Dog Dental Health: Preventing Dental Disease in Your Pup

Dog Dental Health: Preventing Dental Disease in Your Pup

healthybud healthybud
3 minute read

There’s one important part of your dog’s health that you might be neglecting: their mouth! Without proper prevention, your dog can suffer from dental disease. dog dental health can affect your dog’s teeth and gums, but can spread elsewhere. Did you know that February is Pet Dental Health Month? So let’s look at why dental health is so important for your pup! 

🦷What Is Dental Disease

Dental disease starts from a simple buildup of plaque on your dog’s teeth, which contains food particles and bacteria. Over time, plaque hardens to tartar, which is more difficult to remove. Tartar can also move below the gumline, meaning it is invisible to the naked eye (and one of the reasons why anesthetic-free dentals are so dangerous -  but more on that in another blog!) 

When tartar makes its way below the gumline it can lead to inflammation, and even infection. It can also cause the gums to recede, making them more vulnerable to tartar and bacteria, and lead to gingivitis, the first phase of gum disease. If left unchecked, this can even progress to periodontal disease. More advanced disease can cause pain (and if you’ve ever had a toothache, you know you don’t want your beloved pooch suffering from that!), broken teeth, teeth that fall out, bone loss in their jaw, or even damage to other organs due to bacteremia. This is the process where the bacteria that causes plaque enters your dog’s bloodstream, leading to bacteria potentially spreading to the heart, liver, or kidneys and causing organ damage.

🔍What Are The Symptoms? 

How can you tell that your dog might be suffering from dental disease? Keep an eye out for some of these symptoms:

-bad breath (also known as halitosis) 

-broken teeth

-loose teeth

-painful or bleeding gums 

-not eating or drinking 


*Dogs can be very good at hiding pain, so their symptoms can be subtle. It’s our responsibility as pet parents to stay in tune with our pup’s health and monitor dog dental health.

🛠️What to Avoid

There are some foods recommended to avoid which can increase plaque on your dog's teeth. Just like with humans, sugars can lead to more plaque buildup, as well as complex carbohydrates made up of starches which turn into both fat and sugar. Grains are complex carbs (found in the majority of processed kibble), so you may want to add those to the list of foods you avoid. Treats and food that are rice or potato-based are also high in starch and can stick to your dog’s teeth making it easier for bacteria to hang around and form plaque. You should also be careful with hard toys and even antlers or bones - although these products are great at cleaning your dog’s teeth, they can lead to tooth fractures. 

Over the rest of this month, we’ll be looking into more aspects of your dog dental health, and how you can make sure that they are their healthiest! 

Stay healthy, stay happy, stay curious #healthygang!

Lots of love,

-The healthybud team

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