Unhealthy Dog Gums? Dog Breath Stinks? Here's Why Canine Dental Health Is So Important!

Unhealthy Dog Gums? Dog Breath Stinks? Here's Why Canine Dental Health Is So Important!

When it comes to keeping your favorite furry friend healthy, you must ALWAYS remember to look after their teeth, gums and all aspects of their oral hygiene, too. Let's face it, we can all put our hands up and admit we’re guilty of ignoring our dog's teeth and gums from time to time, with many of us puppy-parents assuming the odd brush will do the trick. But unfortunately, that just isn’t enough.

Many problems can occur with your dog's overall health, all stemming from a simple issue that is likely to have started in their mouth. It is known that some oral conditions can later affect your dog’s organs, resulting in more issues than just bad breath. You could end up with a pup struggling with heart, kidney, and liver problems – not good at all!

The best thing to do is to gain as much knowledge and information as possible when it comes to your dog's oral health, so here at Petlab Co., we have looked into some of the biggest problems neglecting oral health can have.

Dog Breath Stinks!

Now, we all know dogs aren’t known for having the best breath! All it takes is a small pant in your direction and the smell can hit you like a full-speed truck. But, is it really that surprising when you consider how often they use their tongue to clean parts of their bodies, eat, chew and groom?

It is very easy to just dismiss bad breath as something that is normal, but it could be the first signs that something quite serious is wrong. Periodontal disease is extremely common in dogs with poor dental hygiene and, unfortunately, the only obvious symptom is bad breath [1].

Periodontal disease is caused by bacteria in the mouth builds up on the teeth and gums, which can result in tooth loss and unhealthy dog gums.

There are a host of many other reasons why your dog’s breath stinks though! Read up on How To Fix Bad Dog Breath here.

Unhealthy Dog Gums Could Lead To Eating Difficulties 

Keeping your pup’s teeth and gums in good health are imperative when it comes to helping them chew. As said above, bad breath could be a sign that something more sinister is happening that you can’t see; gum disease or tooth decay, which could cause discomfort and difficulty when it comes to dinner time.

If your pup loses a tooth or more, it can create issues when they’re trying to digest their food. The more struggles they exhibit, the less likely they’re going to want to eat the food you’re giving them, which will result in a weak and poorly pup.

If you notice your canine companion is struggling to eat or chew, a dental problem may be the cause. The heartbreaking fact is that as their owner, you could have helped prevent the situation from getting to the point of no return. The sooner you support your pup’s oral health, the easier it will make their lives.

Tooth Decay and Unhealthy Dog Gums

If your pup is suffering from periodontal disease, it can cause a lot of damage to your dog’s mouth. As said above, your dog may begin to struggle to eat, or suffer from bad breath, which are some of the softer results of the disease.

Periodontal disease will begin to attack the gum line, eating away and deteriorating the tissue around the teeth – leading to unhealthy dog gums and tooth decay. The more the disease attacks, the easier it will be for your pup to keep losing teeth and potentially developing abscesses (a painful collection of pus caused by a bacterial infection in the unhealthy dog gum)  – causing your dog an awful lot of pain and discomfort.

Unfortunately, even a minor case of tooth decay and unhealthy dog gums can be detrimental to your dog’s happiness and comfort. It is imperative to try and catch the decay early so that you can take action and help support your pup’s mouth back to a healthy standard so if you suspect, get them looked over by the vet.

Unhealthy Dog Gums and Tooth Decay Can Lead To Organ Disease

It might seem strange, but when your dog suffers from an illness that affects their mouth, it can also seriously damage the rest of their body, leaving them more at risk of organ disease. Particularly with periodontal disease, it can leave a lasting and negative effect on your pet’s heart, liver, and kidneys [2].

Not only can it damage different organs, but problems can also seriously affect the way your pup lives day to day. As said previously, the more of a struggle your pooch finds it to eat, drink or clean themselves, the more stressed, vulnerable and uncomfortable they will become, leaving you with an unhappy and unhealthy dog.

How To Prevent Unhealthy Dog Gums and Tooth Decay

The key to avoiding all the above issues is simply prevention.

It’s recommended that humans should brush their teeth twice a day for two minutes. Over an average life span, this equates to 82 days worth of teeth brushing for each one of us… That’s the equivalent of watching all 236 episodes of the sitcom Friends 22.9 times!

And because dog’s get plaque build up just like we do, they also need to have their teeth brushed too. In order to help your dog live a happy and full life, cleaning their teeth regularly is imperative. 

You should brush your dog’s teeth two/three times a week with a dog enzymatic toothpaste and use dental mouthwash every day. Do not use human toothpaste on dogs, as it may contain ingredients that are harmful to their digestion.

Petlab Co. Pro Tip: It’s important to take your dog to the vet for a deep tooth clean at least once a year, preferably twice. These visits also give your vet a chance to do a thorough check, enabling them to spot and respond to any issues before they become big (and expensive!) problems.

Final thoughts on unhealthy dog gums, tooth decay and why canine dental health is important…

We completely understand that trying to fit a dental routine into your pup's day can be difficult, especially if you're not sure you're doing the right thing…

Keeping your dog’s oral health to an optimum is extremely important, though. Not only will it help protect them from gum disease, but it can also help prevent tooth loss and other health issues involving their stomach, heart, liver, and kidneys. As amazing as it would be, your dog can’t head straight into the bathroom every morning and night, grab a toothbrush and scrub their teeth, so it is your job to keep on top of it. It’s all part and parcel of being a responsible pet parent!

With a few simple changes, you can prevent 90% of these issues from occurring, which will help your dog live a long and healthy life.

Related Read 

How To Fix Bad Dog Breath


American Veterinary Dental College

World Small Animal Veterinary Association


Becca Trigg

An all round animal lover, who absolutely adores writing and researching anything puppy! Over the past few years, I have been able to gain ample pet knowledge; specifically joint health and dental hygiene. When I'm not typing away in the office, I can be found sitting in a country pub or growing chillies

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