Remove Plaque From Your Dog’s Teeth

Periodontal Disease 

Once plaque forms, it doesn’t easily get brushed away.  One layer of plaque becomes two layers, and so on. Layers of plaque on your dog’s teeth harden into what is known as tartar. The gritty surface of tartar provides the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. An abscess will form if the bacteria isn’t treated. 

Periodontal disease is more likely in older dogs with years of plaque build-up.  You will notice tartar on your dog’s teeth by the dark brown staining. The stain typically starts at the gum line and widens over the teeth.

The problem here is that as the tartar widens and expands, it pushes the gumline out of the way.  The part exposed has no enamel and is extremely sensitive. The more the gum line recedes, the greater risk of periodontal disease.

This is What Happens When You Don’t Remove Plaque From Your Dog’s Teeth!

Gum Disease in dogs doesn’t have any outright symptoms to watch for. The best idea is to prevent plaque build-up with regular brushing and occasional professional cleanings.  However, if dogs develops gum disease it can quickly move from an abscess, to gum erosion.

As the gums wear away, the tooth will become loose. Teeth will need to be extracted. The worst case scenario would be tooth and bone loss.

Signs of Periodontal Disease in Dogs

Dogs in chronic pain will typically hide it to avoid appearing weak to their pack. However, you might pick up on some subtle clues.  Dogs might favor one side of the mouth while eating. Bad breath is common in dogs, but this will be absolutely foul. You might notice blood in the saliva as well.

In severe cases, your dog might not want to eat at all and he might pull his head away if you try to touch him.

Complications of Gum Disease

There are four stages to periodontal disease in dogs.  In the first stage, gingivitis develops. Gingivitis in dogs results in red, swollen gums that are painful for the dog.  This stage is reversible if the dog’s teeth are treated.

In the next two stages, the redness and swelling of the gums gets worse.The gums might bleed easily.  

The last stage of periodontal disease is where the veterinarian sees that bone loss has occurred. At this point the gums will hurt a lot. Teeth might be loose as well.  

At the end of the day…

Brushing your dog’s teeth, feeding them dental treats and giving them appropriate toys to chew on still doesn’t get it all.

I suggest making a veterinarian appointment now while the tartar is minimal. The longer you wait the greater chance of infection, abscess, and the development of periodontal disease.

Expenses are directly related to the type of procedures performed. If your dog is healthy and just needs an uncomplicated teeth cleaning, you’re going to save money. Keeping your dog’s teeth clean and free from tartar will avoid expensive extractions in the future.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post.  I hope you were able to pick up some good ideas for removing plaque from your dog’s teeth. Of course, the best time to start is when they’re puppies, but it’s never too late!

If you have any comments or questions, feel free to send them to me in the form below.  Likewise, you can always email me directly at:

Remove Plaque From Your Dog's Teeth
Looks like this dude needs to have some plaque removed from his teeth

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About Lisa Theriault

Lisa Theriault wants you to know right up front that she is not a veterinarian. None of the articles/posts on this website are meant to take the place of veterinarian care. That said, Lisa has had a lifetime of experience dealing with dogs and plans on further education on dog anatomy and canine massage. In the meantime, Lisa's posts are all professionally researched and carefully crafted. The last thing she wants is to do or say anything that would hurt your dog. Stay tuned for more updates to Lisa's bio.