Oral Care For Dogs

Grooming, last updated 29th, Sep 2014, Neha Manchanda

Oral Care

Did you know that most dog owners are not really bothered about the dental hygiene of their beloved furry friends? Most dogs are actually taken to a veterinary when the condition of the dental structure has gone from bad to worse! It’s time to change that outlook!!

In most dogs, over 80% of the medical problems are periodontal in nature. Periodontal problems are one of the most prevalent of the problems and also one of the easiest to diagnose, treat and control. Everyday veterinarians across the globe come across patients whose oral health is alarming and sadly, the pet parents are shocked to know that they have been oblivious to care towards their pets oral health and hygiene.

Causes of Dog Dental Diseases

One of the main reasons that dogs are susceptible to periodontal problems is because they have a highly alkaline mouth. The mouth of a dog is warm, moist and with the lack of oral care, a perfect breeding ground for organisms and bacteria. When kept clean, the bacteria and organisms are helpful and natural, but once plaque and tartar form on the teeth, the bacteria and organisms go haywire. If not treated the microbial pathogenic organisms can create serious problems 

On examination, many veterinarians discover that the foul breath in their canine patient is just a start of periodontal problems, a trailer to a much more insidious disease.

Types of Periodontal Problems

Some of the common periodontal problems that inflict our canine friends are:


Image courtesy: Web MD

Gingivitis is the inflammation of the gums. In case of gingivitis, the gums will look red and swollen. 

periodontitisImage courtesy: Web MD

Periodontitis is a general term for a disease of the oral cavity that attacks the gum and bone and delicate tissues around the teeth. 

pyrroheaImage courtesy: Web MD

Pyorrhea is  inflammation of the gums and tooth sockets, often leading to loosening of the teeth and accompanied by pus.

carrieImage courtesy: Web MD

Caries are an area of decalcification of the tooth enamel leading to cavities in the tooth. Caries are very rare in dogs.

plaqueImage courtesy: Web mD

Plaque is the first buildup of material adhering to tooth enamel. It is composed of a mix of intercellular matrix of bacteria, salivary polymers, remnants of epithelial cells and white blood cells, it can cause caries, calculi buildup and periodontal disease.

tartarImage courtesy: Web MD

Tartar is the formation of  calcium carbonate and calcium phosphate combined with organic material, deposited on the surface of the tooth.

Prevention of Dog dental Diseases

Prevention of periodontal problems starts early on. As pet parents, one should ensure that right from the time the pup has been brought home. Some of the ways to insure optimum oral health and hygiene are

  • Providing your dog with a well balanced meat based dog food as it helps in keeping the mouth healthy.
  • It will be good to encourage your dog to utilize chew treats or dentastix which will give exercise to the teeth. Dog product brands such as NPIC, Choostik and Pedigree have a variety of  meat as well as vegetarian chew treats available for dogs.
  • Regular brushing of the teeth will also ensure no plaque build up. Dental care products  such as dentagel, dental toothpaste and toothbrush are readily available in the market. Brands such as Beaphar, Tea Tree, all4pets and Pet Head have developed flavoured toothpaste that makes it relatively easy to brush the teeth. Under no condition should toothpaste made for human use be used on dogs.
  • Routine oral hygiene checks and sessions of scaling and cleaning of teeth should help in maintaining overall oral health.

About the Author


"An ardent writer, a devoted pet parent and a foodie at heart, I believe life is all about new experiences and expressions"

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