Why is dental care important for your dog?

Dental care is important regardless of the age of your dog. Studies show that as many as 4 out of 5 dogs that have reached the age of 3 suffer from dental and gum diseases that require treatment. It is also estimated that all dogs over the age of 5 have at least one dental problem. Identifying dental problems is not always obvious, and although some dogs show symptoms such as bad breath, drooling, changes in behavior and eating patterns, as well as redness and bleeding from the gums, most dogs are experts at hiding pain and discomfort. Therefore, regular dental check-ups and treatment are essential to ensure your four-legged friend's total well-being.

Table of contents

Quick facts about your dog's teeth

The dog's teeth are not just a tool for chewing food, they play a decisive role in the dog's general health and well-being. An average adult dog has 42 teeth, and uses them to grasp, chew and break down food. It is also worth noting that puppies have baby teeth which are later replaced by permanent teeth as they grow. 

The dog's natural urge to chew is not only a behavioral habit, but it is also essential for oral health. The chewing activity helps to clean the teeth from plaque and tartar, while also strengthening the jaw muscles. You can support these healthy behaviors by offering appropriate ones chew toys og treats.

Your dog's dental health is therefore an important topic linked to the dog's general well-being. Neglected teeth can lead to gum disease, tartar, tooth pulling, bad breath and even affect organs such as the heart, liver and kidneys. 

Tartar in dogs

Tartar in dogs is a common problem among dogs of all ages. Tartar is a hard, yellow-brown substance that forms when plaque, a sticky mixture of bacteria, food debris and saliva, is not regularly removed from the teeth. Over time, plaque hardens and becomes tartar. Less active dogs, older dogs and those fed food with a lot of carbohydrates are particularly susceptible to tartar. This condition can lead to discomfort, bad breath and, in severe cases, gingivitis.

How is tartar removed?

Once tartar has formed in the dog, it is necessary to remove it professionally using an ultrasonic scaler. At A-Vet, we carry out thorough oral examinations, also known as dental examinations, when you book an appointment for teeth cleaning. In order to ensure a comprehensive examination, one has to use anaesthesia. This is because it is not possible to carry out the necessary examinations on an awake dog. The animal experiences no discomfort during the procedure and remains completely calm.

At A-Vet, all patients who are under anesthesia are carefully monitored by our animal nurses or veterinarians. Important parameters such as blood pressure, heart rate, temperature and breathing are constantly monitored to ensure safe completion of the procedure.

Brushing a dog's teeth helps against tartar

Maintaining good oral hygiene is the key to preventing tartar. Regular brushing of your dog's teeth is the most effective method. Brushing your dog's teeth is a very important part of the daily care of your dog, and in the same way that we recommend starting early with practicing claw clipping, being at home alone and walking nicely on a leash, we recommend starting with teeth brushing as early as possible as possible. Most dogs agree to have their teeth brushed, as long as you are careful, spend a good amount of time and have lots of treats. Also use a soft toothbrush and special toothpaste for dogs. There are also dental care products such as chew toys and special chew bones designed to reduce tartar. 

Gingivitis in dogs 

Gingivitis in dogs can come from untreated tartar. It occurs when bacteria form along the gums and cause irritation and inflammation. Poor oral hygiene is therefore one of the most important contributors. If the dog does not receive regular dental care, such as brushing or visits to the vet, plaque and tartar can build up, leading to inflammation.

Common symptoms of gingivitis include redness and swelling of the gums, bad breath, changes in chewing habits, bloody saliva and even tooth loss. If you observe any of these symptoms in your dog, it is important to see a vet for a thorough assessment. If you are in Larvik, you can contact us at A-Vet.

Gingivitis in dogs treatment

The treatment of gingivitis in dogs begins with prevention. Regular brushing is one of the most effective ways to prevent and treat gingivitis. Use a soft toothbrush specially made for dogs, along with toothpaste that is safe for pets. Introduce brushing gradually to make it a positive experience for your dog.

In severe cases of gingivitis, the vet may recommend professional teeth cleaning under anaesthesia. This makes it possible to thoroughly remove plaque and tartar. After the cleaning, the vet may also prescribe antibiotics or other medications to treat any infections.

Teething in dogs

One of the most common causes of teeth pulling in dogs is large amounts of calculus and plaque. This can lead to inflammation of the gums, tooth loss and in some cases infections. The vet may recommend tooth extraction to eliminate pain and prevent further complications. The process of tooth extraction is usually performed under general anesthesia to ensure that the dog does not experience pain and to allow a thorough examination of the oral cavity. After the teeth have been removed, we often give the owners advice on aftercare and dental hygiene to prevent similar problems in the future.

What happens when you deliver the dog for a dental examination?

When you arrive with your dog in the morning, you will be met by an experienced veterinarian or pet sitter. On arrival, you will fill in an admission form, where we thoroughly review important information, such as known diseases, regular medications and any allergies. We will also agree what will be done during the visit and set a time for collection.

We will then carry out a comprehensive health check on your dog, where we assess factors such as mucous membranes, heart and pulse. If everything is in order, the dog will be continued for treatment.

During a dental check-up with anaesthesia, we carry out a thorough examination of the entire mouth. We measure the pockets in the gums around each individual tooth, examine the mucous membranes and gums for any abnormalities, and always take X-rays of all teeth. Dental X-rays are essential for detecting diseases or injuries inside the teeth, under the gums and in the jawbone.

The teeth are then cleaned using an ultrasonic scaler and hand instruments. Finally, we polish them with a special polishing paste, so that the tooth surface is left smooth and scratch-free. This ensures thorough dental care for your dog.

Journal at A-Vet Small Animal Clinic

Any observation will be documented in a dedicated dental record, while the X-rays will be archived in this record. If conditions are discovered that require further treatment, these will be thoroughly reviewed and explained to the animal owner. We draw up a plan that indicates the necessary measures, the time perspective for the treatment, and always provide a transparent price overview for the services with us. 

Dental treatment dog price 

Contact us if you have any questions in connection with dental treatment for your dog. You will find one overview of general prices here!