Fruit Valley Veterinary Clinic

Mouth Problems in Dogs

Mouth discomfort may be demonstrated by drooling or crying out or tilting the head when attempting to eat. Inflammatory disorders, foreign objects, infections, trauma and tumors may affect the mouths of dogs. In order to adequately inspect the mouth, sedation or anesthesia may be needed. With proper training, you can teach your dog to accept tooth brushing. Tooth brushing can help preserve teeth and gums from periodontal disease and tartar accumulation. Avoiding foods or treats that stick to the teeth is important (some treats contain sugar, jerkies are sticky) unless you can brush the teeth well. Eating specially formulated dry food is associated with less tartar accumulation on the molar teeth. Also, various hard biscuits, treats and dental exerciser toys can help maintain dental hygiene. FVVC can provide dental cleaning and polishing under anesthesia.

Toothbrush Training

To teach a dog or cat to let you brush his teeth, first teach him to sit still while you handle his lips. Reward him well each step of the way so that he knows you appreciate his cooperation. Every day brush one easy-to-reach tooth for a second or two. When your pet is comfortable with this, gradually increase the amount you brush each time. The final step is to gradually start brushing the hard-to -reach teeth. Generally only the outside surfaces need brushing, not the tooth surfaces next to the tongue. You can teach an old dog new tricks, and you can teach cats to cooperate. To succeed, you must not do more than they are comfortable with, you should try to do it frequently, and it helps if you can make it worthwhile for them.