As a devoted dog owner, you care deeply about your furry friend’s well-being. You provide them with nutritious meals, take them on long walks, and shower them with love. But have you ever considered the health of their teeth? Surprisingly, dental issues are incredibly common in dogs, with over 80% of them suffering from significant dental health problems. In this article, we will explore the consequences of rotten dog teeth and why prioritizing your dog’s dental care is crucial.
How Poor Oral Hygiene Affects Your Dog
Untreated dental disease can lead to various health issues, posing a risk to your dog’s overall well-being. Let’s examine some of the potential consequences of neglecting their dental health.
Beneath the gumline, plaque-associated bacteria release toxins that can cause significant damage to the surrounding tissues. In response, white blood cells rush to the affected areas, resulting in inflammation known as gingivitis. The gums appear red, swollen, and may bleed when touched.
Pathologic Jaw Fracture
Continued inflammation often leads to a condition called periodontitis, which involves the loss of supportive tissues around the teeth. The inflammatory process erodes these tissues, weakening the tooth sockets and jaw bones. Symptoms of periodontitis include loose teeth, jaw infections, and fractures.
Kidney and Liver Disease
Inflamed gums can allow bacteria to enter the bloodstream. Once in circulation, these bacteria can reach other organs, particularly the liver and kidneys. The presence of these bacteria in vital organs can cause infections and ultimately lead to organ failure.
Chronic inflammation resulting from periodontal disease increases the risk of heart disease in dogs. The circulating bacteria can trigger an inflammatory condition called endocarditis. Studies have also shown that dogs with dental disease have an elevated risk of congestive heart failure, a potentially fatal condition.
Loss of Weight and Appetite
Dental issues can make eating a painful and uncomfortable experience for dogs. They may struggle to open their jaws and chew properly, leading to food dropping from their mouths while eating. Over time, this reluctance to eat can lead to weight loss. Poor appetite and weight loss may also indicate that dental disease is causing chronic problems in the liver, heart, and kidneys.
Why Routine Dental Care Is Essential
Proactive dental care is crucial for maintaining your dog’s oral health and preventing these serious health issues. By taking preventative measures consistently, you can minimize the buildup of bacterial film that leads to plaque and tartar. Implementing a dental care routine early on can significantly reduce the risk of your dog experiencing these consequences.
If you notice any signs of tooth decay or dental issues in your dog, it’s vital to consult your veterinarian promptly. Early intervention can prevent the progression of dental problems and avoid more severe complications.
Remember, you are the guardian of your dog’s health, and their dental care is no exception. By prioritizing their oral hygiene, you can ensure that your furry companion leads a healthy and happy life.
By: Dr. Natalie Stilwell