Dog owners know the feeling of being greeted by their four-legged friends when they wake up in the morning, the excited wagging and barking ruined by the hot dog breath assaulting their nostrils. Fortunately, a group of researchers published a potential cure for dog breath odor on Friday.
The peer-reviewed article, published in the academic journal Frontiers of veterinary sciencefound that at least 80% of dogs over 3 years old suffer from periodontal disease.
Periodontal Disease in Dogs
Periodontal disease begins with gingivitis, where the gums can become red and inflamed. Other symptoms of the disease may include bleeding and, in advanced cases, tooth loss.
Periodontal disease is also a precursor to other diseases, including some life-threatening cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases.
The cause of periodontal disease, which is easily treatable, is poor dental hygiene. A buildup of plaque and tartar can be caused by owners not brushing their dog’s teeth regularly. Sometimes the owner may want to brush a dog’s teeth and find that the dog is not as enthusiastic about the idea. That’s why researchers are exploring new ways to improve canine dental hygiene.
How to Save Your Dog from Periodontal Disease
The researchers conducted a blind, randomized trial, giving some of the 40 dogs participating in the experiment the over-the-counter oral hygiene product, Vet Aquadent® FR3SH™, and some receiving water. All dogs in the study had some degree of gingivitis.
After 30 days of experiment, the dogs underwent a dental examination. Dogs that received the treatment scored 47% lower on the amount of plaque and 24% lower on the amount of tartar, compared to dogs that received water only.
“Here we show that a drinking water additive, based on pomegranate extract, can reduce the accumulation of dental plaque and tartar in dogs,” said Dr. Jerzy Gawor, a veterinary dentistry practitioner and researcher at Arka Veterinary Clinic in Krakow, Poland. “This additive helps dogs maintain healthy gums, and could ultimately help limit the occurrence of periodontal disease. »
“Daily oral hygiene and prophylaxis are essential to prevent periodontal disease in dogs. This includes active methods like brushing, passive methods like dental chews or water additives, or a combination, as well as regular clinical dental checkups. The frequency of the latter should depend on the age, breed, size and predisposition of the dog, as determined by veterinary clinicians.