Your dog’s dental situation is not much different from a human’s. If not properly cared for, your dog’s teeth and gums are at risk for dental problems including periodontal disease. Periodontal disease can lead to bleeding gums, bad breath or (in extreme circumstances) tooth loss. Dr. Keshava Eega welcomes you and your four legged family member into Pavilion Crossing Animal Hospital & Grooming in Riverview, FL. The team at Pavilion Crossing will examine and clean your dog’s teeth so they remain top health.
If your dog has poor oral hygiene, it could affect more than just their teeth and gums. Poor oral hygiene has been connected to health issues in dogs including both diabetes and heart disease. If your dog is suffering pain from a dental issue, you may not even realize it due to a dog’s uncanny ability in hiding pain. Although there may not be absolute certainty that periodontal disease is absolutely connected to these health issues, there is ample evidence that has been found which shows a connection.
Let’s discuss some ways in which neglecting your dog’s oral hygiene will have a negative impact on not only their teeth and gums, but in their overall health as well.
Oral Diseases Can Trigger Your Dog’s Immune System
Gum disease (also called periodontal disease) initializes beneath your dog’s gumline with the development of plaque and bacteria. When this plaque is left on the tooth’s surface and is allowed to fester in areas surrounding the teeth, it can trigger your dog’s immune system. This results in inflammation and the early stages of gingivitis. This inflammatory response will kill bacteria but can also destroy tissue in the process.
In many cases, a large portion of tissue destruction associated with dental infection is actually due to products of the immune system and not a degradation caused by the bacteria itself. This tissue degradation can cause tissue loss, pain and infection of tissues surrounding the infection. As dental disease progresses, inflammation will increase, and the bacteria becomes more likely to enter the dog’s bloodstream and, from there, can then move to other parts of the body.
Treating periodontal disease in dogs will result in decreased inflammation and this can have a profound effect on a dog’s overall health as the amount of work the body has to do to fight the infection decreases. Also important is that pain which the dog may be facing due to the periodontal disease will stop.
Increased Risk of Heart Disease for Your Dog
Your dog’s heart and liver are very prone to inflammation caused by dental disease. According to the World Small Animal Veterinary Association, evidence has been found which shows periodontal disease can be linked to cardiopulmonary diseases including endocarditis. Dogs who have stage three periodontal disease (moderate to severe) have been fond to be at a risk six times higher than those without. Studies have been conducted which show that a significant number of dogs who suffer from heart disease also suffer from periodontal disease at the same time.
One indicator of this link is that bacteria which has been taken from infected heart valves match the same bacteria caused by periodontal disease in a dog’s mouth. Further complicating matters is that, for dogs suffering from both dental and heart disease, anesthetizing dogs to deep clean their teeth may not be possible as it can be unsafe for dogs in this condition.
Pain Caused by Dental Disease May Not be Detectable
Dogs very rarely exhibit signs of discomfort or pain and may continue to act and eat/drink normally. Because of this, you most likely assume nothing is wrong but, in some cases, you may be incorrect. Even when a dog is suffering from tooth decay or periodontitis, they may still be able to eat normally as it’s pretty easy for them to avoid biting down on the painful tooth. Afterall, how often have you seen a hungry dog practically inhale their food with minimal chewing?
Because of the ease in which dogs can hide dental issues, periodontitis could be considered a hidden disease. Symptoms dogs may show when suffering is excess drooling, reduced appetite and swelling or bleeding of the gums, but this is not always the case. If you’ve noticed that your dog has developed prolonged bad breath, that is reason enough to have their teeth and gums examined as, by the time serious symptoms show up, it may be too late to save affected teeth.
Caring For Your Dogs Teeth
The best way to avoid any of these issues is to maintain a solid oral regimen with your dog. This includes regular cleaning of the teeth and gums. You should also be getting your dog into their vet for annual oral exams and, if needed, dental x-rays.
There are products on the market which have been approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council whose purpose is to help keep dogs teeth and gums clean. Some of these products include chews, toothpastes, treats, powders, wipes and water additives. Caring for your dog’s oral hygiene is more than just about their teeth and gums. It’s a serious health issue that can affect their entire well-being.
If you are interested in learning more about how to care for your dog’s teeth and gums or if they are in need of an examination, please call Dr. Keshava Eega at Pavilion Crossing Animal Hospital & Grooming today at (813) 670-8881.
Dr. Keshava Eega
Pavilion Crossing Animal Hospital
Dr. Keshava Eega moved to the United States in 2003 to further his passion for practicing high-quality and modern veterinary medicine in a challenging environment. Having graduated from the College of Veterinary Science in Hyderabad, India, he then completed his Master’s in Animal Science and the North American Veterinary Licensing Exam in 2006. Dr. Eega then completed his clinical rotations at the Louisiana State University, School of Veterinary Medicine and subsequently obtained his license to practice Veterinary Medicine in the state of Florida. Dr. Eega possesses thirteen years of experience in corporate practice in Orlando as both an Associate Veterinarian and a Lead Doctor. Through the course of his tenure, he has gained vast and widespread experience and exposure in both the practice of high-quality veterinary medicine and soft tissue surgeries. He also possesses professional interests in preventive care, senior pet care, skin cases, nutrition, behavior and wellness exams, particularly for both cats and dogs. Dr. Eega also possesses Fear Free certification which enables him to rid pets, owners and even veterinary health care teams of fear, stress, and anxiety. Hence, in the hands of Dr. Eega, you can be assured that your pet receives modern, customized care in a comfortable environment!