Slide The saying “one size fits all” certainly does not hold true for dental care when it comes to our dogs. Genetics, facial structure and even personality can influence your pet’s oral health needs.

For example, some of our sweet smaller breed dogs such as dachshunds, chihuahuas and poodles are genetically predisposed to acquiring plaque and tarter on the surface of their teeth. They may also be more likely to retain some of their “baby teeth” well into adulthood. This leads to crowding between teeth and even more accumulation of plaque.

Then there are those adorable, snorting “short-faced” breeds like Boston Terriers, French Bulldogs and Shih Tzus that have a difficult time fitting all 42 teeth in that tiny mouth. This may lead once again to crowding between teeth or even abnormal rotation of some teeth to make more room.

While rambunctious labs and pit bulls usually have a normal shape and orientation of their dental arcade, they also tend to be “power-chewers” and more at risk for fracturing their larger premolars and canine teeth.

Finally, there are those fairly unique conditions such as overgrowth of the gums that boxers like Dr. Churchill’s dog, Belle, are prone to.

All in all, there are quite a few unique dental conditions the staff at West Park Animal Hospital are prepared to diagnose and address for our patients. Scheduling a routine dental scaling and dental radiographs is a fantastic first step towards good oral health for your dog, but don’t forget to consult with one of our veterinarians about the individual risks and needs of your pet today.