recommendation for the best aloe vera gel for your dog, rather than buying it online simply because it’s natural/organic.
Bee Propolis Tincture
Bee propolis is highly concentrated and very healing. It possesses antibacterial, antiviral and antiparasitic qualities that can easily eradicate all dog dental ailments.
If your dog seems like he might be getting an abscess or has receding gums caused by periodontal dog disease, apply bee propolis tincture generously on the affected areas. It will help your dog maintain a healthy mouth and heal dog dental disease.
DIY Coconut Oil Dog Toothpaste
Coconut oil has antibacterial properties and is excellent for dog dental health among other benefits. You can use gauze wrapped around your finger or a finger brush. Simply using this instead of store-bought dog toothpaste will keep dog dental diseases at bay, leaving your dog’s teeth healthy and strong.
Dog Dental Toys
There are some dog teeth cleaning toys available which are great at encouraging your pet to chew. That said, you should not solely rely on dog chew toys for dental health. The wellbeing of your dog’s dental health should only incorporate a dental dog chew toy as a useful addition to their dental hygiene program for the best dog dental health.
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The information we offer is educational in nature and is not intended as a substitute for professional medical prevention, diagnosis or treatment. Our recommendation is to always do your research.
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