If you have noticed that your dog's teeth are turning yellow and wish you could give them a breath mint for their awful breath, they most likely have plaque built up on their teeth. However, this plaque is more than a cosmetic nuisance. Discussed below are the dangers of leaving plaque buildup on your furry friend's teeth.
Causes Gum Disease
One of the dangers of plaque buildup on your dog's teeth is that it has the potential to cause gum disease. As the plaque rests on your dog's gums, it pushes on the tissue, causing inflammation and breakdown of the gum lining. Because of this breakdown of tissue, the gums are more susceptible to bacteria. This, in turn, causes more inflammation, as well as leaves the gums open to infection.
Also, when the gums are pushed away from the bases of your dog's teeth, this exposes the nerves of the teeth. Not only does this increase the inflammation around the gums, but it also makes it difficult for your dog to eat without pain. If your dog is experiencing severe pain, they will probably start refusing food, which could then lead to weight loss and low energy. Also, the combination of the gum disease and low nutrition could lead to an even greater problem.
Increases the Chances of Infections in Other Organs
If your dog develops gum disease and bacteria start infiltrating the gum tissue, they could form a pocket of infection within the tissue called an abscess. Not only can an abscess be extremely painful for your dog, but it could lead to further infections within the body. Because the gums are extensively supplied by blood vessels, your dog's will run very close to the abscess. If the abscess starts leaking or breaks, the infection within the pocket can contaminate your dog's blood.
Then, the bacteria in the bloodstream will be exposed to your dog's other organs, including their heart, kidneys, and liver. Or, they could become septic, which means that the infection spreads throughout their body. Heavy doses of antibiotics would then be needed for treatment, and there could be permanent damage to your dog's organs.
Since plaque buildup does more harm than simply making your dog's teeth yellow and giving them bad breath, you should have it removed on a regular basis. Speak with your dog's veterinarian about setting up routine dental cleaning appointments to keep your dog's teeth free from plaque and help their overall health.
For more information, contact an animal hospital like Acequia Animal Hospital.