Why do dogs get gum disease?
Did you know that 4 out of 5 adult dogs have gum disease? Let’s find out the symptoms and control measures.
The bacteria within plaque and tartar attack the gums and cause inflammation of the gum tissue. Plaque damages the gum tissues and finally the ligaments and bone. Untreated, the tooth will become loose and finally ‘fall out’.
Spot the symptoms
It’s not always easy to spot gum disease but taking a close look at the teeth and gums weekly is a good start.
Bad breath: Bad breath in dogs is not normal and is almost always a sign of underlying gum disease.
Bleeding gums: Bleeding or inflamed (red or swollen) gums are a major sign of gum disease.
Behaviour: A dog who becomes less lively is usually thought to be ‘just getting old’ when actually it is the result of the effects of gum disease.
Sensitivity: Your dog may also be reluctant to have his head or face touched. This can be a sign that there are sore teeth or gums.
Five easy stages to brushing your dog’s teeth
What you will need?
- A toothbrush with medium bristles and the correct size.
- Pet toothpaste (do not use human toothpaste).
Stage 1 Introducing toothpaste
- Smear a small amount of toothpaste on your finger tip.
- Allow your dog to lick it.
Getting used to something in his mouth
- Place some toothpaste on your finger tip.
- With your other hand, gently hold his muzzle to keep the mouth mostly closed.
- Insert your finger under the top lip on the side of the face.
- Rub your finger tip on the teeth.
- Don’t allow the mouth to open or you may get your finger chewed. Slide your finger further back inside the cheeks (do not do this if there is any risk that you could be bitten). If your dog won’t sit still when you hold his muzzle, you should seek some behavioural advice.
Canine teeth first
- Wet the toothbrush with water and add some toothpaste then push it down into the bristles.
- Hold his muzzle to keep the mouth gently closed. This is to stop chewing when the brush is introduced.
- Lift the top lip on one side of the mouth (with a finger tip or thumb of the hand holding the muzzle).
- Gently brush the canine teeth – these are the longest teeth. Change your hold on the muzzle to lift the lip on the other side, then brush the canine teeth on this side.
Brushing further back
- To get to the molar teeth you will need to slip the brush past the corner of the lips inside the cheeks.
- Brush the upper teeth first and then allow the mouth to open slightly to be able to brush just along the gum line of the lower teeth.
- Remember; increase the brushing gradually and stop if your dog is reacting more than a little bit.
Brushing all the teeth
- Brush the canine and back teeth on both sides (as before).
- Now lift the top lip at the front of the mouth (still holding the mouth closed) and brush the incisors.
- You are now brushing the outside of all the teeth.
- You may want to brush for a little longer to do a more thorough cleaning.
- For the best results brushing should be at least once a day.
How PEDIGREE DentaStix Work?
PEDIGREE DentaStix have been designed to ensure they’re not too hard for dogs’ teeth and when fed daily, they work to safely and effectively reduce the build up of plaque and tartar through their active ingredients and mechanical actions. DentaStix have a unique combination of special cleaning texture + active ingredients – designed to match a dog’s bite force.
PEDIGREE DentaStix contain two active ingredients: zinc sulphate and sodium tripolyphosphate. These together have the effect of binding calcium in the saliva and slowing down the rate of tartar build up. By this means, plaque is kept softer for longer making it easier to remove when the dog chews. Zinc sulphate also adheres to any tartar already on the surface of the tooth and slows down further tartar build up.