Dental & Teeth Cleaning Tips for Your Pet

Dental & Teeth Cleaning Tips for Your Pet

Interestingly enough, from the information I can find, it appears that Pet Dental Month is sponsored (maybe created) by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). According to Dr. Douglas Aspros, president of the AVMA, “Dental health problems are extremely common, and many are very painful and can lead to serious systemic conditions. I remind pet owners that an untreated dental infection can spread to the heart, kidneys and other organs, and suddenly become life threatening.” As in any extreme case, anything is possible but I know there are several natural remedies to help combat getting to a stage where it is life threatening.

February is National Pet Dental Month

National-Pet-Dental-Association-150x150

Interestingly enough, from the information I can find, it appears that Pet Dental Month is sponsored (maybe created) by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). According to Dr. Douglas Aspros, president of the AVMA, “Dental health problems are extremely common, and many are very painful and can lead to serious systemic conditions. I remind pet owners that an untreated dental infection can spread to the heart, kidneys and other organs, and suddenly become life threatening.” As in any extreme case, anything is possible but I know there are several natural remedies to help combat getting to a stage where it is life threatening.

As you can imagine as a retailer, we are bombarded with all sorts of “dental health” companies wanting us to stock up for this one month where it seems to have the most emphasis. Don’t get me wrong, I think there are some fantastic items on the market for dental health, however, dental hygiene is something that should be considered year-round. And we carry plenty of the dental health products, such as treats, supplements and chews all the time. I feel like most of us know the common procedures that go along with keeping a healthy mouth such as brushing, providing raw recreational bones to chew on or an alternative chew, an at-home visual check and following up with a professional check yearly or more often if there is an active problem.

We are more than happy to show you the several dental health products we carry if you stop in but I think it’s more important to take a different approach and learn how to use supplements, vitamins and herbs to strengthen the teeth and enamel to avoid the sometimes often stressful dental procedures. I often hear “I brush my pet’s teeth but they still look terrible”. Tooth decay and plaque can form from several causes. Persistent inflammation and infection as well as chemicals in low-grade dry dog food (or other exposure) can result in decay. Overgrowth of bacteria in the mouth can pose its own set of problems. Some animals are just born with a weak vitality or immune system and can produce poorly formed or rotten teeth as they age from lack of minerals. Their body chemistry can also lead to poor enamel quality causing plaque to sometimes form quickly.

Healthy Mouth

pet dental health

Nutrients and oxygen are delivered to the teeth from a clean, healthy blood stream to the root of the tooth. It is important to keep your dog or cat's mouth healthy for proper digestion channels. Many times when teeth are removed, it poses an impingement to an ailment later in life since teeth are directly correlated with the nerves that go to the spinal cord. Each tooth corresponds to a gland, organ, vertebrae, joint and our senses. Unfortunately our pets can’t tell us when they don’t feel good or we should be concerned over aches and pains they may have that could have been a direct result of a tooth being extracted.

Supplements

One of my favorite supplements for tooth or enamel ailments include tissue salts (also referred to as cell salts). Calc Flour, Calc Phos, Calc Sulph, Kali Phos, and Ferr Phos all have a link to helping the teeth. Following is a list of how each mentioned cell salt can help with tooth issues.

Calc Flour:

  • Brittle enamel
  • Enamel is rough and thin
  • Teeth are loose in the sockets
  • Teeth are sensitive to touch

Calc Phos:

  • Decay of teeth as soon as they appear
  • Gums bleed easily and are pale
  • Rapid decay of teeth

Calc Sulph:

  • Ulceration of roots of teeth
  • Ulceration with swelling gums and cheeks

Ferr Phos:

  • Inflammed gums and painful
  • Hot cheeks

Kali Phos:

  • Gums bleed easily
  • Bright red gums
  • Toothache with irritability
  • Ulcers of the mouth (stomatitis)

Fennel is fantastic for wiping on the gums to help with gingivitis issues. Greg Tilford from Animal Essentials recommends fennel for its antibacterial constituents. Symptoms on gingivitis may include bad breath, red or swollen gums or ulcerated gums most often accompanied by pain. At this time it would also be recommended to add echnicea on board for its immune boosting properties.

Along with using herbs, I would also consider Coenzyme Q10, Vitamin E and Vitamin C (preferably Ester-C) to support a healthy mouth. Coenzyme Q10 is known to be a potent antioxidant with antibacterial, antitumor and antiviral properties. It is found in high concentrations naturally in heart meat, mackerel, salmon and sardines. From personal experience I have also seen Coenzyme Q10 help with firm up gums where teeth are loose for no reason. Vitamin E is used to improve circulation throughout the body including to the teeth. It is also a powerful antioxidant and can be found in green leafy vegetables, eggs and kelp. It interacts nicely with Vitamin C for seeking out toxic free radicals. Vitamin C is important for the immune system and also has a direct effect on bacteria and viruses. It is also efficient at reducing inflammation within the body. Last but not least, I would strongly consider chlorophyll and alfalfa for their blood cleansing effects. When we have clean, healthy blood transported to our teeth and organs, the additional nutrients and oxygen can be more supportive in quickly excrete toxins instead of recirculating within the body.

My one word of caution, please avoid using human toothpaste for cats and dogs. Two common ingredients, xylitol and fluoride, can be deadly to our pets. With all this being said, there are many wonderful natural supports to encourage a healthy mouth in your dog or cat. Don't just limit it to this month! Wellness is something that happens over time.

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