Just like people do, dogs need regular dental care in order to live full, happy, and healthy lives. Learn the warning signs that your dog needs to visit a pet dentist so you can get them the dental care they need as quickly as possible.

Swollen or discolored gums

Check your dog's gums and lips. What you are looking for is a healthy pink or pinkish-red hue. If your dog's lips and gums appear red or purple, or are swollen around their teeth, then this is a good sign that your dog needs dental care. Swollen or very red gums is a sign of gum disease, which can cause poor root structure in your dog's teeth (and painful chewing) if left untreated.

Awful breath

You may also notice that your dog's breath has taken on an odd or foul odor. Dog breath due to dental decay often has a rotting flesh odor to it, or an iron smell (which may indicate infection). If your dog's breath has suddenly gotten worse, check their teeth- if they have brown or tan tartar along their gum line, then tooth decay is likely the culprit behind their yucky breath. A quick visit to the pet dentist can help remove nasty plaque and tartar and give your dog fresh breath again.

Drooling or eating food oddly

Your dog may drool a lot if they have pain and discomfort due to a broken or cracked tooth. They may also begin chewing their food in an odd manner, including gumming their meal or simply forgoing eating all together. Your dog may have a dental need that should be addressed immediately so they can feel comfortable in their chompers again.

You haven't had your dog's teeth cleaned

You should be brushing your dog's teeth at home with a formulated toothpaste and toothbrush that's designed for dogs. Every few weeks, your dog should experience a minute of brushing done at home. If you haven't been doing this, your dog is due for a professional appointment at the pet dentist, just to make sure their oral health is at its best. Taking your dog to the vet to have their teeth checked can give you the peace of mind that your dog is healthy, and can address any possible issues that you otherwise would have missed.

Your dog's dental health is just as important as yours is. In knowing how to look out for dental issues with your pampered pooch, you can do everything in your power to keep them healthy and give them a great quality of life.