Signs Your Dog Should See A Veterinary Dental Specialist

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Dogs do not typically see the dentist for annual cleanings and checkup appointments like humans do. However, there are veterinary dentists. They go through vet school just like any other vet, and then they spend some additional time learning specifically about veterinary dentistry. Most dogs do not need to see one of these specialists on a regular basis, but they do need to see the dentist if they're showing any of the following signs of dental problems.

Refusing to eat crunchy food.

If your dog has always eaten crunchy food in the past, but now they will only eat soft food, then they are probably suffering from dental pain. They may have a painful infection or abscess in one of their teeth, or they may have decay that is now serious enough to cause pain. In either case, a veterinary dentist will examine their mouth, take some X-rays, and remove the teeth that are causing pain.

Bleeding from the mouth.

Occasionally, a dog will bite down on something hard, and it will scrape their gums or cheek, leading to a little blood. But if this is happening more than once every few months, your dog is probably suffering from gum disease. As in humans, gum disease can make the gums overly sensitive and prone to bleeding. It needs to be addressed early to prevent it from leading to tooth loss and tooth decay. A veterinary dentist can clean the tartar off the teeth along your dog's gum line, which should clear up the gum disease. They may also give you dog antibiotics for a few days to help the body fight the bacteria at fault for gum disease. 

Stinking breath.

If your dog has bad breath, give them a breath freshening treat. If this takes care of the issue, at least for a day or two, then you really have no reason to worry. But if the putrid smell continues, it is probably coming from either a rotten tooth, excessive tartar, or infected gums. All three of these issues require treatment from a veterinary dentist. The smell can be one of the first signs of a dental problem, so if your dog sees the vet at this stage, they may avoid bigger problems like trouble chewing and overt pain.

Veterinarian specialists are trained in dentistry so they can detect and treat issues with your dog's gums and teeth. Don't hesitate to call one if your dog is struggling with any of the issues above.

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From Vaccines to Viruses A vet is someone who is there for your pet from their early years until their last years. When your pet is young, a vet can give them the vaccines they need for disease prevention as they become acquainted with the world. As your pet ages, your vet can monitor them for the conditions that often come with old age, such as arthritis and cancer. Vets care about their patients. We hope you will learn more about this care as you browse the content on this blog. We do our best to offer well-researched and helpful information for pet owners like you.