Why your Dog’s Dental Health is Important
Posted on November 9th, 2020 to Dogs
Imagine how terrible your teeth would feel if they weren’t brushed on a regular basis. Plaque and tartar would build up and your oral health would suffer. Your teeth would begin breaking down which could result in headaches, not wanting to eat due to severe pain, or worse.
Dental Care Instructions
Dogs need dental care from the time they start to get their teeth until the end of their lives. Dogs can’t take care of their teeth themselves in the domestic world in many cases. You can do your part in helping your dog maintain good oral health by brushing your dog’s teeth on a regular basis, feeding dry food (if you feed a commercial diet-make sure it’s high quality), providing safe chew toys, and following through with your vet’s recommendations.
According to researcher, Bradley Quest, “adding a dental chew to the diet resulted in statistically significant reductions in plaque and calculus accumulation, and oral malodor while improving gingival indices.” Another study, published by the Journal of Veterinary Dentistry, studied the effects of dental chews on oral hygiene. Research stated, “the accumulation of dental deposits, development of oral malodor, and development of gingivitis were assessed in two groups of dogs; one fed a dry diet only, and the other fed the same dry diet supplemented by the daily addition of the new dental hygiene chew. Daily addition of the chew to the dry diet was effective in reducing plaque and calculus accumulation on the tooth surfaces, and also reduced the severity of gingivitis and oral malodor as compared to feeding the dry diet only.”
If a dog’s dental health is not maintained, this could lead to gingivitis and eventually periodontal disease. In severe cases of dental disease, dogs can lose teeth, or even go as far as losing a portion of their jaw bone.
Periodontal disease is commonly found in our dogs and cats. It’s caused by infection and inflammation in the tissues surrounding the teeth often due to plaque bacteria. The oral cavity (mouth) can host bacteria and allow them to thrive in the plaque on your dog’s teeth. Bacterial plaque buildup will stimulate an inflammatory response leading to gingivitis.
There are ‘good’ bacteria in the mouth to help maintain a stable environment which lives in harmony with the body. When there is harmony, there is no immune response because the body doesn’t feel it necessary. If the plaque on your dog’s teeth becomes too thick, like in the case of poor oral hygiene, the ‘bad’ bacteria can overtake the good.
The bacteria found in the teeth of dogs with periodontal disease often include the following:
- Bacteroides fragilis
- Porphyromonas gulae
- Porphyromonas salivosa
- Porphyromonas denticanis
- Prevotella intermedia
- Bacteroides splanchnicus
Periodontal disease often occurs in response to an abundance of the above bacteria. This can result in intense bone and tissue damage. Causes, other than poor hygiene, include:
- Thin bone
- Age of the dog
- Underlying conditions
Your dog’s teeth should be examined at least once a year by your veterinarian. If they aren’t checked at the annual checkup, you should request for them to be checked at that time. If you notice your dog’s teeth are cracked or broken, or see any signs of unhealthy gums, they should be checked sooner rather than later.
The following problems should be addressed as soon as they are realized:
- Foul, odorous breath
- Broken or loose teeth
- Discolored teeth
- Reduced appetite
- Pain while eating
- Swelling near the mouth
- Dropping food while eating
If you check your dog’s teeth, be sure to use caution. If your dog is in pain, he or she may nip or bite out of instinct. They aren’t trying to hurt you, it’s just their way of telling you their mouth hurts and they are in pain.
Steering Toward Oral Health
Teef, a drinkable dental health powder specifically formulated for dogs, has become available to improve oral hygiene. It’s added to your dog’s water; simple. This doesn’t mean you can neglect taking your dog for check-ups or no longer monitor, but it can assist with maintaining or creating a balance of bacteria in your dog’s mouth.
If your dog has severe dental problems already along with bad breath, add one scoop of the Teef powder to four cups of fresh water once per day. For daily maintenance, add one scoop to eight cups of water per day.
If you have multiple dogs in your home, you can still utilize the Teef powder. Fill up a half gallon (1 scoop) or full gallon (2 scoops) pitcher with fresh, clean water. Keep it in the refrigerator and top off water dishes as they begin to empty. The water in the pitcher should be used daily for optimal results.
Now, you may be wondering why this isn’t based on weight. It’s not based on weight because it doesn’t dose the dog persay. Instead, it doses the dog’s mouth. There isn’t much powder needed for effects to be noticed (regardless of how big or small the dog is). Drinking the water consistently will coat your dog’s mouth and maintain a harmonious environment.
Keef is tasteless and odorless so your dog won’t even notice it’s in there. According to Scientifica, these types of additions have been found to “inhibit the proliferation of orally-occurring bacteria; have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory potential; and have breath freshening and tooth whitening properties.”
About Angela Ardolino
Angela Ardolino is a holistic pet expert who has been caring for animals for over 20 years and operates a rescue farm, Fire Flake Farm, in Florida. She is also the owner of Beautify the Beast, a natural pet salon and shop. After getting her certificate in Medical Cannabis Biology and Therapeutic use from the University of Vermont School of Medicine, she founded CBD Dog Health to provide high quality, all-natural medical cannabis products designed specifically for pets. Angela has seven dogs, Odie a 12-year-old mini-schnauzer, Nina an 8-year-old Doberman. Jolene a 7-year-old mutt, Maza a 7-year-old mutt, Rhemi an 8-year-old poodle, Potato a 15-year-old shih-tzu, and Miss Daisie a 15-year-old black lab, plus 4-10 more at any time she is fostering or boarding. She uses Full Spectrum Hemp Extract on all her pets at her rescue farm every day, and has since 2016. She is a member of the Society of Cannabis Clinicians, the Veterinary Cannabis Association and has trained hundreds medical doctors and veterinarians about the therapeutic uses of medical cannabis on animals. Visit www.angelaardolino.com for more information.