A lot of knowledge can be gained from a dog’s mouth, such as its age, diet, and health status. However, many dog owners neglect the mouths of their pets. Unsurprisingly, when little attention is paid to a dog’s dental hygiene, health problems are likely to show up. Indeed, studies suggest that nearly 80% of dogs in the United States have gum disease by the time they reach their 3rd birthday. Here, dental health will be discussed.
Signs of Tooth Abscess and Dental Disease
There are many signs your dog is suffering from tooth abscess or dental disease, including:
- Bad breath
- Red/bleeding gums
- Swelling of the gums
- Visible pus in the gumline
- Facial swelling
- Loss of appetite
- Dropping food
- Scratching face
How Do I Treat My Dog’s Infected Tooth?
If you suspect your dog has a tooth abscess or other dangerous dental problem, you should schedule an appointment with a veterinarian as soon as possible. Your veterinarian will prescribe antibiotics to help fight infection. However, if the tooth is abscessed, it will most likely need to be removed. Without extraction, your dog could suffer from a more serious bone infection or even death.
More information on the signs and symptoms of a dental infection, as well as treatment, can be found here.
How Can I Prevent Dental Disease and Tooth Abscess in My Dog?
When it comes to dental hygiene and your dog, prevention is key. Here are tips for preventing what veterinarians call the “silent killer” among pets:
Schedule Annual Cleanings
Having your dog’s teeth cleaned once per year professionally (or as needed) is an important way to make sure tartar and plaque don’t build up beneath your dog’s gumline, causing gingivitis and infection.
Brush Your Dog’s Teeth
Pet owners can reduce bacteria in dogs’ mouths by brushing their teeth at home. Make sure to use toothpaste specially made for dogs, as human toothpaste can contain toxic ingredients like xylitol. Toothbrushes designed for a dog’s mouth are also available.
Notice the Symptoms as They Appear
Memorize the signs and symptoms of a tooth abscess and dental pain and make a note of them if they appear. The Actijoy WiFi Food and Water Bowls, for instance, can alert pet owners when dogs eat or drink less than normal. And the Healthbook, found in the Actijoy App, allows pet owners to make a note of these changes to alert their veterinarian at the first sign of disease. Download the Actijoy App from Google Play or the App Store for free and make sure you won't underestimate anything. Keep track of your dog's health as much as possible!