Bad breath is not normal, if your dog has bad breath there is most likely some disease in the mouth; 80% of dogs over the age of three have periodontal disease. There is no such thing as “doggy breath” – bad breath is the first indicator of periodontal disease or other oral disease pathology. Just like human dentistry, not just one modality will address all the needs of oral health – we brush, we floss, and use mouthwash.
GDB Vet Tech Laura brushes a Black Lab's teeth with a toothbrush
For my dental patients I suggest at minimum a two front approach; usually consisting first and foremost with brushing every other day, since it takes about 48 hours for plaque (bacterial colonies) to mineralize into calculus which cannot be removed by teeth brushing alone. Brushing with a tooth brush or gauze/paper towel wrapped around the finger is a good technique, making sure to rub the crown and along the gum line. When I recommend tools for veterinary dental care I suggest items approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC), an organization that independently evaluates the effectiveness of veterinary dental products (this council endorses veterinary dental products that are proven to work). Together we can keep our canines’ teeth healthy and happy!
GDB Vet Tech Laura brushes a Black Lab's teeth with a piece of gauze
Laura is also certified by The Veterinary Dental Technician and with The American Society of Veterinary Dental Technicians.
*Please note this is a modified version of the original blog post and has been approved as appropriate for all GDB dogs.