How does dental health impact the overall health of my dog?

Dental health is crucial for your dog's overall well-being. Healthy teeth contribute to a happy and healthy body, just like in humans. Poor dental health can lead to various health issues and complications for your dog.

Dr. Noël Lucas
Blue Oasis Pet Hospital

How can I care for my dog's teeth at home?

Caring for your dog's teeth at home is essential but can be challenging. Ideally, you should brush your dog's teeth daily. There are also oral health chews, water additives, and hygiene rinses available to help maintain your dog's dental health. However, brushing remains the most recommended method.

What are some signs and symptoms of dental disease in dogs?

Some common signs of dental disease in dogs include bad breath (halitosis), yellowing of the teeth (tartar buildup), and inflammation along the gum line (gingivitis). If you notice any of these symptoms, it may be time for a dental checkup.

What are some common dental diseases that dogs get?

The most common dental disease in dogs is periodontal disease, which involves inflammation of the gum line. If left untreated, it can progress and create pockets around the teeth, leading to more advanced stages of the disease. Dogs can also suffer from tumors, fractured teeth, abscessed teeth, and jaw fractures due to cancers.

Why is early detection and diagnosis of dental disease important?

Early detection of dental disease is crucial because it allows for more effective treatment and preservation of your dog's teeth. If the disease is caught early, it is less likely to advance, and the necessary treatments may be less invasive and less expensive.

How often should my dog's teeth be checked?

Your veterinarian should check your dog's teeth during each general wellness or comprehensive exam. Puppies may need more frequent checkups, but adult dogs should have their teeth checked at least once a year. If you notice any problems, such as bad breath or difficulty eating, bring your dog in for an exam sooner.

What is a professional dental cleaning like for a dog?

A professional dental cleaning for a dog is a significant procedure that requires general anesthesia. This allows the veterinarian to protect your dog's airway, thoroughly examine and clean all teeth, and perform any necessary x-rays. If you have concerns or questions about a dental procedure for your dog, reach out to your veterinarian for guidance and support.

If you still have other questions and you'd like to reach out to us, you can call us directly at (615) 975-2583 , or you can email us at [email protected]. But please do reach out, and we'll get back to you as fast as we can. Don't forget to follow us on social media,

Dog Dental - FAQs

Dr. Noël Lucas
Blue Oasis Pet Hospital

How often should I brush my dog's teeth?

Just like humans, a dog's teeth should ideally be brushed every day. However, it's understandable that this may not always happen for most pet owners. Nevertheless, daily brushing is the recommendation for maintaining your dog's dental health.

Are there any tips for making brushing a dog's teeth easier?

Yes, there are several tips to make brushing your dog's teeth easier. Ideally, start when they are puppies and get them accustomed to the process early on. Use treat rewards to encourage and reinforce positive behavior. Focus on brushing the outside surfaces of the teeth, as there is less tartar buildup on the inside and it prevents any potential injury to the dog or the person brushing. Start slow and don't expect to brush the entire mouth in one session. Gradually increase the number of teeth brushed and always use lots of rewards. If your dog is not comfortable with teeth brushing, explore other options for dental care.

Can I use human toothpaste with my dog?

No, do not use human toothpaste for your dog. Human toothpaste contains fluoride and sometimes xylitol, both of which can be toxic to dogs when ingested over time. The only safe alternative would be infant toothpaste gels without fluoride. Dog toothpaste is specifically formulated without fluoride and is safe for your pet's use.

Do I still need to brush my dog's teeth if I give him greenies?

Yes, brushing your dog's teeth is still important even if you give them greenies or dental health chews. While these chews can help maintain dental health, nothing can replace the effectiveness of brushing your dog's teeth. Regular brushing and dental chews can help minimize the need for professional dental cleanings, but it is still essential to visit your veterinary dentist for periodic cleanings.

Can dogs get cavities?

Yes, dogs can get cavities, but they are incredibly rare. Dogs do not consume a lot of sugar and are not prone to cavities like humans. Veterinary dentists do not fill cavities in the same way human dentists do. While cavities can occur in dogs, they are a rare occurrence.

Are there chew toys that can work to also brush my dog's teeth?

No, there are no chew toys on the market that can effectively brush your dog's teeth. While some may be marketed as such, the mechanical action of chewing does not provide the same brushing technique as using a toothbrush. For a comprehensive list of recommended dental care products, visit the Veterinary Oral Health Council's website at

If you have any questions about your pet's dental health or home care, please reach out to your local veterinary clinic for assistance.

If you still have other questions and you'd like to reach out to us, you can call us directly at (615) 975-2583 , or you can email us at [email protected]. But please do reach out, and we'll get back to you as fast as we can. Don't forget to follow us on social media,

Dog Dental - FAQs 2

Dr. Noël Lucas
Blue Oasis Pet Hospital

How do I know if my dog needs a dental exam?

Determining if your dog needs a dental exam can be difficult, as dogs are usually quiet about their dental needs. Bad breath or chewing issues might be the only noticeable signs. Most of the time, veterinarians discover oral health problems during your dog's general checkup or preventive care exam.

How often does my dog need a dental exam?

Your dog should have a dental exam at least once a year, as part of their annual checkup.

How do I know if my dog's teeth are causing them pain?

Dogs often hide their dental pain, making it difficult to determine if they are experiencing discomfort. Some signs of dental pain might include lethargy, hiding in unusual places, dropping food from their mouth, or favoring one side when chewing. However, dogs rarely cry out in pain, even if they have a fractured tooth or are biting down on something.

Is there anything I can do to help my dog prepare for a dental exam?

Preparation for a dental exam might include providing calming medications, antibiotics, or pain medications as recommended by your veterinarian. You should also have soft or canned food available for your dog after the procedure. It is essential to follow your veterinarian's specific instructions, as each office's requirements might vary.

Will my dog be getting dental x-rays?

Yes, dental x-rays are a critical part of a dog's dental assessment, as they allow the veterinarian to examine areas of the tooth that are not visible to the naked eye. Dental x-rays are mandatory at Blue Oasis Pet Hospital during dental exams.

How long does a dog dental cleaning appointment take?

A dental cleaning appointment for a dog with stage one periodontal disease (tartar and gingivitis) typically takes about an hour. The time required for the procedure can increase depending on the severity of the dental issues discovered during the exam.

If my dog needs extractions, will he be given pain medication?

Yes, pain prevention and control are crucial during dental procedures. At Blue Oasis Pet Hospital, all dental patients receive pre-anesthetic pain relievers. If extractions are required, local nerve blocks are administered before the procedure, and anti-inflammatory medications are given during anesthesia. Post-operative pain medications are also prescribed based on the procedure performed.

To discuss your dog's dental health, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian. They will be happy to address any concerns and provide the necessary care for your pet's oral health.

If you still have other questions and you'd like to reach out to us, you can call us directly at (615) 975-2583 , or you can email us at [email protected]. But please do reach out, and we'll get back to you as fast as we can. Don't forget to follow us on social media,

Dog Dental - FAQs 3

Dr. Noël Lucas
Blue Oasis Pet Hospital

Why does my dog need anesthesia for teeth cleaning?

Your dog needs anesthesia for proper teeth cleaning and assessment because dogs will not hold still while the procedure is being done. Anesthesia protects your dog's airway from water used during the cleaning process. If water enters the lungs, it can cause aspiration pneumonia. Anesthesia also allows the veterinarian to take dental x-rays, clean the surface of the teeth, and probe and clean under the gum line safely.

How is anesthesia administered and who monitors the dog during the procedure?

In a dental cleaning procedure, the dog is given premedication and an IV catheter is placed. The dog is then gently placed under anesthesia and a tracheal tube is inserted. The dog is started on gas anesthesia (isoflurane and oxygen) and positioned for the dental procedure. Electronic monitoring devices such as ECG, pulse oximetry, blood pressure cuff, and a temperature probe are used. Additionally, a nurse anesthetist watches over the dog. External heat support with blankets is provided to keep the dog comfortable during the procedure.

I've heard some vets offer anesthesia-free dental. Is that true?

Yes, it's true, but anesthesia-free dental cleanings are not recommended by the American Veterinary Dental Academy or the AHA. Anesthesia-free procedures can be risky as there's nothing protecting the dog's airway from water used during the cleaning process. Moreover, it's not possible to perform thorough dental care, such as addressing advanced periodontal disease or extracting teeth, without general anesthesia.

How do I know if my dog will have a reaction to anesthesia?

It's not always possible to know if a dog will have a reaction to anesthesia. If your dog has had a reaction before, it's important to inform your veterinarian. Anesthesia is generally safe, but it's essential to monitor the dog closely for any complications. Veterinarians usually have medical consents and encourage pet owners to ask questions and address any concerns before the procedure begins.

Is my dog too old for dental cleaning?

Age is not a disease, but diseases can come with age. For older dogs, it's essential to ensure their heart, kidney, and liver functions are in good shape before dental cleaning. Veterinarians will run an ECG and check laboratory work (usually within three months) to ensure the safety of the procedure. If the dog's organs are functioning properly, age should not be a problem for dental cleanings.

If you have specific questions about your dog's dental health or dental needs, reach out to your veterinarian or contact Blue Oasis Pet Hospital for more information.

If you still have other questions and you'd like to reach out to us, you can call us directly at (615) 975-2583 , or you can email us at [email protected]. But please do reach out, and we'll get back to you as fast as we can. Don't forget to follow us on social media,