When was the last time you sat your pup down, opened his mouth and looked to see how well his teeth were? If you’re like most people, then you probably haven’t at all. This is especially alarming and surprising when you consider the fact that dental disease is one of the most common ailments to affect dogs.

Poor dental health can eventually lead to infections and damage to your dog’s vital organs, which is why it’s so important to monitor their mouths regularly. Don’t know where to start? Don’t worry. The veterinarians from Valley Animal Hospital in McAllen have the most important tips and information you need.

It’s time to keep your pup’s chompers clean and healthy! Visit us in McAllen today for more information.

Stinky Breath and Tartar Buildup

What you’ve always known as “normal doggy breath” can actually be one of the most common signs of oral disease. A common sign of bad breath in dogs is periodontal disease, an infection that can harm the gums and other supporting dental structures. When the plaque that builds up every day is left on the teeth, it can harden and create tartar. As the buildup of plaque and tartar continues, it creates a hotbed for harmful and destructive bacteria which can, in turn, worsen your dog’s breath.

Changes in the Gums

Your dog’s teeth have a bulge where they meet the normal and healthy part of the gum. When you look at it, you should see a slight wave of gums along the outside of your dog’s healthy teeth. However, if there’s a straight line on the gums along the teeth, your dog may be experiencing troubles with gingivitis or gingival recession. Gingivitis, or the swelling of the gums, can be reversible once the cause is dealt with. On the other hand, gingival recession, or the loss of normal gum height, is permanent and can lead to additional plaque buildup, exposure to the tooth’s root surface and even tooth loss.

Cautious Chewing

If you notice your pup favoring softer toys instead of the harder ones, stops playing altogether or refuses crunchy treats, he may be showing signs of dental disease. You may additionally notice your dog being cautious when he chews and prefers to do so in one side of the mouth. Other changes may include increased salivation, pawing at the face and vomiting where undigested food is visible.

Let Us Help

While some of these signs may be too subtle and hard to catch, veterinarian attention can be the perfect way to keep your pup’s oral health in check. At Valley Animal Hospital, we value your bond with your pawed friend and want it to stay strong and healthy.

If you suspect that your dog’s oral health needs attention, our veterinarian can help with routine preventive cleanings and even advanced periodontics and dental x-rays if needed. For more information about our services, or to schedule an appointment, give us a call in McAllen today.

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