Dental Care is an oft-neglected aspect of caring for our canine companions. This is an error, as dogs need dental treatment and attention just as much as people do. Today our Rock Hill vets discuss plaque and tarter build-up in dogs.
What is Plaque?
Plaque is a rubbery substance that forms on teeth within hours of consuming a meal. It is what is brushed away when we regularly brush our teeth. Leaving it for over 24 hours causes it to harden into Tartar in dogs.
What is Tartar?
Tartar is what plaque evolves into when exposed to salt in saliva. They combine together to create the hard substance known as tartar, which can grow below the gum line and cause serious dental health complications. Tartar is sometimes known as calculus, and it is as hard and troublesome as the math class of the same name.
How does Tartar harm oral health in dogs?
Tartar forms a rough surface that is particularly suited to the growth and eventual spread of bacteria. The common disease gingivitis is the result of too much bacteria in the mouth. Gingivitis is the inflammation of the gums, which can result in pain and excessive bleeding. Gingivitis, when left untreated, progresses into periodontal disease. Periodontal disease sees increased inflammation, increased pain, and the possibility of significant tooth loss.
An additional threat posed by bacteria reproducing on tartar is that said bacteria can be absorbed into your dog's bloodstream. If this happens, severe organ damage to the heart, kidneys or other vital body parts is possible.
Professional Dental Cleaning For Dogs
There are many at-home options for doggy dental care, but there is no substitute for professional dental cleaning. Dogs should have annual cleanings as part of their usual healthcare routine.