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May 02, 2016
Dental disease is one of the most common medical problems for dogs. It is estimated that around 80% of dogs aged over three years will have some form of gum disease. Apart from the risk of tooth loss and bad breath, dental disease can also increase the risk of heart disease because bacteria in the mouth enters the body causing inflammation of the heart valves and chambers.
Dogs suffering a toothache tend not to show signs of discomfort or changes in eating behaviors, so you need to regularly check the mouth for any problems as well as getting a vet to check at least once a year.
The things to look to for are –
Plaque is a sticky, colorless, soft substance made up of bacteria, food particles and saliva and it collects on the teeth and around the gum line. The good news is plaque is soft and so easily removed by either brushing or chewing. However if not removed plaque hardens to form tartar. Tartar is yellow or yellowish brown and is hard, porous and crusty. Bacteria build up inside the tartar causing cavities and gum disease, and tooth loss. Tartar is much harder to remove than the soft plaque so regular brushing to remove the plaque before it becomes tartar is vastly preferable.
Tooth brushing, when done regularly, is the most effective way of removing plaque and keeping the gums healthy. However you can also help remove plaque by working with the dog’s natural desire to chew. All teeth cleaning works through a process of gentle abrasion. Toothpaste – human and dog – contain mild abrasives that scrape the surface of the teeth clean. A similar abrasive effect can be achieved by getting your dog to chew, something that they are much keener to do than having their teeth cleaned. Fish4Dogs Sea Jerky is made from densely packed and very dry fish skin giving it a crisp crunchy texture that archives this abrasion helping clean teeth.
This does not mean that you can stop brushing your dog’s teeth – you still need to do that. However by using chewing to clean your dog’s teeth you can do this several times and day and so are far more likely to remove the plaque before it turns into the, harder to remove, tartar.
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