With February right around the corner, Dental Month is nearly upon us! As we continue to explore the world of our pets’ dental health, it is vital to understand that some breeds may be a little more predisposed to dental problems and require extra love and care when it comes to their oral hygiene!
Chewing: The First Line of Defense
Before we delve into which breeds could be predisposed to dental problems, one universal defense against oral complications we can all utilize is the power of chewing! Some dogs are voracious chewers while other breeds exert little energy and effort when they chew. Regardless of the energy output your dog exerts when masticating (chewing), the very act of chewing is biomechanically designed to be a natural plaque and tartar deterrent. Your dogs chewing can even help prevent calculus build up on the tooth surface. Chewing is one of the frontlines of defense against an unhealthy mouth, so be sure to encourage good chewing habits with a raw, meaty bone or non-toxic chew toy!
Genetics and The Cavity Equation
“Yorkie Mouth.” Have you ever heard this term before? Despite what you may think, this is not a discouraging term by any means. What it really speaks to is the connection between your pup’s genetics and their predisposition to potential cavities! Certain breeds, like the Yorkshire Terrier, are simply known for being more susceptible to periodontal disease and other oral health complications. Other breeds, like the poodle, the pomeranian, the Chihuahua, and their mixes are also known for this oral predisposition. If one of these breeds is a part of your family already or you are thinking about adopting one, simply be sure to promote proper dental care from an early stage. They will certainly thank you for it! https://www.petmd.com/dog/slideshows/8-breeds-prone-dental-disease
Conformation is simply the medical term that refers to structure or shape, particularly concerning the mouth. A dog’s mouth conformation can have a significant impact on their overall oral hygiene. For example, a dog with a wider mouth that has irregularly positioned teeth is far more susceptible to potential dental health risks like periodontal disease. While their no definitive conclusion, the current science suggests that an unusual placement or location of teeth creates inconsistencies that allow for excess plaque and tartar build up. http://animalwellnessmagazine.com/dog-prone-to-periodontal-disease/
Short-faced (Brachycephalic) dogs are another example of canine’s with mouth conformations that predispose them to oral health complications. Think English bulldog, French bulldog, the pug, the Shih tzu, the Brussels griffon, Lhasa apso, as well as all of their mixes. These breeds – with their short-faced, compacted mouth moulds – simply require an extra bit of love, care, and vigilance when it comes to keeping their mouths healthy and happy.