Natural Veterinary Dental Care

Pet owners know that their four-legged best friends have teeth, but usually do little to keep them healthy. The mouth is the entrance point of food into the body. It is important to keep your pet's teeth and gums clean and strong.

Examining the teeth monthly is helpful. Most dogs and cats are happy to let their owners peek inside the mouth to look at the teeth. First, look at the face. One side should be the same as the other. Note abnormal swellings. When looking at the head, feel the glands under your pet's neck. Both should be the same size. Next, raise the lips and look at the teeth and gums. Note any areas of inflammation (redness), swelling, or broken teeth. Cats are especially prone to painful cavities which occur at the gumline. Finally, if you feel courageous, take a whiff of your pet's breath. If it doesn't smell like roses, a trip to the veterinarian is in order.

Home dental preventative care is the best gift you can give your dog. If daily brushing is not performed, plaque will form at the area where the gum meets the tooth. In time, plaque will attract calcium salts and calculus forms. The plaque and calculus irritates the gum tissue leading to gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis, if treated early, can be cured. Periodontitis can only be controlled, not cured. Daily brushing is the key to dental home care. Brushing can be easy if you take a clean towel, wrap it around your finger, and gently rub around the gumline. The upper teeth attract the most plaque, so spend the most time there. Pet toothpastes and toothbrushes are available at your veterinarian's office. Natural human toothpastes can also be used.

General natural remedies are useful for animal dental care. As with all medical recommendations, they should be checked with your veterinarian before giving them to your pet.

Vitamin C: used to decrease swelling, aid in the care of periodontal disease, and decrease pain
Myrrh: soothes inflamed gum tissues. Can be applied with a q-tip when mixed with distilled water
Echinacea: helpful in periodontal therapy
Arnica: can be given before and after oral surgery
Calendula Lotion: can be used to soothe ulcers in the mouth and promote healing
Fragraria: may be helpful in preventing the buildup of tartar given every other month
Chamonilla: can be used to decrease puppy and kitten teething as well as chewing on furniture
Hypericum: decrease oral pain


This page last updated on October 31, 2000
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Jan Bellows, DVM
All Pets Dental Clinic
17100 Royal Palm Blvd.
Weston, FL 33326
(954) 349-5800