Senior Yorkshire Terriers Dental Care: Best Practices for Oral Health

Suzie Cyrenne
Authored by Suzie Cyrenne
Suzie is a Certified Homeopath and Co-Founder of Zumalka
, specializing in natural and holistic remedies for pets.
- Dec 22, 2023

Believe it or not, a senior Yorkie's dental hygiene plays a crucial role when it comes to his overall health and wellness. Not giving your beyond adult dog's teeth and gums the proper care and attention they deserve can lead to some pretty nasty consequences sooner or later.

And yes, a serious dental issue like periodontal disease or severe tooth decay can potentially lead to life-threatening situations. This is the biggest reason why having good dental hygiene is a must in your senior Yorkshire Terrier pet care checklist.

We've put together this blog post to walk you through the important things you need to know about keeping your older dog's dental health in tiptop shape. You can think of it as a quick guide if you're looking to take your senior Yorkie dental care know-how up a notch.

Besides getting you in on the possible causes and indicators of dental issues in older Yorkies, we'll also give you some simple and practical tips on how to keep your dog's teeth and gums as clean and healthy as can be. Make sure you follow along to learn more.

 

Why Your Older Yorkie's Teeth Need More Attention

Are you maintaining your senior Yorkie's dental wellness?

A Yorkshire Terrier's teeth and gums become more prone to dental disease when he reaches his golden years. This is usually the time when an older dog's gums are highly susceptible to inflammation and his tooth enamel will tend to significantly weaken.

Most dogs suffering from dental disease and illnesses may even be subjected to tooth loss, significant loss of jaw bone density, as well as unwanted complications. Apart from causing chronic pain and bleeding, these dental issues can also lead to heart disease, blood sugar level disruptions, as well as compromise overall immune system health.

However, these dental wellness problems concerning your aging Yorkie's teeth and gums will only become apparent if you don't have a proper dental hygiene plan. Don't worry because we've dedicated a separate part of this blog post just to elaborate on how to establish one.

 

Common Yorkie Dental Problems You Should Know

Common dental health issues in older Yorkshire Terriers.

Below are the common issues that can affect your Yorkie's teeth and gums during his senior years. Always remember to immediately get in touch with a pet homeopathy expert or a veterinary medicine professional as soon as you notice these health concerns:

Plaque and tartar

Plaque buildup takes place when leftover food debris becomes stuck to the teeth and the gum line. If you don't regularly clean and brush your Yorkie's teeth and his gums, plaque eventually hardens into tartar.

Plaque and tartar can accumulate excessively in a senior Yorkie's teeth and professional cleaning will already be required to get rid of them.

Periodontal disease

This gum disease is characterized by the infection of the tissues that hold your aging Yorkie's teeth together. It is often triggered by poor dental care and hygiene such as failing to brush your dog's teeth daily and not thoroughly removing bits of food inside your dog's mouth.

Interestingly, gum disease can also be set off by improper teeth brushing and resorting to other cleaning methods that may not be appropriate for your older pooch.

Malocclusion or misalignment of Yorkie teeth

A common problem among small breeds like in the case of beyond adult Yorkshire Terriers is overcrowded teeth. Your Yorkie's teeth may not be aligned properly, which can lead to dental problems in the long run.

This can either make having their teeth brushed really difficult or perhaps the adult teeth may be spaced so loosely that it might result in tooth rotation or an issue with the jaw bone.

Make sure you reach out to a vet or a pet wellness expert immediately no matter how many teeth are affected in this scenario.

Retention of primary teeth

A Yorkie puppy tooth can sometimes become retained as part of adult teeth. These prevent Yorkie teeth from growing and developing properly.

Baby teeth or puppy teeth can also force adult Yorkie teeth to veer away from where they are supposed to grow. This can result in constant unwanted contact with the gums, tongue, and inner cheeks, leading to pain and discomfort.

Should you notice any puppy teeth growing alongside adult teeth, have them removed by a vet as soon as possible? As previously mentioned, misaligned teeth are prone to dental problems.

Again, regardless of how many teeth are affected, having these unwanted baby teeth or puppy teeth removed is crucial.

Tooth decay and fractures

Not having a regular schedule to clean and brush your Yorkie's teeth can result in rotting teeth, which is perhaps one of the most prevalent dental issues of the breed.

Besides making older Yorkshire Terriers highly susceptible to tooth loss, this can also result in gum disease and inflammation of the oral region. Your senior Yorkie's mouth could also be vulnerable to abscesses in this situation.

Moreover, apart from potentially causing adult tooth loss and even damaging the bone surrounding the jaws, persistent abscesses can also trigger potentially fatal complications like brain infection and endocarditis, a type of heart inflammation.

A quick reminder, though. Using dental wipes and dental spray won't be enough when tooth decay has already set. The affected teeth will already be required to be extracted by a vet in this situation.

 

Signs That Your Dog's Teeth Have Issues

Indicators of dental health problems in aging Yorkies.

Akin to other dogs, your aging Yorkshire Terrier may be quite skillful in hiding his pain and discomfort when it comes to dental issues.

But the thing is chances are your older dog may be suffering from dental problems if he exhibits the following indicators:

  • Sudden change in eating and drinking habits

  • Excessive drooling

  • Constant pawing at the mouth or facial region

  • Bad breath

  • Bleeding gums

  • Discolored or loose teeth (usually accompanied by bad breath)

  • Unexpected changes in behavior and mood

  • Frequent vocalization

As we've stressed earlier, the lack of proper dental care can lead to serious health issues in your senior Yorkshire Terrier before you know it. You must send your pooch for a dental exam right away when you observe these signs.

 

Gum Disease Should Not Be Just Shrugged Off

Gum disease in dogs should not be overlooked.

Just like in the case of human teeth and dental health, gum disease in older Yorkies should not be neglected. As we've explained in the previous section, periodontal disease can lead to other wellness issues that could even be fatal.

Examples of these include the onset of heart disease, the worsening of diabetes in dogs, a significant decline in jaw bone density, a severe dip in overall immune system health, as well as possible loss of Yorkie teeth.

One easy way to check if your senior dog has periodontal disease is by examining the gum line for any swelling, lesions, bleeding, as well as lumps that weren't there before. Make sure you drop by your vet's clinic if these symptoms are accompanied by a fever and occasional trembling.

 

Adult Teeth in Dogs Still Require Proper Care and Attention

A senior Yorkie getting ready for play.

Unlike what a lot of Yorkie parents mistakenly believe, senior teeth need as much care and attention as puppy teeth. They are as vulnerable to deterioration and disease no matter how old your pooch is! You should think of keeping your dog's teeth clean as a necessity for wellness and not as a chore.

However, to pull this off, you need to take note of straightforward pointers. We've outlined these in the next part of our discussion so you can have a quick guide not just to keep your older Yorkie's teeth clean, but also to maintain the overall wellness of his gums, tongue, and mouth.

So without further ado, here are the things you need to remember when it comes to healthy teeth and dental well-being in general beyond adult Yorkshire Terriers...

 

5 Simple and Practical Dental Care Tips for Senior Yorkshire Terriers

These tips will help keep dental health issues in senior Yorkies at bay.

Establishing a consistent dental hygiene regimen for your older Yorkie isn't as complicated as you may have thought. Make sure you take note of the following tips and tricks to help keep your dog resilient against dental disease and illness during his senior years:

#1. Regular checkups are crucial.

When you have your Yorkie's gums and teeth regularly checked, you will have a general overview of his dental health. Your vet can also perform procedures like dental cleanings and extractions if they are already required.

Moreover, your vet can also recommend the appropriate dental wipes, dental spray, and dental treats in the process. You can also schedule an online consultation with a pet homeopathy expert to get additional tips.

#2. The right nutrition counts a lot.

It can be rather tricky to maintain healthy gums and clean teeth if you're not feeding your senior Yorkie the right stuff. Besides potentially causing unwanted weight gain, letting your pooch load up on lots of sugary foods can also make him more vulnerable to plaque and tartar.

Just to emphasize, there's nothing wrong with rewarding your aging Yorkshire Terrier with a dog-appropriate sweet treat sometimes. However, it's your job to keep his teeth clean afterward to prevent any issues in the long run.

(Also, here's a comprehensive guide on what to REALLY feed your dog.)

#3. Establish a proper dental hygiene routine.

Before you can establish a proper dental routine for your aging dog, you must have the right tools for the job first. Apart from getting your hands on the appropriate canine toothpaste, getting a dog-specific fingertip brush or toothbrush is also essential.

Here's a very important reminder: never use human toothpaste when cleaning your dog's teeth, mouth, tongue, and gums. They may contain ingredients like xylitol that can be toxic to your canine companion. Remember to only use dog toothpaste for this application.

#4. Go for appropriate toys and dental treats.

You can integrate the use of dog chew toys as well as a dental treat or two in your canine teeth cleaning method. Besides making brushing and cleaning more fun for your senior Yorkshire Terrier, it will also provide him with mental stimulation as you go along.

However, please choose your chew toys carefully. Pick ones that do not have sharp edges or those that do not easily break since they can cause injury to your dog's mouth, tongue, and gums.

#5. Take care of even the slightest dental health issues at once.

No matter how minor a dental issue is, make it a point to reach out to a vet or pet wellness expert to address it as soon as possible. The maxim "prevention is better than cure" is very applicable in this case. Neglecting a dental problem may lead to more serious health issues before you know it.

 


About the author

Suzie Cyrenne
Suzie Cyrenne

HOMEOPATH & CO-FOUNDER OF ZUMALKA

Suzie Cyrenne has dedicated more than 20 years of her life in making and improving natural animal health solutions in the global setting.

Being the co-founder of Zumalka, Suzie is a forerunner in enhancing the lives of pets through natural and homeopathic options using the knowledge she has gained from the Classical Homeopathy School in Quebec.

Through the guidance of her mother-in-law and fellow natural health expert, Denyse Lessard, Suzie constantly devotes herself to create premium pet products that are aimed at dealing with the root causes of wellness problems and not just their symptoms.

Besides immersing herself in books, personal development and visiting new places, Suzie also enjoys keeping herself in tiptop shape by snowboarding and taking daily hikes with her husband and Zumalka co-founder, Matt Lessard, and their Golden-Doodle, Westin.

Find out more about Suzie when you click HERE.


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