Pet parents should bring their dog to the vet for regular dental checkups and cleanings and practice at-home oral hygiene regardless of their dog’s breed. But some dogs, particularly smaller breeds, are at a higher risk of developing periodontal disease. According to PetMD, here are eight dog breeds with whom you should be extra diligent.
These round-headed cuties suffer from crowding of the teeth thanks to their teeny-tiny jaws. Other short-muzzled breeds like English Bulldogs, Boston Terriers, Shih Tzus and Brussells Griffons face the same problem. Crowding leads to plaque build-up, gingivitis, periodontal disease, and finally, painful tooth loss.
The Collie is one of the breeds most impacted by an overbite. Vets focus on treating secondary problems such as tooth-on-tooth wear and soft tissue trauma.
Small and toy breeds like Yorkies, as well as Poodles, Maltese, and Pomeranians, commonly have persistent deciduous teeth. Food and debris easily collect in these hard-to-maintain areas, predisposing the dog to periodontal disease.
A Chihuahua has to fit 42 teeth—the same number of teeth all breeds have—into a small mouth. Plaque bacteria accumulates, which can destroy the soft and hard tissues and result in periodontal disease. Other breeds in this category include Maltese, Poodles, Yorkshire terriers, Pomeranians, Lhasa Apsos, King Charles Cavalier terriers, and Shih Tzus.
The Dachshund’s narrow muzzle makes it susceptible to developing periodontal pockets—spaces created by tooth and bone loss where bacteria thrives.
Boxers, as well as Great Danes, Mastiffs, Bulldogs, and Collies, top the list of breeds that get gingival hyperplasia, an overgrowth or thickening of the gums.
Shih Tzus are more prone to delayed tooth eruption, a condition where the dog’s teeth erupt from the gums later than what is normal. Teeth that fail to erupt can cause problems down the line, such as tooth impaction and (dentigerous) cyst formation. In select cases, oral surgery can be performed to help encourage teeth to erupt. Lhasa Apsos, Maltese, and Havanese are example of other breeds affected by delayed tooth eruption.
In addition, “daily tooth brushing” is the gold standard for at-home care to help prevent plaque, calculus, and bacterial build-up. Treatments such as water additives, dental formulated food and treats, and oral rinses are also helpful.
Just remember not to use human toothpaste or products with fluoride or xylitol, as they can be toxic to dogs.
Braxton’s Animal Works offers a wide selection of oral hygiene products. Visit the store and ask our knowledgeable staff what products we offer.