Bad breath in a dog is often dismissed simply as “doggy breath”. But in fact, it may very well signal periodontal disease, which is the most common ailment suffered by dogs and cats over 3 years of age.

Preventing periodontal disease can result in longer, heathier lives for our pets. Unfortunately, pet owners often ignore dental care. One survey notes that just 1 out of 10 owners make sure their pet’s teeth are cared for. Although dogs and cats rarely get cavities, the plague and tartar that do form can cause gingivitis and periodontal disease which can lead to tooth decay, bleeding gums and tooth loss. The bacteria can also travel through the bloodstream and eventually damage your dog’s major organs.

Proper pet dental care begins with a trip to the veterinarian for a dental exam, which should be done once a year. If you vet sees plaque or tartar buildup, a cleaning may be necessary.

Dental disease

American Kennel Club explains that “the most common causes of bad breath in dogs are bad oral hygiene and periodontal disease. Just like in humans, the build-up of plaque and tartar can lead to the development of the bacteria that cause bad breath. If your dog is not a chewer and you do not regularly brush his teeth or have his teeth cleaned, then the most likely cause of his bad breath is plaque build-up. The simplest way to prevent bad dog breath is to brush your dog’s teeth on a regular basis. Teeth brushing reduces plaque and promotes better oral hygiene, much as it does in humans, and with a little training, most dogs learn to enjoy having their teeth brushed. Providing your dog with plenty of chew toys helps them take care of their teeth naturally. Chewing prevents plaque and tartar build-up and relieves boredom, keeping your dog healthy and happy. Just make sure you select chew toys appropriate for your dog’s size and age”.

Here is an example of a dog that has dental disease. See the tartar on the teeth and how the gum margin is inflamed? Please don’t let this happen to your pet. Contact your Veterinarian for an exam or treatment.


MainStreet Veterinarians practices both conventional as well as alternative animal healthcare from our friendly office in Stone Mountain, GA. Offering mainly conventional veterinary medicine and surgery to also offering a wide array of alternative and holistic treatments to the veterinary community as well. Call us today to make an appointment with your beloved pet at 770-498-4620 or send us an email.