February is Pet Dental Health Month -AKC Gazette Offers Dental Tips, Product Reviews
[Friday, February 02, 2007]
— Learn How to Tell When Good Teeth Go Bad —
The February issue of the AKC Gazette – the American Kennel Club’s flagship publication – the oldest continuously published dog magazine in America – has devoted several articles to dental health and product reviews as part of National Pet Dental Health Month, sponsored in part by the American Veterinary Medical Association.
“When was the last time you had a good look in your dog’s mouth? If he’s over 3 years old, there is a 75 percent chance that he has dental disease—plaque, tartar, and inflamed gums. Besides causing bad breath and tooth loss, infection in the oral cavity can spread to vital internal organs. Oral disease can shorten your dog’s life,” writes Jeff Grognet, DVM in “When Good Teeth Go Bad” featured in the February issue of the AKC Gazette.
DENTAL HEALTH TIPS
* Don’t ignore bad breath, discolored teeth, or the red gums of your canine friend. Your dog needs diligent oral care from both you and your veterinarian to live a full and healthy life.
* Symptoms of canine oral disease include bad breath, a change in eating or chewing habits, pawing at the face or mouth and depression. Vets recommend regular dental exams for all dogs.
* Small-breed dogs are prone to tartar accumulation when very young, which results in the loss of many teeth by the time they’re 10 years old.
* Larger breeds, such as German Shepherd Dogs, don’t collect as much tartar on their teeth so they are not as prone to gum recession. Though they can have problems with gingivitis and tartar, they are much more likely to experience tooth fracture.
* Look in your dog’s mouth regularly. If his gums are cherry red, he has gingivitis. If you smell foul breath, he has a bacterial infection—it might just be from plaque, but it could also be an abscessed tooth.
* Whether a dog has an abscessed or fractured tooth or tartar and gum disease, the bacteria in his mouth can penetrate his gums and migrate via the bloodstream throughout his body—the heart, kidneys, and liver are particularly susceptible to invasion by oral bacteria.
* When you detect a problem in your dog’s mouth, have him examined by your veterinarian.