August 31, 2023
How Cleaning a Dog’s Teeth Can Improve Their Overall Well-being
8 Benefits of Healthy Dog Gums and Teeth
Dental care for dogs is about so much more than an adorable smile (although have you ever seen anything cuter than a smiling pooch?!). It’s about maintaining healthy dog gums and teeth while minimizing plaque and tartar buildup so that dogs can maintain their physical health, comfort, and overall well-being. Oh, and don’t forget about fresh breath for all those doggy kisses!
Your pup’s pearly whites and gums play a crucial role in their overall health and well-being. Here are a few ways that cleaning a dog’s teeth can help keep more than just their mouths healthy and happy.
Nutrition and Digestion
The digestive process starts in the mouth (and that’s not a joke about how fast a dog can eat!). Dental care for dogs is so important because healthy teeth allow dogs to chew their food properly, breaking it down into smaller, more manageable pieces that a dog’s digestive enzymes can then more effectively act on. This efficient chewing and digestive process increases a dog’s nutrient absorption from the food, whereas inadequate chewing or digestion can lead to choking, digestive upset, malnutrition, or nutritional deficiencies.
Better Immune Function
Your dog’s dental health also goes well beyond their mouth. Being able to properly chew and absorb all the necessary nutrients from a well-balanced diet helps support a dog’s immune system, keeping them active, happy, and less prone to illness.
Healthier Skin and Coat
What goes in, plays a role inside and out! One of the first signs of nutritional deficiencies can often be either increased shedding or a dull coat. When a dog’s oral hygiene allows them to properly chew and extract the necessary nutrients from their food more efficiently with healthy teeth and gums, their skin and coat also benefit from the proper proteins and nutrients.
Preventing Systemic Problems
When brushing your dog’s teeth, it’s important to keep an eye out for signs that your dog may have a dental issue. If left untreated, dental infections can introduce harmful bacteria into a dog’s bloodstream, potentially leading to systemic infections affecting organs like the heart, liver, and kidneys. A dog’s dental health is also closely linked with gut health. The harmful bacteria from the mouth can enter the gut, where they can multiply and disturb the balance of the gut microbiome. The unbalanced microbiome can then disrupt digestion, behavior, immune function, and several other aspects of their health.
A common and easy-to-smell sign of poor dog dental health is bad breath, also known as halitosis. When you address any dental problems that may be lurking in your dog’s mouth, above or below the gumline, you can significantly improve a dog’s breath and overall health—while also making for much more enjoyable doggy kisses!
Reducing the Risk of Tooth Loss
Brush those teeth to keep those teeth! Maintaining healthy dog gums and teeth reduces the risk of dog tooth decay and tooth loss, which can affect a dog’s ability to eat, play, and enjoy all the good things in life.
Improved Quality of Life
Speaking of the good life, keeping your dog’s teeth clean can lead to a happier and more comfortable life for your best furry friend. Dental problems can cause significant pain and discomfort, especially while eating—a very important time for a healthy dog! If they are having toothaches or experiencing pain while chewing, they may have difficulty consuming their regular food or avoid eating altogether. In addition to decreased food intake, dental pain and discomfort can also negatively impact a dog’s behavior, leading to irritability, aggression, or even depression.
The reason dogs look so happy when they chew? Dogs release the feel-good hormones known as endorphins when chewing, leading to a sense of pleasure and relaxation for them. Endorphins are natural chemicals produced by the brain that act as neurotransmitters and play a role in reducing pain and stress while promoting feelings of well-being and happiness. By offering a daily vet-recommended dog chew like WHIMZEES® Brushzees or toys that encourage chewing, you are keeping their teeth clean, exercising their jaw muscles, and providing mental stimulation. Win-win-win!
Healthy Mouth, Happy Dog
From teeth to wagging tail, keeping up with canine oral care shows your favorite canine companion how much you care about them, their health, and their overall well-being. It only takes a few minutes a day to support your dog’s dental health, and then you both get to enjoy the benefits of those healthy teeth and gums all day—and life—long.