Fight Stinky Dog Breath & Prevent Gum Disease with Proper Dental Health

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The article below is written by Dr. Emily Stein the CEO and inventor of TEEF! by Primal Health; TEEF uses patented science that selectively favors health-promoting bacteria to flourish in your pet’s mouth while disrupting dangerous bacteria.

*** PetHub users can check out our premium Perks Deal from TEEF! for special discounts ***

terrier dog laying in grass smiling at camera with TEEF logo

As a microbiologist with a background in immunology, dental disease can be a scary reality. I witnessed both my grandmother and senior rescue dog suffer from severe systemic health issues directly related to their poor dental condition. Fortunately, I understood that the ultimate driver of those health issues stemmed from an imbalance in the bad vs. good bacteria that creates an unhealthy environment in the mouth.

The problem?

Too many harmful bacteria behaving badly below the gumline are the cause of dental disease in pets. Persistence and overgrowth of dental disease-causing bacteria leads to gum inflammation. That inflammation quickly causes tissue destruction, and bleeding, which gives bacteria full access to the rest of the body where they can set up shop in organs, joints and cause severe health issues and disease over time.

Gum disease is linked to:

  • Kidney disease
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Arthritis
  • And countless other health issues

The solution?

You can help your pet reduce their chances of getting dental disease by promoting  higher levels of beneficial bacteria which can result in a naturally healthier mouth - less tooth plaque, less inflammation, and less breath stink.

Healthy dental hygiene habits are imperative for maintaining balance in the mouth, resulting in better health and longevity. In addition to annual veterinary dental cleanings, there are several “at home” regimens that can encourage microbial diversity for dental health in your pets.

Low carbohydrate diet
Raw is increasing in popularity and it makes sense for pets in many ways. But there are still risks with raw food, including that there is a higher burden of dangerous bacteria on raw foods (i.e. Salmonella, E. coli, etc.).

There’s also a lack of appreciation for the fact that there are still carbohydrates in a raw diet – not processed, which is great, but carbs feed the bacteria that are most destructive in the mouth and gums.
Here are some tips on what to include in your pets diet:

  • Focus on green leafy vegetables for carbohydrates/fibers (and limit the potato, chickpea, yams, etc).
  • Organs and muscle from animals not exposed to antibiotics or pesticides.
  • Note that bone marrow contains simple sugars so be mindful to limit bones to only a few times a week, at most.
  • Stay away from sugary fruits such as apple, pear, bananas and strawberries. Blueberries, raspberries and blackberries are great.

Mechanical removal
Regular tooth brushing is the best and safest approach. Physical removal of plaque and tartar from the tooth is always a good thing. Finger polishing using gauze or material will wipe off the dental biofilm from a dog’s teeth, however, sticking foreign objects in a pet’s mouth isn’t always well-received. That’s where chews can be a last resort, it’s just important to monitor the frequency of use since many are very high in calories and carbohydrates, plus you want to ensure there’s no choking hazard.

Supplements and additives
These can be effective but tricky in that they can often be laced with harsh chemicals and detergents (triclosan, cetylpyridinium chloride, chlorine dioxide, sodium tripolyphosphate) that DECREASE diversity of the microbiome. Why? These chemicals do not discriminate between good vs bad and kill beneficial bacteria in the mouth and gut, which is essential for optimal dental and overall health. Also, it’s important to select these dental products according to ingredients - if you can’t pronounce them, don’t use it. 

There’s plenty of conversations around gut health and its importance in overall health but oral health is often ignored or overlooked as a catalyst that dictates it all. The very first sign of dental disease is bad breath. Other signs to look out for include:

  • Red or inflamed gum tissue (sometimes bleeding)
  • Discolored plaque and tartar on teeth
  • Receding gums/exposing the root of the tooth

Swollen and bleeding gums can be reversed or healed, to a certain degree, with a regular daily dental hygiene regimen. Damage to the periodontal ligament (which holds a tooth in place, at the root) cannot be reversed and will require extraction. This is not only expensive, but can also affect longevity. Dental disease can result in a loss of 1/3 of your pet's lifespan.

Re-establishing bacterial balance, like when your pet was young, is the key to a truly healthy mouth and body. A combination of the tips outlined above creates the optimum environment for dental health for your pup (and you, too!).

TEEF product photo

Take the next step to dental health with TEEF!
TEEF is different from other dental care products on the market. Rather than killing as many bacteria as possible, TEEF empowers good bacteria plus out-competes the bad bacteria for a naturally-balanced, healthier mouth.

*** PetHub users can check out our Premium & Basic Perks Deals from TEEF! for special discounts ***

About Dr. Stein:
Dr. Stein holds a Ph.D. in Microbiology from the University of California at Berkeley where she studied signaling pathways involved in stress response and community development in bacteria and received her B.S. in Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Iowa where she studied the interaction between M. tuberculosis and innate immune cells. She founded Primal Health, LLC to focus on improving the quality of life and longevity of both humans and animals by producing innovative, consumable and safe dental hygiene products. Their patented prebiotic technology centers on re-engineering disease-causing bacterial biofilms into those that are health-promoting.