Dental disease in dogs is something that is not addressed often enough and treated as regularly as it should. Periodontal disease is the most common disease that affects our pets and it is something that we can prevent by proper care of our pets’ pearly whites. Starting early to clean our pets’ teeth is imperative for good dental hygiene.
Sometimes orthodontics can go beyond periodontal disease and tooth brushings. Dogs can have problems with Temporomandibular joint abnormalities (TMJ) which affects jaw movement and pain, soft tissue trauma and facial growth among other conditions.
You may have never thought that your dog could need braces as humans do sometimes but in extreme cases it can be a necessity. Sometimes dogs get into fights or other altercations, causing bite wounds and broken teeth. Other tribulations may be congenital, genetic or prenatal abnormalities. Dogs may need braces due to other issues such as infectious diseases, nutritional imbalances, endocrine troubles and chemical/radiation effects, some of which can result in an overbite condition in your dog, called Malocclusion.
It is not too difficult to note if your dog may need braces and orthodontic work. If there are problems with your dogs jaws, if there are difficulties with eating, has a notable overbite or any injury to the teeth, be sure to get your dog examined by your veterinarian for a definitive diagnosis and recommendation.
Tests may include a thorough examination as well as a complete blood count and full mouth X-rays.
Before your dog is fitted with braces, your pet orthodontist may recommend interceptive orthodontics like extraction of baby teeth or soft tissue sculpting by CO2 laser. An incline plane device can be applied for a narrow canine bite or the use of elastic chains or orthodontic buttons. The exact type of device and treatment for braces for your dog depends wholly on the specific problem and its’ severity.
Just as with humans, once your dog gets braces, your dogs teeth will require brushing often, probably daily. Monitoring the braces and follow-ups with your veterinarian every two weeks will be imperative, until the braces can finally be removed. And you thought that this is one problem your dog would not have to face . . . or deal with! It may be a rare occasion but does happen, and may need immediate attention.