It is estimated that over 80% of dogs have some form of dental disease by age three. Some dogs are more prone to dental disease, with small dogs being over-represented due to their oral cavities harboring more bacteria. Periodontal disease results from the combined action of oral bacteria and the immune response of the host. As plaque mineralizes to become calculus, the newly formed calculus serves as a retentive surface for more plaque build-up, which continues as a cycle until the normal tooth attachment is compromised and the tooth becomes unsalvageable. While your dog may appear to be “eating ok,” this does not rule out a problem. Dogs will continue to eat despite the presence of dental disease, in many cases swallowing the food whole.
The best treatment against dental disease is prevention! Brushing the teeth daily is considered to be the gold standard. When brushing a dog’s teeth, it is important to use pet toothpaste as the fluoride levels in human toothpaste when swallowed can be toxic to a dog’s heart. In addition to brushing, options for home dental care include rinses, gels, water additives and dental chews. Hill’s T/D Prescription Diet dog food is also beneficial in preventing against dental disease. This food contains a fiber mesh that scrubs the teeth as the food is consumed. These products are available for purchase at Town and Country Animal Hospital in Naples (Golden Gate), but if you reside in Bonita Springs or Marco Island, for example, and are unable to make the trip, they can be ordered and delivered through our website at www.mynaplesvet.com or our online pharmacy at https://mynaplesvet.vetsfirstchoice.com.
Regardless of how diligent we are in providing home dental care, periodic prophylactic dental treatment is recommended. The average dog dental cleaning is comparable to cleaning the teeth of a person who has not brushed for a few years.
At Town & Country Animal Hospital, we offer a variety of options to prevent and treat dog dental disease, as well as carefor and management of many other diseasesand issues, including cat dental disease and dog kidney disease.