What Are Those Black Spots on My Dog’s Teeth?
What Are Those Black Spots864 Views
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Watch for signs of dental deterioration in your pet.
We all want our teeth to look great. Most of us take the time to brush and floss — and heck, we even buy those teeth whitening strips (which make us look ridiculous while we wear them).
Our pets’ teeth are really important too. In order for dogs to effectively chew their food for proper digestion, they need to have healthy teeth. I’m going to be honest with you, the doggie dentures commercial is way cool and the corgi looks awesome with his dentures, but we need to be realistic. Doggie dentures are as useful as pogo sticks for kangaroos. Here’s the reality: If you take good care of your pup, his teeth will last throughout his lifetime.
Yes, Virginia, there is a dog dentist. Pups can get cavities just like we do. Fortunately, humans brush their teeth and floss as well as see their dentist regularly (you do, don’t you?!) Dogs are dependent on their owners to handle the teeth brushing, flossing and getting them to the veterinarian for all their oral health needs. Your dog’s teeth are your responsibility.
So, what are the black spots on your dog’s teeth? Simple. Black marks or lines on the teeth are possible signs of decay. Just as you would freak out if your teeth had black spots or lines, you should probably do the same if this happens to your pup. The spots could be simple stains on the enamel (for example, from a black rubber toy or a metal object chewed by the dog), but they could also be cavities or other signs of tooth deterioration.
According to the American Veterinary Dental Society, cavities are much rarer in canines than in humans, but do occur, particularly on the upper first molars. Interestingly, the dog breed most likely to get cavities is the German shepherd.
Nearly everyone has had a cavity at some point in their life. You must remember how uncomfortable and sometimes downright painful that cavity was. Your pet can’t tell you that he is uncomfortable; it’s up to you to handle your dog’s dental hygiene.
Pet owners should start handling proper dental hygiene from the time they get their pet. There are toothbrushes and pastes designed specifically for dogs. Most are pretty good, but a lot of dogs aren’t too happy about having a toothbrush in their mouths. You need to make it a great experience.
I don’t want to knock the people out there selling toothbrushes and toothpastes for pooches, but you really don’t need them for your dog to have a beautiful “smile.” Save your money and stop at your local drugstore. You’ll need gauze pads, baking soda and peroxide to keep your dog’s teeth sparkling. Now, this won’t repair damaged teeth, but it will keep healthy teeth looking great.
Dampen the gauze pad with lukewarm water. Place 1/4 teaspoon baking soda on it, and add three drops of hydrogen peroxide. Rub the ingredients into the gauze and then begin to rub it onto the teeth. Work your way through every tooth while telling Rover that he is awesome. Your comforting and reassuring words will make your pet feel more secure while you are cleaning his teeth. Do this at least once each week (especially you German shepherd owners out there). Daily would be awesome, but twice weekly will help to keep those teeth in good shape.
The black spots on your dog’s teeth need to be addressed as soon as you notice them. A dental cleaning via an ultrasonic scaler may remove the tartar/plaque deposits, and in extreme cases extraction may be required. Of course, your veterinarian will be able to provide the best treatment options for your pet.
Toothless dogs don’t fair very well, and only you can make your pooch’s life better. Your vet can take care of any decay and enhance your pup’s ability to chew, eat and live his life to the fullest (sans the doggie dentures!).
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