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Old 06-02-2012, 01:12 PM
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So they told me a couple months ago at Summer's annual that I'd need to schedule a dental for her. She's an 8 year old toy breed and her teeth were getting pretty bad. She's been under twice for dentals in the past and I hate doing it. The last time Summer was put under for her eye surgery, she started seizing and had to stay overnight at the emergency vet.

Rose (Summer's younger sister) has already lost a few teeth and Beau's lost one. I don't want that for Summer either. I hate that toy breeds have such bad teeth.

This is two months later, keep in mind she's 8 years old, and a breed that is known for teeth problems....


teeth by Summer_Papillon, on Flickr

I wish I would have taken a before picture to compare to. They were all almost completely covered in plaque. It's not perfect and I'm still going to be working on them but wow what a difference! I'm so thrilled to be avoiding having to put her under unnecessarily. I wish I could say for sure it was one thing that made her teeth look so much better but I've been using Leba III on her thanks to Jessie's thread a while back and I do think the switch to full raw has helped too. I've added in some extra RMBs where I can and she's finally picking up how to chew on those. And I bought a teeth scaler but the plaque didn't need any force at all to remove, it just started coming off on its own.

But yay no putting Summer under again! I was so worried about her having another seizure.
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Old 06-02-2012, 01:38 PM
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That's awesome! I wouldn't have wanted to out her under either, seizures are scary. What is Leba III? A spray, gel, water additive?
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Old 06-02-2012, 01:43 PM
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It's a spray. No brushing or anything like that, just spray on the tongue and no food or water 30 mins before or after.
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Old 06-02-2012, 02:00 PM
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The plaque removal looks good but that looks like some severe gingival recession on her front teeth! Did the vet say anything about that?
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Old 06-02-2012, 02:01 PM
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No, not really. Anything I can do specifically for that?
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Old 06-02-2012, 02:03 PM
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It's usually caused by too much irritation under the gumline from plaque, so I'm not sure? Maybe Sassafrass knows more?

Is the tooth loose? (It'd be the second one after her K9 on the top in the picture.)

It might just not be an issue at all either, if the vet didn't mention it. Some/more than I think? dogs/cats function fine with gumline recession I bet. I slightly less solid tooth is less scary than a seizure!
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Old 06-02-2012, 02:12 PM
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That's the tooth I'd be concerned about too, but her plaque removal looks really good!
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Old 06-02-2012, 02:13 PM
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Oh no, none of them are loose at all. Mia definitely has a lot more gum but I've never compared to her teeth because she's got missing teeth and all that from birth. Mia's teeth are tiny.

Summer's teeth were BAD when I got her at four years old. I don't think they did any dentals or did any brushing or gave any bones at all. She had one dental at 4 and another at 6. Last time the vet saw her he said her teeth weren't horrible but he'd recommend doing a dental this summer.
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Old 06-02-2012, 02:19 PM
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Here's from the front.


summerteethfront by Summer_Papillon, on Flickr

This is not a real 'before' shot since her canines were already looking clean and the front teeth were much better looking.


summerteethold by Summer_Papillon, on Flickr

For the lols, here's Mia's crooked teeth.


miateeth by Summer_Papillon, on Flickr

My dogs hate me now, by the way.
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Old 06-02-2012, 02:46 PM
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Yea there's a lot of gingival recession there.

More than you ever wanted to know about dog teeth...

So dogs don't usually get cavities like we do - they can, but their diet is so different that it usually doesn't support those species of bacteria. What they DO get is plaque/tartar/gingivitis more typical of adult humans.

Bacteria are the source of all problems in the mouth. Well, bacteria and genetics, genetics DO play a big role IMO, which is part of why there is SO much variation in how healthy individual dog's mouths are. The easiest way to think of it is that bacteria produce waste products that ultimately contribute to plaque and then live in it (what you sometimes hear called biofilm). When we brush our teeth or their teeth, it is the plaque that you are brushing off - it is soft and slimy and can come off with relatively gentle effort. Over time, the plaque layers on and reacts with food and saliva and hardens into tartar, which generally is too hard to brush off but needs to be scraped off (or some dogs wear off chewing depending their chewing habits/style). Plaque is not usually visible to the naked eye except maybe as a slight discoloration, but tartar generally is easily visible.

The reason why this is all important to understand why those gums recede is that first the plaque and tartar form on the part of the tooth you can see then just under the gumline, and then the gums get irritated by all of that crap and get inflamed and pull up and away from the tooth a little bit. Initially that may be just a microscopic space, but then that new space fills in with plaque and tartar, and the gums get irritated and pull away a bit... and so on and so on. Eventually if no steps are taken the gingiva can pull away enough so that the tissues that hold the teeth solidly in place (dental ligaments) and even the jaw bone can be damaged, and/or bacteria can get into places they shouldn't be able to get and cause tooth root infections/abscesses.

The "steps taken" do not only include a dental cleaning, things like providing good chewing material help a lot IMO, but it's often a part of an overall strategy. For example, you might start with a dental cleaning and then get really diligent about brushing, chewing material, or the oral products like the one you're using.

For some dogs, the gums will normalize from that receded state and for others they won't. That's not necessarily a big deal as long as the teeth aren't loose and their roots are healthy, the most important thing is to prevent that cycle of pulling back and filling in from continuing to a point where the dental ligaments and bone are damaged or the roots get infected.
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