It's Your Best Bet To Take Your Pet To The Vet For A Dental Exam If You Notice These Things

Posted on: 16 March 2016

When was the last time you took a look in your dog's mouth? There are a number of pet owners who do not realize that the oral care of their dogs is just as important as other things such as getting vaccinated. Poor oral hygiene in dogs may result in serious issues such as periodontal disease. The following information will help you determine whether or not your dog may already have an oral health situation that requires medical attention.


Some dogs drool naturally, but if you have noticed that your dog has been producing more saliva recently, then it is possible the excess saliva production is the result of dental issues. Also, pay attention to when your dog drools. For example, drooling during meal times may be normal due to salivary glands activating to moisten food, but constant drooling without any stimuli might be related to a dental issue.

Appetite Changes

Dogs with dental issues may eat less due to oral discomfort, and weight loss may be a more noticeable sign that your pet is eating less. The way your pet chews may also be a sign that something is wrong. For example, they may chew slower due to pain, or they may drop food as a result of trying to position the food in their mouth and chew it in a manner that is comfortable. 

Tartar and Inflammation

Look inside your dog's mouth for signs of dental issues. If you notice any plaque on your dog's teeth, you can attempt to brush it away. Leaving the plaque on their teeth may lead to tartar build-up, which would require more aggressive cleaning to get rid of. Plaque may also lead to gingivitis in dogs. While you are looking into your dog's mouth, look at their gums. If they are red or swollen, your dog might have gum inflammation or gum disease. 

Offensive Breath

Bad breath could be indicative that your pet has a serious oral infection. It may also be harmless. This is why you need to use other cues to determine whether the bad breath issue may be something serious. For example, swollen gums, tartar around teeth and bad breath occurring together could be a sign that your pet has an oral disease. 

A veterinarian is the best resource to use to determine whether your pet's dental issues are serious. They can also offer dental hygiene advice and determine the best approach to treating any existing dental problems. For example, the veterinarian may treat plaque build-up with a dental cleaning and suggest an at-home routine as well as a schedule for future professional cleanings. Contact a company like Howard County Animal Hospital for more information.