Dog Breeds and Dental Disease

dog breeds prone to dental disease

Dog Breeds and Dental Disease


Dental disease is a widespread condition in our companion pet population. By three years of age, up to 80% of dogs and cats will have some form of periodontal disease. This statistic is not surprising considering oral home care is not seen as necessary by many pet owners.

For comparison, if we did not brush our teeth multiple times a day, we would certainly reap the consequences of significant dental disease. We, humans, brush our teeth twice daily or more and ideally schedule professional cleanings every 6-12 months. And yet we STILL have cavities, non-vital teeth, gingivitis, and an additional assortment of tooth and gum diseases.

The unfortunate truth is, all of the at-home and professional dental care in the world sometimes can’t prevent dental disease. That’s because there is a congenital predisposition towards dental disease present in both humans and animals.


What Dog Breeds are Prone to Dental Disease?


Small breed dogs, such as Poodles, Yorkshire Terriers and Chihuahuas, have an increased tendency for dental disease. In addition, dogs with a flatter facial design, also known as brachycephalics, are also at risk. These may include Boxers, Bulldogs, French Bulldogs, and Shih Tzus, to name a few.

Age can also play a role in periodontal disease. Older pets are at increased risk for dental disease.  This is especially true if they have not received consistent preventative dental care in the past. Older small breed dogs have an increased propensity for periodontal disease.


Signs of Dental Disease in Dogs


Common signs that dental disease is present include bad breath (halitosis), a reluctance to eat, vomiting whole food, drooling, and weight loss. The oral cavity should receive a thorough exam at least once a year. The mouth is the gateway to proper digestion and nutrient absorption, which supports the body.

In breeds that are at high risk, anesthetized cleanings should be scheduled every six months. This time may be increased to a year if daily oral home care is performed and the 6-month exam does not yield any distinct concerns. Dental disease can be tricky, however! Sixty percent of the tooth is underneath the gum line, and full mouth dental radiographs are imperative to evaluate the health of the whole tooth.


Your Veterinary Dentists in Colorado Springs, Colorado


Sadly many dogs with dental disease go undiagnosed and untreated and therefore remain in pain. When they are treated, surgical extractions are often necessary, but these dogs are far better off without painful diseased teeth than with them.

Although dental disease is potentially present in all tooth-bearing creatures, small breed dogs are prone to dental disease. It is our mission at Animal Dental Care & Oral Surgery, to advocate for the oral health for your furry companion. It is what we do best. Call us today to schedule an appointment to discuss your pet’s oral health concerns and needs.



Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay (11/18/2019)