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Published: Mar 29, 2012

Dental problems are one of the more common issues dogs face, and owners need to be aware of this, as the clinical signs of dental disease in dogs are often not obvious. VCA Animal Hospitals reports that close to 80 percent of dogs over the age of three have issues with their teeth, but many pet owners are unaware of these problems.

In fact, periodontitis, also known as periodontal disease, is the most common disease in dogs. This disease commonly affects the supporting tissues around the teeth.  These tissues become inflamed and infected from the presence of bacteria and plaque and over time, the gums may recede to the point that the tooth loosens and falls out.

Preventing this painful disease is as simple as instituting a dental care plan for your dog, which includes brushing your dog’s teeth every day to prevent tartar build-up. However, it is absolutely imperative that a pet owner never uses human toothpaste, as the chief ingredient in this could be toxic to dogs. A veterinarian can recommend a special pet toothpaste that will be non-toxic and safe for a canine to swallow.  In addition to at-home care, dogs should get a dental checkup with their vet every year to keep their teeth and gums as healthy as possible.