Why Do Dog Teeth Get Worn Down? And When Is It a Cause for Concern? | Pupford
October 12th, 2023
Filed under Health + Wellness
As a fellow pup parent, I know how important our dog’s health and well-being are to us. One aspect of their health that is often overlooked is dental health and hygiene. In this article, we will discuss why our dog’s teeth get worn down, how to maintain proper oral hygiene, and when it might be cause for concern.
Here’s what we will cover:
- Natural Causes of Tooth Wear
- Abnormal Causes of Tooth Wear
- Signs of Tooth Wear
- Potential Health Concerns
- Oral Hygiene Tips
NATURAL CAUSES OF TOOTH WEAR IN DOGS
Chewing is a natural behavior for dogs, and their teeth are designed to support this behavior.
While chewing toys, long-lasting chews, and food are a form of mental enrichment and fun for our dogs - they also contribute to natural wear on their teeth. Chewing on appropriate objects maintains healthy dental hygiene by stimulating their gums and cleaning their teeth.
Diet can also play a significant role in your dog’s dental health. Choosing the right diet can go a long way in maintaining your dog's oral health. Always check with your veterinarian for recommendations on diet and nutrition.
It's important to ensure that your dog has appropriate chew toys and treats. Opt for durable toys and that are designed to encourage chewing while being gentle on their teeth. Providing your dog with safe, suitable items to chew on is an excellent way to manage natural tooth wear.
ABNORMAL CAUSES OF TOOTH WEAR
While natural wear and tear are expected, there are abnormal causes of tooth wear. One cause of abnormal tooth wear is chewing on items that are not designed for chewing or are too hard which can lead to tooth fractures.
- Hard, plastic toys
- Rocks or stones
- Bones, etc.
Did you know even your dog’s favorite tennis ball is not designed for long-term chewing? While a game of fetch is fun, allowing your dog to be unsupervised with a tennis ball for long periods of chewing is not ideal. Learn more about it !
Anxiety-related disorders can also increase wear and tear on your dog’s teeth. When they are anxious, often dogs will obsessively chew on things that they aren’t supposed to such as crate doors or furniture.
SIGNS OF TOOTH WEAR
Early detection of tooth wear or other dental hygiene-related issues is crucial for intervention.
The biggest indicator that something may be wrong is a change in behavior. If your dog seems uncomfortable eating, is no longer excited about their favorite chews or toys, or seems irritable, it may be time for a visit to the vet to address any underlying dental issues.
We recommend visually inspecting your dog’s teeth and gums regularly.
Early detection can help prevent severe dental problems that may lead to other health-related issues.
POTENTIAL HEALTH CONCERNS FROM WORN TEETH IN DOGS
Severe tooth wear or dental disease is not only uncomfortable and painful, it can lead to other health concerns for your dog.
For example, an untreated dental fracture can lead to infection which can lead to not only a tooth extraction but the spread of the infection throughout the body.
According to the , periodontitis, also known as gum disease, is the most common oral condition in dogs. Periodontal disease is caused when “residual food, bacteria, and tartar collect in the spaces between the gum and tooth, causing an infection that spreads to the bone.”
It's important to remember that dental problems don't exist in isolation. Severe dental disease can impact your dog's ability to eat, play, and enjoy a good quality of life. Addressing dental concerns promptly is essential for their overall health.
For an easy way to take care of your dog’s teeth, try a water additive. Simply add a few drops to your dog’s water to help reduce plaque, freshen breath, and .
ORAL HYGIENE TIPS FOR DOGS
Preventing dental disease by maintaining your dog’s oral health is essential. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, the and clean is through regular brushing. Just make sure you are using a dog-specific toothbrush and toothpaste.
Gradually introduce dental care to your dog, using positive reinforcement techniques and counter-conditioning methods to make it a positive experience for your pup. We want them to love getting their teeth brushed!
Additionally, regular vet visits are essential. Veterinarians can perform oral exams to detect early signs of dental signs and determine if your dog is due for a dental cleaning.
Understanding your dog’s oral hygiene needs is crucial for their health and quality of life. By being selective with your dog’s chews and toys and maintaining good oral hygiene habits, you can ensure their overall well-being to help them enjoy a life of smiles and tail wags.