Many humans share their lives with a familiar canine with an “unbearable smell” that comes from the oral cavity; In most cases, humans go to the clinic with the animal when the problem is already established, something that could be avoided with adequate prevention, as we will see later.
Dogs don’t brush their teeth…
With this simple statement, we can guess the main cause of halitosis in pets: the animal does not perform its dental hygiene, the animal ingests food, food residues remain between the teeth… and food decomposition, with possible periodontal infection subsequently, it gets that foul smell that, in addition, entails a health problem of varying intensity for the animal.
If halitosis comes from the digestive system, the possible causes are esophageal diverticula, certain alterations in the digestion process, certain metabolic diseases…
Focusing exclusively on the oral cavity in the dog’s mouth, we can say that there are many possible deposits of materials, food or not, in the different structures that make it up:
- Enamel film: this thin covering is formed on the tooth by proteins from saliva and secretion that begins in the grooves of the gums; this layer has a dental protection function, but as it ages or deteriorates (playing with sticks, stones…), it allows the deposit of bacteria and dental plaque (tartar)
- Dental plaque: when bacteria and debris colonize the enamel film, we can say that the starting signal has been given for the formation of dental plaque (tartar); the bacteria alter the enamel, saliva, and soft structures (gums, tongue…). This inappropriate deposit can only be avoided with dental hygiene and dry foods (feed) that allow greater mechanical action (friction) of cleaning. In most cases, we do not get our good friends used to brushing their oral cavity, something feasible if we properly educate the animal from its arrival at home. As this routine is not usually done, the accumulation of materials in the oral cavity causes essential assistance to the veterinary clinic to assess and solve the problems.
- Material alba and oral debris: Materia alba is a soft “substance” made up of different components of saliva, epithelial cells of the mouth, and leukocytes (blood cells responsible for “defensing” against infections); this alba matter do not usually adhere to the plate.–
And among the main oral residues, we will have food remains, more frequent in animals that consume wet food than those that consume dry food, even more, frequent in animals that are fed with dry food. “human” or with remains.
But also among the usual detritus in the oral cavity of the dog, we will find vegetable matter from its walks, remains of fabrics (rugs, toys, clothes…), hair of the animal itself… and the rest of the family…
As is logical, all this debris facilitates the appearance of health problems and its most obvious exponent: halitosis.Infections in the oral cavity, the deposit of tartar, and halitosis are the spearhead of serious problems if we do not put a solution:
- Infections of the soft tissues of the oral cavity.
- Loss of dental pieces.
- Pain when eating (no food intake or only eating soft foods)
- Secondary infections (heart…)
It is therefore essential to be very clear about the main symptoms, the main evidence, apart from halitosis, that some problem hangs over the body of our best friend :
- Presence of tartar.
- Redness of the gums.
- Inflammation and bleeding of the edge of the gums.
- Instability of the dental pieces.
- Loss of teeth
And of course, before finishing, and as we mentioned at the beginning, it is a priority to know the ways to prevent halitosis and all the possible causes of alteration of the dog’s oral cavity :
- Brushing the animal’s teeth with specific products.
- Use of adequate food (better dry food) that allow mechanical hygiene.
- Snacks are specifically designed for maintaining dental hygiene.
- Annual visit to the veterinarian for necessary assessment and action (drug treatments, dental cleaning, nutritional recommendations…)
The oral cavity of our dog is usually a point of conflict in coexistence with humans due to those above and commented on halitosis; the responsible human must be very clear that, before the first manifestations of a bad smell, or difficulties in ingesting food, they must IMMEDIATELY go to the veterinarian.
An untreated pathology of the oral cavity can cause serious problems at a global organic level.