What causes dog bad breath?

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Brushing your dog's teeth can help bad breath
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Know what causes dog bad breath to protect your dog's teeth and general health

Okay, admit it. You kiss your dog on the mouth. You love him soooo much you just canít help yourself. Sometimes, though, when you get a whiff of his doggie breath donít you wish you hadnít.

A dogís breath can get really rank.

What causes dogs to have bad breath? The same things that cause humans to have foul smelling breath. This is why doggie dental care, using dental care products developed specifically for dogs, is so important.

Dogs shouldnít have bad breath, even though they donít brush. If your pooch has a foul smell emanating from his mouth it could be that he is suffering from periodontal disease.

Periodontal disease is another name for gingivitis, which is inflammation of the gums and is the first stage of gum disease. Signs of gingivitis include the appearance of elongated teeth. This is because the gums have receded and pulled away from the teeth. 

Look in your dogsí mouth. If his mouth is disease free, his gums should be coral pink colored and his breath shouldnít be foul (although itís not going to be Colgate fresh by any stretch of the imagination.)  

If your pooch is in the early stages of gingivitis, there will be brownish spots on the back of his teeth and there might be a thin red line that runs along his gums. His breath will be stinky bad.

Gingivitis often shows up in two- or three-year-old dogs whose mouths have not been cared for.
When dogs eat soft food, they are apt to develop gingivitis.

If gingivitis is present the root attachment of his teeth has begun to deteriorate and the bone structure that supports the tooth is gone. When this occurs, your dog will find it difficult to chew. If he canít chew, the situation is going to get even worse.

Most dogs ultimately suffer from dental disease because they are fed soft diets. However, they rarely suffer from tooth enamel decay, but they can experience receding gums (gingival) where the gums abut the teeth, gum infection, inflammation and tartar accumulation just below the gum line and on the teeth. Tartar buildup causes bad breath. 

The particles in our mouth decompose, which results in optimal conditions for bacteria. The bacterium grows and becomes plaque, which is made up of bacteria, decomposed food and minerals. Plaque clings to the base of teeth, which causes the gums to recede and become inflamed. 

When gums are inflamed they leak blood serum. These problems can cause unpleasant breath. 

Other medical problems can result in bad breath, including liver and kidney disease. If your dog has organ damage, he is going to require special care when it comes to his teeth. 

Young pets that are in the process of losing their baby teeth frequently have bad breath. If you brush the pupís teeth with a diluted baking soda solution this lessens the odor.

Take your dog to the vetís and have his teeth cleaned. The vet can put an antibiotic gel under the gums where there are bacteria and the gel becomes solid. It then gradually dissolves over a 14-day period of time and releases antibiotics into the dogís gums, which kills bacteria and prompts the gums to reattach to the teeth. Your dog may need to undergo several such treatments, but it is possible to return his teeth and gums to normal with proper care.

If periodontal disease isnít treated, your dog is going to suffer. It will cause him pain. In addition, his teeth will fall out or you may have to have them removed to prevent even more damage. When a dog is in the throes of advanced periodontal disease his breath will be nauseating.  


Colgate: what is gingivitis

About dog bad breath

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