Even though dogs can’t get cavities, they are still prone to gum disease, bite disorders, and tartar build-up. Gum disease can be serious for dogs, playing into a slew of other health problems, like heart disease, kidney disorders, and even organ failure. Like humans, dogs need routine brushings and appointments for professional dental cleanings.
In general, if you own a small dog, you should be ready to take them to more veterinary dental check-ups. Typically, dog breeds that are shorter than your knee are more likely to develop periodontal disease.
More specifically, if you own any of the dogs breeds mentioned in this blog, we recommend taking them in for regular dental checkups, and following steps at home to promote healthy teeth and gums.
Health Problems with Collies
The Collie is a popular dog breed that is often affected by overbites. Overbites in dogs, similar to overbites in humans, occur when the lower jaw is abnormally short, especially in comparison to the upper jaw.
Typically, we will notice if your Collie has an overbite as a puppy. In most instances, we will recommend orthodontic intervention, in which we perform a treatments while the dog is young, and the facial structure is still growing. In some instances, we will need to extract all of the baby teeth in the lower dental arch to prevent discomfort and aid in forward growth of the lower jaw.
If your Collie’s dentition problems are diagnosed as an adult, we will work on treating the secondary issues associated with overbites, like uneven wear and gum damage from tooth-on-tooth impact. Depending on how advanced your dog’s overbite is, we might suggest the orthodontic movement of teeth, crown shortening with pulp therapy, or tooth extractions.
Dental Problems with Pugs
Your Pug’s squashed-in face might melt your heart, but unfortunately, your Pug’s facial structure also puts it at risk of developing gum disease. Other breeds in the same category as Pugs, like Shih Tzus, Bulldogs, and Boston Terriers, are all known for malocclusion.
A malocclusion occurs when their teeth don’t line up correctly. While the appearance of a malocclusion in a dog might be endearing, sometimes the bite misalignment can cause pain and trauma when the teeth harshly close on one another.
Another reasons Pugs are prone to dental disease is the fact that their teeth are also overcrowded. Overcrowding in the teeth entrap food and cause bacterial buildup, leading to gum disease. In more severe cases, we will be able to extract teeth as puppies, making more room for a healthy mouth.
Abnormal crowding also makes it harder to keep teeth clean, when you try to brush their teeth at home. If you own a Pug, or another one of the flat nosed dogs mentioned above, then you should make sure you take them into regular professional dental cleaning. During a dental cleaning, we can clean the hard to reach nook and crannies and under the gumline, while your pet is safely under anesthesia.
Yorkies and Malocclusions
Small toy breeds, like Yorkies, Maltese, Poodles, and Pomeranians are notorious for having snaggle teeth, when the baby teeth erupt on top of their adult teeth. Unfortunately, this problem causes food and debris to become trapped in hard to reach areas, putting your Yorkie at risk of gum disease. For persistent baby teeth, we will recommend extraction. Otherwise, the adult teeth might fail to erupt or mature at a problematic angle, causing a painful malocclusion.
Chihuahuas and Dental Overcrowding
One of the greatest things about having a little lap dog, like a Chihuahua, is that they are small, like permanent puppies. Unfortunately, their small mouths mean that they have less room to fit all of 42 of their teeth. Chihuahuas often suffer from overcrowded teeth, plaque buildup, and gum disease.
Dachshunds and Gum Disease
Dachshunds breeds are known for their musculoskeletal disorders caused by their elongated bodies. Unfortunately, they also have narrow, elongated snouts, making them more likely to develop periodontal pockets.
Periodontal pockets occur when bacteria gets trapped between the gum and tooth, causing the gum tissue to break away from the tooth and decaying the surfaces of the tooth of their upper canines. When this occurs, we will need to do a deep root planing to treat the infection and regenerate the gum tissue. Collies also have narrow muzzles and can suffer from periodontal pockets.
Boxers and Gum Disorders
We mentioned earlier that small dogs are the most likely to suffer from dental disease. There are also some large dog breeds, like Boxers, Great Danes, and Mastiffs, that have gum disorders.
These dogs often suffer from gingival hyperplasia, a disorder caused by overgrown gums. Gingival hyperplasia is an inflammatory response due to excess plaque, and in some cases as a side effect to medication. You can minimize this issue by taking your Boxer pup for routine dental checkups, in which we will decrease the plaque in the mouth and detect gum problems, before they get out of control.
Are you worried your pet isn’t receiving adequate dental care? At Madison Animal Care Hospital, we offer everything from basic to advanced dental services. We will be able to diagnose and treat your dog for dental problems, before they cause your pet serious issues. Call us today to learn more at 256-461-7575.