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Tips to Remedy Bad Dog Breath

Friday, September 1st, 2017

Bad Breath Dog

Ever notice that your dog has…well, bad breath?

You may normally love giving your dog kisses, but bad dog breath is one thing that’s going to keep you from doing so!

Believe it or not, while we may think of dog breath as “just bad dog breath,” there’s still reason behind the smell and foul odor, and it’s preventable. Just like with the health of our mouth, there are things you can do to either promote or take away from a dog’s oral health.

Habits That Can Contribute To Bad Breath In Our Dogs

When there’s a lot of bacteria, plaque, and/or tartar in a dog’s mouth, cavities and periodontal disease can occur. Sound familiar? That’s right—once again, that’s just like with us! But even if there are no cavities or tooth loss yet, all that inflammation and/or bacteria can still lead to bad breath.

Let’s dig deeper to see some of the top habits and factors that can contribute to poor oral hygiene in our dogs.

Diet. It may come as no surprise that a dog’s diet can negatively impact their oral hygiene, and also be a contributing factor to recurring bad breath! Does your dog routinely eat from the trash? Do you find on walks they are eating or seem interested in food or waste products they shouldn’t be getting into? Do you catch them eating or sniffing decomposing animal remains or bugs or even cat poop? (1) It’s more common than you may think.

We may cringe at the idea of what our dogs are snacking on—and for good reason—but keep a closer watch on what your dogs are eating since that can directly lead to bad breath.

Diabetes. Often times the state of our dog’s oral health tells us about their OVERALL health, too. If you notice an abnormal, almost sweet breath coming from your dog, it could be indicative of diabetes. Talk with your vet if you’re concerned this is an issue! Just like with humans, diabetes can have symptoms in the mouth, but it can also complicate your dog’s oral health and put it at greater risk.

Disease. It can be a bit gross to think about, but if your dog’s breath smells similar to urine, it can be a sign they have kidney disease. In other cases, if your dog’s breath is so bad it’s alarming and downright disgusting, it could be a sign of a liver problem, in extreme cases (1).

Once again, it’s proof that you want to take note of anything abnormal (and contact your vet!) when it comes to your dog’s breath. Bad dog breath can be a sign of poor oral health AND it can be a sign your dog’s oral health is getting worse.

Habits That Promote Better Oral Hygiene In Our Dogs

Professional teeth cleaning. Talk to your vet about the benefits of a professional deep cleaning for your dog. At the same time, your vet will be able to search for cavities, any infections or signs of infection, tissue abnormalities, tooth loss, or any other issues you should be aware of (2).

Vet-recommended chew bones and chew toys. Have you ever used chew toys that have been designed to promote oral health? Some even come with dog-safe toothpaste inside! Many of these bones or chew toys help to strengthen and support your dog’s gums and teeth. These alone won’t prevent bad breath, but they can help over time.

You want to be sure that the toy is actually intended for this purpose, and that it’s vet-approved, so that way you are not harming your dog’s teeth, putting them at risk, or wasting your money on products that aren’t effective at promoting good dental hygiene (3).

Brushing your dog’s teeth at home. One of the best ways to combat bad breath in our canine friend’s is to brush their teeth at home. Be sure to consult your vet, but know that you never want to use HUMAN toothpaste when brushing your dog’s teeth.

In most cases, you’ll end up using a toothbrush designed for dogs; like with humans, it’s basically a brush with bristles on the end. (Again, ask your vet if there’s a toothbrush or alternative to a toothbrush that is a better fit for your dog!)

There are multiple brands of pet-friendly toothpaste, which is great to use because it’s digestible and won’t do ANY harm to your dog’s stomach if they do swallow it!

How to Clean Your Canine's Canines

A few other tips that you might also hear from your vet include:

  • When possible, start when your dog is young so they get used to good oral health habits like you brushing their teeth
  • If they are an adult dog, slowly introduce new habits to your dog…that way it’s not a lot of change at once!
  • Don’t forget to run any toothbrush (or gauze/cotton swabs) by your vet before trying at home
  • Reward your dog just like you would in other scenarios when they allow you to brush their teeth
  • Aim to reach the upper molars and the canines (no pun intended!) when brushing their teeth
  • Know it’s difficult to get access to and clean the inside of your dog’s teeth; that’s normal and just getting the out-ward facing (cheek-facing) surfaces will still go a long way
  • When possible, lift their lip so you get access to much of their gum and teeth (2)

Your vet can also give you specific recommendations on how often you want to have your adult dog’s teeth professionally cleaned. A good rule of thumb: when in doubt, see your vet! It’s one more chance for your vet to make sure everything is looking as it should in your dog’s mouth (2).

Call Hagen Dental Practice to Maintain YOUR Healthy Smile

Just like with your dog, bad breath CAN indicate an infection or another problem in your mouth. One of the best ways to manage your oral bacteria (and your oral hygiene) is to schedule regular check-ups with Hagen Dental Practice. Teeth cleanings and oral examinations help to identify risks for tooth decay and gum disease. We want to help you maintain a healthy smile—so give Hagen Dental Practice a call today at (513) 251-5500!

Sources/References

  1. http://www.akc.org/content/health/articles/stanky-dog-breath/
  2. https://www.banfield.com/pet-healthcare/additional-resources/article-library/dental/do-i-need-to-brush-my-dog-s-teeth
  3. https://www.cesarsway.com/dog-care/dental-care/7-tips-for-doggie-dental-care

Be Ready For the Mistletoe With These Breath-Boosting Tips

Tuesday, December 20th, 2016

The holiday season is upon us! And with it, a host of office Christmas parties, invitations to dinners, white elephant exchanges with your friends, and ugly sweater get-togethers.

Mistletoe can be hiding in the eaves of any social gathering, so it is a great time of year to ensure your breath is fresh, whether you want to be ready for a quick peck under the mistletoe with your crush, or a long smooch with your spouse. Use these dental hygiene and better breath tips as part of your holiday-ready routine!

is-your-breath-ready-for-mistletoe

The Quick-Fix Options

Carrying a small travel (or even disposable) toothbrush and small tube of toothpaste is a great option, especially if you’re planning on going straight to a holiday get-together right after a long day of work or school. Even if you forget the paste, brushing with just water can offer a little bit of help to reduce the microbes collecting in your mouth after meals.

Flossing with a mint flavored dental floss helps remove food particles from your recent meal. Flossing on the go can be made more realistic with products such as disposable floss picks.

Gargle with an anti-bacterial mouthwash for 20-30 seconds. Many mouthwashes come in small travel-sized bottles that will fit in your pocket, purse, car or desk. This will help fight bacteria in the mouth that contribute to bad breath and give you an instant odor freshener (1).

Chew on a stick of sugar-free or natural gum. Since dry mouth can lead to bad breath, and gum stimulates saliva production, gum is a helpful choice. As an added bonus, gum can remove some of the food particles left in small gaps in your teeth. Find a nice peppermint flavor for an instant odor cover-up (1).

Chew on a sprig of mint. This herb doesn’t clean your teeth, but will offer a strong minty smell to cover up bad breath temporarily. Just be sure to check the mirror for any stray remnants of the green leaf before heading into the party.

Chew on nuts. This option works well if you are already at the party, and have none of the other options available to you. Nuts have a strong aroma. Additionally, the abrasive texture of nuts will help remove residue or food particles from the teeth, tongue and gums (2).

Order your water with lemon or lime. This acidic, citrusy combination is a powerful tool against bad breath. The moisture of the water keeps your mouth from getting too dry, which helps minimize odor. The acidity of the citrus fruit combats bacteria and masks the odor with its fresh flavor (1).

The Long Term Story: How to Prevent Breath Issues

Once the party is over, it is important you take a step back and find out the underlying cause of your bad breath. Was it just a garlic-laden lunch? Or is the halitosis (bad breath) something you deal with regularly? It could be your oral hygiene habits need a tune-up, or something more serious at play.

Proper dental hygiene habits, such as consistently using floss, mouthwash, and brushing regularly are your best defense against bad breath. These daily habits serve to keep bacteria, food particles and inflammation to a minimum. Ensuring you stick to a regular dental checkup schedule will help keep teeth clean and serve to catch any underlying problems as early as possible, or before they become a big problem.

Staying hydrated is also important to prevent dry mouth induced bad breath. Drinking hot tea after a meal helps to remove food particles, and also contains polyphenols which discourage the growth of bad breath causing bacteria.

However, if bad breath is already a frequent problem, call us to schedule an examination. Chronically foul smelling breath can be a sign of gingivitis, periodontitis, plaque buildup, infections, cavities, gastritis, or poor brushing habits. It is imperative that you consult with Dr. Hagen to discover and eliminate the offender before it affects your long term health.

dont-let-bad-breath-ruin-your-day

Worried About Getting Too Close?

We never want your dental health concerns to get in the way of your personal relationships. Call Hagen Dental practice today to discuss how we can help! (513) 251-5500

Sources:

  • http://www.wikihow.com/Fix-Bad-Breath-on-the-Spot
  • http://www.livescience.com/40052-get-rid-bad-breath.html
  • http://whole30.com/2016/05/whole30-fresh-breath/

Your Tongue: What You Need to Know!

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

Ever brush your teeth but still feel like you have bad breath just a short while later?

Your tongue could be responsible!

A “coated tongue” can happen because of an overgrowth of bacteria on our tongue. Believe it or not, this is often what’s responsible for rotten-smelling breath…

We actually have the majority of bacteria in our mouth on our tongue. This problem also has to do with the type of bacteria that live on our tongue…

That smell we all want to avoid stems from the actual waste products of the bacteria that feast on bits of food in our mouth. The bacteria called “gram-negative bacteria,” the kind that is below our gum line, is the smelliest kind! It increases more bad-smelling compounds than the type of bacteria that mostly lives above our gum line.

These “gassy” bacteria communities are what thrive in the hard-to-reach crevices of our tongues. To break it down–the bacteria that live in and around our tongue are truly the bad-smelling offenders in our mouths.

This sure makes us want to clean our tongues daily, and that’s a good idea. Don’t forget that brushing your tongue can also help remove plaque and bacteria each day.

Also know that tongue scraping can be helpful in the short-term. But you probably know what we are going to say next—just know that overall mouth hygiene here is what really helps over time because it combats the overall growth of the bacteria communities in your mouth.

Also remember to take a minute to check out your tongue. This way, you can notice changes if they ever do occur.

Have you seen a strange change in your tongue? Your immune system or allergy could be the cause!

Have you seen a sore on your tongue? Or do you see different-looking white areas or bumps you’ve never noticed? Please let us know so we can take a look if this is the case.

Any smoking, excessive dry mouth, or certain medication use , can also be major contributors to keeping that bacteria alive (and smelly)!

Still have bad breath?

Assuming you are not ill or haven’t been ill recently, you are consuming enough water regularly (to combat dry mouth), and you don’t have any new or different medication you are taking, it can be troublesome if you continue to have long-term bad breath.

One last time, ask yourself or a loved one with this problem these questions: are you using a tongue scraper and also brushing your teeth and tongue each day? Are you also flossing? If you can’t figure out why your bad breath is a problem, let us know. Many times bad breath can be a sign of something larger going on with your health. We are here to help you find out what that is!

Source:

The Dreaded Act of Flossing

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

Flossing. Hey, we’ve all been there. When we were kids it was bad enough that Mom and Dad made us brush our teeth, let alone floss. Sticking our fingers in our mouths, taking longer in the bathroom – from a kids’ perspective, what’s the point?

It prevents bad breath and gum disease. We can’t always see plaque, bacteria, or food particles between our teeth, and if we’re not in the habit of flossing, we can hardly feel that our teeth are still dirty – even after a good brush.

Our toothbrush bristles cannot reach hidden plaque and other decay-causing bacteria. Floss does. In fact, it cleans 33% of your total tooth surface.

Now we’re not kids anymore and we get the point. But, yet, not everyone flosses. Why is this?

Our patients find that flossing is very easy to forget about, especially if they are not used to doing it every night. Hagen understands that if you don’t floss already, it’s hard to make it a habit. So we’ve provided a few pointers that may help you start:

  • Step one is getting the floss into your home
  • Keep your floss next to your toothbrush – not hidden in a drawer
  • Try to floss at LEAST once a day
  • Floss before you brush. (Rinse with a mouthwash after)
  • Use up to 18 inches of floss each time
  • Don’t cheat by skipping one or two days – make it a habit and it will automatically become part of your routine!

Check out these other flossing tips by the ADHA.

If you have any questions or comments, ask on our Facebook or Twitter, or give us a call at 513.251.5500! We’re always happy to help.