YOUR DOG’S TEETH SHOULD BE WHITE
THERE COULD BE TROUBLE AHEAD IF THEY AREN’T
Dental disease is the number one medical problem among pets today, according to Dr. Brooke Niemiec of the American Veterinary Dental College.
The fact is, over 70 percent of dogs and cats will suffer periodontal disease by the age of two.
DENTAL DISEASE AFFECTS MORE THAN JUST YOUR DOG’S MOUTH
There have been studies that linking periodontal disease in both humans and pets to systemic diseases of the kidneys and liver, heart disease, lung disease, diabetes complications, problems during pregnancy, and even cancer.
According to holistic veterinarian Karen Becker:
“These serious health concerns develop or are made worse by the constant presence of oral bacteria
flushing into the bloodstream through inflamed or bleeding gum tissue. The good news is that many
of these conditions improve once the dental disease is resolved and good oral hygiene is
HOW TO REVERSE DENTAL DISEASE
Holistic vets know that a simple change in diet can often be enough to reverse dental disease in
dogs. Veterinarian Michael Fox claims, “Obesity and dental problems are associated with highly
processed manufactured pet foods, especially those high in cereals.”
Homeopathic veterinarian Don Hamilton agrees.
“High levels of sugars and simple carbohydrates provide rapidly available nutrition for oral
It is becoming more apparent that commercial pet foods, all of which contain about 40% sugars and
carbohydrates are the main cause of dental disease in dogs.
Australian veterinarian Tom Lonsdale has also seen significant changes in the dental health of his
patients by simply changing their diet from kibble to a species-appropriate, raw diet. The changes he
has seen are so significant that he calls kibble “junk food.” Dr. Lonsdale did a test study that goes a long way to prove his point.
Since Dr. Lonsdale had become accustomed to seeing drastic improvements in dental health with the
change from kibble and commercial pet foods to a raw diet, he wondered “How quickly will healthy
dogs start to deteriorate if we feed them junk food?”
Dr. Lonsdale recruited four raw fed dogs and, and for the next 17 days, he fed them kibble – Science Diet veterinary food to be exact.
The results were visible. Each photo shows the subject dogs’ teeth while they were eating a portion of raw, species-appropriate food, and the stinky breath, yellow teeth, and sore bleeding gums that occurred just 17 days after feeding a veterinary diet.
“Because they haven’t been scrubbed away by the appropriate food, the bacteria multiplied,”
explains Dr. Lonsdale. “And they’re now gaining access to these dogs’ mouths, and from the mouth
to the rest of the body. And that, we think, is the reason why animals end up with many diseases of
the liver, the kidneys, the heart, the immune system, and so on.”
Dr. Fox warns
“Maintaining pets’ dental hygiene, along with good nutrition – where highly processed pet food
ingredients, especially corn and soy glutens, leave micro-particles adhering to the teeth and foster
dental disease – prevents much animal suffering. Dental problems, closely related to diet, are very
common in dogs and cats and are often left untreated for too long, causing much suffering and long
crippling, even fatal illness. These include kidney, liver, and heart disease secondary to periodontal
Dental cleaning under anesthesia has become the norm, given that the vast majority of dogs suffer
from dental disease (because the vast majority of dogs are fed kibble and starch-laden diets).
But this only compounds the risk of feeding your dog a processed diet.
In an article entitled Remove Malpractice Risk from Anesthetic Risk published in DVM
Newsmagazine, June 1st, 2004, veterinarian and attorney Dr. Christopher Allen wrote, “Clients who
sue are shocked clients; they sue after they bring in a reasonably healthy looking pet but leave with
their animal in a plastic bag. They sue when their high-risk pet dies under anesthesia and no one
fully explained the concept of anesthetic risk. A disproportionate number involve pet deaths that
have occurred while an animal was sedated or under anesthesia.”
Dr Fox adds,
“Cleaning teeth on a regular basis under general anesthesia is a high-risk money-maker that can
mean death for otherwise healthy animals.”
Dr. Lonsdale’s experiment should be a wake-up call for pet owners.
Veterinarian Dr. Will Falconer agrees:
“Do wolves die toothless? Or live with decayed teeth, tartar encrusted teeth, or yellow teeth? Of
course not. Why is this?
Maybe, says Dr. Falconer, more importantly, the question should be: how did we come to believe all
this hype about teeth brushing and dentistry? And what sorts of things have we foisted on the
animals that have caused all this dental disease?
“It can only be that this chronic disease has come from our deviating from the wild model, raising
our pets in ways that are quite different from that of their ancestors and wild cousins, the wolf and
Veterinarian Sara Chapman concludes,
“Raw meaty bone diets keep wild carnivores’ teeth in top condition, and they can do the same for our domesticated carnivores. Even ground raw diets help prevent tartar build-up, as the meat contains natural enzymes, and raw diets do not stick to the teeth, unlike diets that are high in starch. Kibble (dry food) has long been touted as helping to keep teeth clean because of its abrasive action. If you have ever watched your dog eat kibble, you have probably noticed that they don’t chew the stuff, they swallow it down whole. I encourage all my clients to feed a balanced, high-quality raw diet if possible; balanced high quality cooked or canned diets are acceptable alternatives if they can not feed raw.”
Despite the proper diet, some dogs are genetically predisposed to dental disease … especially toy breeds and short-nosed breeds.
Dr. Becker offers these other solutions to keep your dog’s mouth healthy and bacteria-free:
Offer recreational, raw bones. Offering your pet raw knucklebones to gnaw on can help
remove tartar the old fashioned way – by grinding it off through mechanical chewing. There
are some rules to offering raw bones (not for pets with pancreatitis, diseases of the mouth,
weak or fractured teeth, resource guarders, “gulpers,” etc.) so ask your holistic vet if raw bones
would be a good “toothbrush” for your dog. I recommend offering a raw bone about the same
size as your pet’s head to prevent tooth fractures.
If your dog cannot or should not chew recreational raw bones, I recommend you offer a fully
digestible, high-quality dental dog chew.
Perform routine mouth inspections. Your pet should allow you to open his mouth, look inside,
and feel around for loose teeth or unusual lumps or bumps on the tongue, under the tongue,
along the gum line, and on the roof of his mouth. After you do this a few times, you’ll become
sensitive to any changes that might occur from one inspection to the next. You should also
make note of any differences in the smell of your pet’s breath that aren’t diet-related