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How Can I Prevent Oral Disease in Dogs?

 Submitted by Michael Adams on November 27, 2009

Dogs’ mouths, just like their owners’ mouths, are prone to bacterial infestations and other oral problems. Just like humans, food exposes dogs’ teeth to bacteria too. Though dogs cannot maintain an oral hygiene routine on their own, oral cleanliness is important in maintaining the health of the teeth and gums.

Though a dog’s breath doesn’t smell great, sometimes it smells worse than it should. In such a situation, get your dog checked for any oral diseases. Other symptoms of oral diseases are excessive drooling, rubbing of the mouth, eating problems and tilting of the head from one side to another.

Here are some of the common oral diseases in dogs and tips to prevent them: • The facial structure of some dogs is such that the mouth may not be cleansed adequately even with a bath. Certain breeds like bulldogs have layers or folds of skin on the face which may not be dried thoroughly when wiping them down or toweling after a bath, leading to persistent moisture in the area. An infection called lip fold polyderma that occurs on the lips and around the mouth of the dog can occur due to the inability to maintain hygiene. In this disorder, raw sores appear on the lips and face of the dog and an immediate trip to the vet is required. To prevent this disorder, clean your dog’s face thoroughly during each bath. Dogs don’t like to get their face wet, so sometimes, you may just have to use a slightly wet cloth or a tissue. • Gingivitis is another disease commonly found in dogs. Gingivitis in dogs is very much like that in humans. This disorder is caused when food gets caught in the lining between the teeth of the dog. When this food begins to rot, a pale scum begins to form around the teeth and eventually, the harmful bacteria of the teeth cause them to begin falling out. This painful periodontal disease can be prevented by regular cleaning and brushing of the dog’s mouth. When giving your dogs its weekly bath, you may also brush its teeth using doggie toothpaste. • The tongue of a dog is another organ that may get affected due to poor hygiene. If your dog has a sore mouth, it can cause the gums of the dog to bleed excessively. The dog may not be able to eat anything and pustules begin to form inside the mouth and on the tongue. These sores do not go away on their own. To avoid such sores, try to keep your dog hydrated. Maintaining oral hygiene will also ensure that you would not have to deal with such oral disorders.
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