Many dog owners usually neglect their dogs. Some have a wrong belief over these animals, and they treat them with poor treatment. There are clear consequences of ignoring your dog’s oral health and general wellbeing.
Most vet doctors will recommend that you brush your dog’s teeth regularly to prevent the formation of tartars, and once these are formed, they come with accompanying risks. There are proven studies that brushing reduces the emergence of bacterial diseases such as gingivitis in the mouth.
What is Tartar
Tartar is a dental plaque hardened by minerals in saliva and gingival fluid. This tartar is formed by a mix of organic matter and 60% of inorganic matter.
In the presence of tartars, there is enough room for bacteria to grow, and this can lead to further emergence of dental diseases in your dog. Therefore, tartar is not only an aesthetic problem but also can affect the health of the dog.
Consequences of Tartar in Dogs
Knowing that tartars compromise not only the dog’s oral hygiene, but we must also understand what’s at stake when there is the formation of tartar on our dog’s tooth. Below are some of the consequences/systemic health challenges that the presence of tartars could cause.
This consequence is direct from having tartar in your dog’s tooth. Senior dogs (from age 3) are usually known to have bad breath. This is a direct link to tartars. The fact that your dog’s mouth smells should not be normal to you.
At first, you will have to get rid of dirt, feces, and other decomposing matter around your dog.
When your dog’s breath reminds you of garbage and rotten food, then there’s something wrong with the dog’s mouth. Usually, these smells will come from bacterial colony around the mouth that has settled on the tartar. This can further lead to the rotting of bones and mucous in the oral cavity.
Gingivitis is the inflammation of either the dog’s oral mucous, oropharynx or tongue. This will usually cause ulcers in the mouth, difficulty eating, and excess saliva production.
With the presence of tartars, the dog can store up pathogenic bacteria, which can accumulate in the gum. These bacteria will release toxins that can damage the tissues close to them. As soon as the dog’s immune system reacts to these lesions, it begins an elaborate process that inflames the gums.
When you do not treat gingivitis properly, it relapses into periodontitis. In the case of periodontitis, the inflamed gum goes along with the degeneration of the supporting tissues and bones in the dog’s teeth. Once it gets down to periodontitis, the process cannot be controlled as the bones damages has already occurred.
This periodontitis is the leading cause of dental diseases in dogs. Some studies show that 80% of dogs suffer from this disease, and the progression starts from age 2. Halitosis is the first detectable sign for this condition; once you detect a bad breath, ensure you visit the vet.
Loss of teeth
Loss of teeth is very much linked to periodontitis – because the condition causes the degeneration of bones and the structure that supports the teeth. Loss of teeth can be complicated or not; it all depends on whether the nerves and blood or nerve capillaries are exposed.
Most of the symptoms of teeth loss are pain, discomfort, and bleeding near the affected structure. When it is not treated, it leads to systemic infection.
Endocarditis is the infection of the endocardium. The endocardium is the tissue that lines the inside of the heart chambers and valves. Strangely though, the bacteria from the mouth of the dog can become out of control and enter the blood, which will lead to bacteremia – which migrates and settles in the heart tissue of the dog.
Once there are bacteria in your dog’s blood, it can lead to end-organ damage such as kidney, liver, or heart. Hepatic failure will result in extensive symptomatology, and this largely depends on the severity of the infection and the type of bacteria.
As you have already noticed, there are severe consequences of tartars in your dog’s tooth. It is proper to brush your dog’s tooth routinely and make a scheduled visit to your vet.
However, before you start brushing your dog’s teeth, you should learn the best toothpaste and brushes to use.