5. Regularly Examine Your Dog's Teeth
You can't be expected to diagnose gum disease or other serious oral issues in your dog's mouth, but there are things to look for between annual cleanings by the vet.
- Look for broken or discolored teeth.
- Check your dog's mouth for odor, especially odor that returns within one or two months after a cleaning.
- Look for bleeding in the water bowl, or when your dog is playing with a chew toy.
- Check for lumps or bumps in or around your dog’s mouth, especially any swelling present on one side but not the other.
- Be alert for increased resistance to toothbrushing.
- Notice if your pet is turning away from food.
- Listen for chattering jaws when your dog eats.
If you see any of these issues while caring for your dog's teeth, talk to your veterinarian right away; your pooch may be in pain and need urgent oral care.