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How Does Dental Disease Affect Dogs?

Just as you and your dog are having fun together, you smell its breath! More than just keeping your dog's breath fresh, proper dental care may also enhance its overall well-being. You may already know that periodontal disease can develop in dogs whose teeth are not properly cared for. It is a disease that eventually leads to tooth loss, bleeding gums, and poor breath.

But did you realize that neglecting your dental hygiene might also lead to other health problems? A fractured jaw is among them, along with diabetes and heart problems. And since dogs are experts at masking discomfort, you might not be aware of a problem.


Dental Disease in Dogs

Dental health issues in dogs are prevalent since it can be challenging to maintain their teeth clean. Studies indicate that by the time a dog reaches age two, 80 percent have some form of dental illness. Tartar formation from an accumulation of sticky plaque is where issues begin. 

Left untreated, this may result in periodontal disease, a painful illness marked by swollen gums and gingivitis. Dogs are prone to illnesses that might harm other body organs and cause them to lose teeth. Information suggests a connection between these illnesses and periodontal disease. However, veterinarians claim they cannot know for sure what causes them.


Effects of Dental Disease on Dogs


  • Discomfort and Pain

Dogs rarely exhibit discomfort, but a dental illness can make your pet progressively uncomfortable. Many dogs learn to prefer moist food over crunchy dry kibble or stop chewing on the painful side. Drooling, decreased appetite, swelling, or bleeding are some indicators of dental problems in dogs, but they are not always present.

Secondary infections are more likely to form if the problem begins to hurt, complicating the situation. Sometimes, an unexpected problem, such as a fractured tooth or something wedged between their molars, will result in pain.


  • Fractured or Broken Jaws

Even though it may sound extreme, dental problems in dogs often result in shattered jaws. Smaller dogs with abnormally large teeth, such as Chihuahuas, Maltese, and Shih Tzus, are especially prone to this. A dog's jawbone can get gradually weakened by ailments like periodontal disease or abscessed teeth. 


  • Diabetes

It is not usually possible to say when diabetes or periodontal disease initially appears. However, periodontal disease-related inflammation and infection can impact blood sugar metabolism. Insulin, an essential hormone in blood sugar management, is less responsive when inflammation and infection are in the body. Dogs with diabetes typically have increased rates of periodontal disease as a result. 

Diabetes becomes more profound the more advanced the periodontal disease is, which makes diabetes worse. Diabetes in dogs is challenging to manage unless the periodontal disease is addressed. Their diabetes is considerably easier to stabilize if that is taken care of.


  • High Susceptibility to Heart Disease

The chance of heart disease for those with extensive gum disease can be as much as sixfold higher. The specific cause is unknown, although the two disorders frequently coexist, and the bacteria found in endocarditis are the same ones found in periodontal disease.

For more on how dental disease affects dogs, visit Port Isabel Animal Clinic at our office in Port Isabel, Texas. Call (956) 943-6022 to book an appointment today.

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