Poodle Teeth Problems: How To Keep Them Healthy And Clean

Poodle Teeth Problems: How To Keep Them Healthy And Clean

  • One of the most common problems facing your Poodle is chronic teeth issues. A recent USA Today article reported that Banfield Pet Hospital, which has over 800 pet hospitals in several states. found that over 60% of dogs had severe dental disease.
  • Poodles are especially at risk of periodontal disease. Periodontal disease in dogs is an inflammation or infection that weakens or loosens the support structures of the teeth. This can be very painful and can even damage internal organs if left untreated. However, with good teeth cleaning regimen, dental disease and tooth loss can be prevented or even possibly reversed. 
  • So, why do poodles lose teeth, and what can you do about it? Poodles can develop periodontal disease over time which can cause their teeth to fall out. All dogs need their teeth brushed regularly to remove any built-up plaque. A veterinarian can brush your dog’s teeth or you can do it yourself at home. Additionally, dental chews may be used to help fight tartar build-up between brushings.
Poodle Dental Care | Taking Care of Your Poodle's Teeth
Poodle Dental Care | Taking Care of Your Poodle’s Teeth

Poodle Tooth Loss: Why Does It Happen

When most people think of poodles, they picture cute, curly-haired little toy poodles or the manicured large breeds ready for shows and looking good. What they probably don’t consider is the uglier side of the poodle breed.

3 Simple Ways To Keep Your Poodle's Teeth Clean
3 Simple Ways To Keep Your Poodle’s Teeth Clean

According to the Animal Health Clinic of Fargo, poodles often have terrible problems with dental hygiene that can lead to tooth loss. You will need to brush your poodle’s teeth at least three times a week to ensure your Poodles teeth are sufficiently clean.

If your poodle’s’ teeth are not properly cleaned, this can cause:

  • Bad breath
  • Tooth loss
  • Periodontal disease

If his dental hygiene has gotten to the point of tooth loss, it is time to see the vet, as internal organs could be affected as well.

How To Take Care of Your Poodle’s Teeth to Help Prevent Tooth Loss

When you have a poodle, dental care should be a regular practice. If you don’t want to be hit with expensive vet bills down the line, vets recommend: 

  • Regular dental cleanings at your local veterinarian.
  • Dental chews between brushings
  • Brushing several times a week

Brushing Your Poodle’s Teeth

When you brush your poodle’s teeth, there are some steps to take so that you do not hurt your dog or cause too much stress. Most dogs will not like teeth brushed at first and will probably fight to get away. However, starting a regular routine, with consistency, is the best thing that you can do for your poodle.

Poodle Teeth Problems: Avoid them Falling Out
Poodle Teeth Problems: Avoid them Falling Out

Follow these steps from the American Kennel Club to start your dental hygiene routine for your poodle:

Step #1: Dog Toothpaste

Do not use human toothpaste on your dog as it is toxic to them. Instead, buy dog toothpaste that comes in a delicious flavor like peanut butter or chicken that your dog will love, making your brushing experience a little easier.

A few of the best dog kinds of toothpaste are listed here:

  • Petrodex Enzymatic Toothpaste for Dogs: This product helps to remove and prevent plaque and tartar build-up. It has enzymes in it that break down the layers of plaque on your dog’s teeth and comes in a delicious poultry flavor that your dog is sure to love.
  • Arm & Hammer Dog Dental Care Fresh Breath Kit for Dogs: Arm and Hammer are known for their high-quality baking soda products, and this toothpaste utilizes baking soda to work safely and well for your furry friend. The kit also comes with accessories like a brush to help to clean those tough to reach spaces on the back teeth.
  • Vet’s Best Enzymatic Dog Toothpaste: The enzymes in dog toothpaste are formulated to break down the tartar and plaque on contact and to remain in place to prevent build-up again. This product utilizes these enzymes and is also available in a variety of flavors.

Step #2: Start the Routine With Positive Affirmations

Make sure that your dog is comfortable and he knows when brushing is about to begin. Let him smell the brush, the toothpaste, and then offer pets, rubs, or treats before the brushing begins. This is all positive reinforcement so that he knows something good is coming when you move the toothbrush toward his mouth.

Step #3: Brushing Your Dog’s Teeth

Start at the back of the mouth and work your way forward. Most dog toothbrushes are either angled or wrap around your finger. Make sure to get the inside and outside of the tooth on each pass.

I wrote this article on exactly how to bush your poodle’s teeth properly. In it, you’ll find much more in-depth content, as well as how-to videos that show you how to do the job right each and every time.

Step #4: Have Water Available for When You Finish

Have a bowl of fresh water available for your dog. When you are finished, give him positive affirmations again and allow your poodle to drink from the bowl. He will most likely want a drink after your fingers have been in his mouth.

Dental Cleanings at Your Vet

If your dog’s dental hygiene is terrible, or they just won’t let you put your hands in their mouth, you may want to consider bringing your dog to the vet for teeth cleanings. Cleanings can be done with a team to restrain the dog or can be done when your dog is under anesthesia. It may cost more, but it only needs to be done like this very occasionally, and it saves you the hassle of wrestling with an unwilling dog.

Buying Doggie Dental Chews

An excellent option for maintaining dental hygiene in between brushings and trips to the vet for teeth cleaning are dental chews. Dental chews have many of the same enzyme formulas that dog toothpaste contains. Also, the design of the chews allow dogs to grind down plaque build-up on their own, taking the guesswork out of brushing for you.

Here are a few of the best dog dental chews on the market today:

  • Virbac C.E.T. VeggieDent Tartar Control Chews: These small, angled, and hard dental chews are great for a dog to get their teeth around. The angle helps the dog reach hard to brush places in their mouth. Also, the veggie flavor adds fresh breath for your dog.
  • Greenies Original Regular Natural Dental Dog Treats: Greenies are cute toothbrush shaped treats that dogs love. They have an easy to hold shape for your dog, promote good breath, and help to fight against plaque and tartar build-up.
  • Zuke’s Z-Bone Dental Chew Dog Treats: These are nutritious treats made from products like apples and veggies. They are a healthy alternative to other dental treats and work by allowing dogs to chew away plaque and tartar while promoting fresh breath and enzymes that protect teeth even after chewing.

Do Toy & Miniature Poodles have Bad Teeth?

Studies have shown that Poodles are amongst the breeds most at risk of suffering from dental disease.

Smaller breeds, in general, are also more prone to periodontal disease due to suffering from the following:

Overcrowding Teeth in the Poodle

Dogs’ teeth are not proportional to the size of their bodies. In the case of our small friends, their teeth are pretty big in relation to their small mouths. Therefore, this can cause the teeth to rotate 90° or cusps to overlap, resulting in plaque, food, and other debris being entrapped.

Canine Retained Deciduous Teeth

  • Each tooth should have its own space. However, in this case, as the permanent tooth pushes through and the deciduous tooth remains, both teeth end up sharing the same socket. This prevents the gum tissue from forming a proper seal between these teeth, allowing bacteria to enter the roots of the teeth.
  • When two teeth are positioned close together and start abnormally rubbing against each other, the enamel can chip or wear away. This creates a rough surface that plaque and tartar thrive on resulting in periodontal disease.

How to Treat Bad Teeth in Poodles

Periodontal treatment aims to control the cause of inflammation – plaque.

At Home

Tooth brushing acts by removing the plaque’s biofilm through friction and is therefore highly recommended for optimal results. As long as the teeth have been checked and deemed healthy by a veterinarian, it is never too late to start a regular dental regime at home.

At the Veterinary Clinic

Some clinics advise twice-yearly dental check-ups. At these appointments, the veterinarian will examine your dog’s oral cavity and advise you on the best course of action. Further investigations such as dental radiographs and periodontal probing will require a general anesthetic (GA).

If a good amount of plaque and tartar is present, the only effective way of removal is with an ultrasonic descaling instrument under GA. This involves each affected tooth being scaled above and below the gum line. Once finished, the tooth’s surface is then polished to smooth away any rough patches that prevent plaque from building up.

Surgical tooth extractions are sometimes necessary and may be due to the following reasons:

  • Persistent deciduous teeth
  • Fractured teeth
  • Periodontal disease
  • Overcrowding

Can Poodles Eat with No Teeth?

Yes, dogs can eat just fine without teeth. Many veterinarians report that dogs return to their normal feeding habits once the mouth has healed and is free from pain.

Post-operative Care

Your veterinarian will advise you on the appropriate home care you will be required to provide your dog. Some basic pieces of advice after surgical extractions are to:

  • Feed soft food or moisten down kibble until the mouth has healed
  • Avoid touching the mouth

Final Thoughts

Poodles may have worse teeth than other dogs, especially the toy poodle varieties. Plaque and tartar that build up need to be cleaned regularly each week. Also, using chew treats in between brushings is a great way to prevent plaque build-up. Finally, if the teeth of your dog are horrible, you may need to consider seeing a vet for cleanings and internal organ check-ups.

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