Most of the premolars in the dog have a wide diastema or space between their teeth while there is very little space between each of the molars and incisors. As is the case in man, when the teeth are close together they often trap food particles that can result in significant periodontal disease if they are not removed. Thus, it may be a good idea to periodically examine the teeth of your pet closely to see if there is anything stuck between the teeth and if so, try to remove it.
Symptoms of periodontal disease can vary from nothing more than a bad odor coming from the mouth to the pets pawing and/or clacking the teeth of the mouth. There may even be excessive drooling, sometimes with blood-tinged saliva, coming most likely from the back of the mouth where the chewing is done.
Treatment consists mainly of removing the foreign matter before destructive damage is done to the periodontal tissues. If significant erosion or ulceration has occurred to the gums, surgery or even extraction may be necessary to remedy the situation. The objective is to get adequate healing of the gum tissue as well as to prevent any further impaction of material between the teeth.
Although some of you may laugh, daily brushing of your pet’s teeth is appropriate just like for yourself. I recommend that you first lift the upper lips of your pet to view the teeth and if unsure as to what to do, then take your pet in to see your veterinarian for a check-up, including a complete dental exam.