Periodontal Disease in Dogs

Image result for cleaning dogs teethHave you ever petted a dog and their breath just caught you off guard? Humans are not the only ones who have bad breath, dogs can too. You would think that they may have just eaten something they shouldn’t, but bad breath can be a sign of health problems; or the most common, periodontal disease.

These are a few things to consider before taking them to the vet and figuring out why their breath smells:

How do dogs get gum disease?

Like us humans, when we eat, food gets mixed with saliva which produces sticky substances around our teeth called plaque. If we do not remove the plaque it will harden and turn into tartar. Over time tartar will cause you to have swollen and inflamed gums. This applies to dogs as well. Tartar thrust the gum away from the teeth which is an open window for bacteria to enter, when the bacteria enters, it gets into the bloodstream and affects dogs’ organs.

Risk of having periodontal disease

Dental problems in dogs is not something to ignore. According to Colleen O’Morrow, a veterinary dentist from the Academy of Veterinary Dentistry, periodontal disease happens five times more in dogs than in people. Some cases dogs lose their teeth, have bad infection, and bone loss. What O’Morrow commonly sees is that “over time untreated gum disease can destroy bone to such an extent that even a little pressure will fracture a small dogs weakened jaw”. By not taking care of your dog’s periodontal disease, it can cause your dog to be in severe pain. Our dogs do not show weakness and tend to hide their pain. We would not want our dogs feeling pain for such a long period of time.

Preventing Gum Diseases  

Recognizing your dog’s habit is the key. Are they a chewer? Do you notice red swollen gums? Just like you come to see your dentist every 6 months for an exam and cleaning, dogs need to do the same thing. Seeing your vet for an exam and asking them ways to steer away from periodontal disease can help.

Do you brush your dog’s teeth? Brushing your dogs’ teeth daily is an effective way of cleaning and removing plaque. Be aware that some dogs may not like you touching their teeth, so there are dog chews out there instead of daily brushing. The chewing motion reduces plaque because when they gnaw, they put their teeth against the chew toy or dental stick which rubs the plaque off. Also, there’s an organization called The Veterinary Oral Health (VOHC) that evaluates pet products to see if they meet standards for reducing plaque. So next time you buy your fur baby food, treats or toys make sure it is approved by the VOHC so that you know the item will help slow plaque and tartar accumulation

Signs of Periodontal Disease:

·         Problems picking up food.

·         Bleeding or red gums.

·         Loose teeth.

·         Blood in the water bowl or on chew toys.

·         Bad breath (halitosis)

·         Bumps or lumps in the mouth.

·         Bloody saliva.

If you see this, make sure you call your veterinarian and schedule an appointment for your pet. This is a critical step to avoid periodontal disease. There are articles out there for you to read to prevent this happening to your pet at home. Our fur baby can feel pain, so if we don’t like having toothache, our pets don’t either.


Is brushing our tongue important?

Is brushing our tongue as critical as brushing our teeth and flossing? Well for those who dislike brushing their tongue, the American Dental Associations states that brushing our tongue isn’t as important as brushing our teeth and flossing. Also, this action causes the uncomfortable reaction of gag reflex while doing it, but that shouldn’t stop you from brushing your tongue anyway. 

So why is it important

One fact is that not brushing our tongue causes bad breath and another reason is to maintain a healthy oral hygiene. 

Our tongue is not flat at all. It has bumps called papillae and crevices. Food particles and bacteria gets stuck in the areas if we do not clean it out. Our mouth is covered in bacteria all the time, and even if those bacteria are not harmful, they are anaerobic which produces byproducts like sulfur compounds. Sulfur compounds can smell nasty, thus creating bad breath.

Not brushing our tongue can create oral yeast infection. Again, we have 700 different type of bacteria in our mouth. Some of those bacteria are harmless, but the ones that are harmful if not removed from the mouth can cause you to get yeast infections in the mouth. Then the yeast turns into oral thrush, and oral thrush is something not to mess with. You’ll have this white cream patches along your tongue and it will be difficult to eat, and swallow and you can sometimes lose your taste. 

Bacteria on our tongue can also spread to our teeth. Even if we brush our teeth and floss daily, food particles in our tongue will spread and what’s near our tongue, our teeth. This can cause gingivitis and if not treated can loosen our teeth and fall out eventually.

How do I brush my tongue?

It’s very simple. Our tongue is very delicate, so when we brush our tongue, we do not need to put too much pressure against it. Putting a lot of pressure will cause your tongue to become irritated and inflamed. If you are someone who gags when the toothbrush is all the way to the back, try working from the front of the tongue first. Get familiar with the toothbrush or tongue scraper. Once you’re in an area of sensitivity and you feel you’re about to gag, relax your tongue and exhale fully. Move your toothbrush or tongue scraper back and forth, side to side, and then rinse your mouth. Make sure you rinse the brush or tongue scraper. If you need assistance on how to brush your tongue, make an appointment with us so we can help you to keep your tongue clean.


There are many more reasons to why it is important to brush our tongue. Our main goal here at Grand Mission Dentistry is to help you keep your oral hygiene in a very healthy state. Although the American Dental Associations state that it’s not important, it didn’t state that you shouldn’t brush your tongue. Keeping your tongue clean helps keep your oral hygiene healthy, it removes harmful bacteria and keeps you away from having serious consequences. If you still have more questions, please give us a call or make an appointment so we can help you. 


Is It Time To Change Your Toothbrush

A new and old toothbrush

According to American Dental Association, they recommend to change your toothbrush every 3 months; but how many of us actually do that? Changing our toothbrush is something that we don’t think to do like getting an oil change or watering your plants, but if you understand the reason why it is important, than changing your toothbrush once in a while will become a priority. 


How do I know when to change my toothbrush?

Your toothbrush bristles should be straight and bundled. Over time the fine, straight bristles bend, making it difficult to keep the back areas of your mouth and where your teeth and gum to keep clean. A worn out toothbrush becomes less effective at doing its job. Keith Arbeitman, a dentist with 15 years experience, provides this tip to make it a habit of running your tongue across your teeth after you brush to appreciate the clean, slippery feeling but when you’ve lost that feeling that it’s time to change.


Do I need to change my toothbrush when I get sick?

Although there’s has not been any evidence that shows an increase of chance we can re-infect ourselves after getting sick, germs can hide in our toothbrush bristle. So to just play it safe, buying a new toothbrush would not hurt especially if you share the bathroom with other people. If you are not sick but your spouse or kids are sick and their toothbrush is near you bacteria can swap form theirs to yours, especially if the toothbrush is wet. 


Another reason to change your toothbrush is if your toothbrush is near the toilet. When you flush the toilet, water or maybe fecal matters tend to spray upwards, so if your toothbrush is near the toilet, it’s likely that the germs made its way to your toothbrush. This can lead to spread noroviruses which makes you nauseous, diarrhea and stomach cramps.

Toothbrushes keeps our mouth and teeth clean, which prevents us from getting cavities or plaque that can turn into tartar, but it does not protect us from diseases or kills bacteria in our mouth. Here are tips to prevent spreading any form of illness or viruses.

  1. Change your toothbrush every 3 months. 
  2. If you are sick ,change your toothbrush after recovering. Keep your toothbrush away from other toothbrush if you share a holder with someone else. This will help not spread the virus. 
  3. Yes bacteria does die once your toothbrush is dry, however keeping it in a container  where it can create moist environment can lead to growth of microorganisms.
  4. Close your toilet seat if your toothbrush is near it.
  5. Keep your toothbrush upright, to let your brush dry faster.
  6. Never ever share a toothbrush with someone else.
  7. If you have low immune system, or tend to get ill faster, change your toothbrush more frequently.


If you don’t remember when was the last time you bought your toothbrush, just stop by at Grand Mission Dentistry and grab one. It is our mission to make sure you are taken care of with your oral health. Book an appointment now so we can do a thorough examination of your mouth. Healthy mouth starts with you and ends with us. 



Three Reasons to Replace Your Toothbrush

Sour Candy Invading Your Home?

Effects of Acid from Sour Candy


Warheads, Sour Patch, Nerds; are you already having a bitter-sweet tart taste with a puckered face? While many enjoy eating sour candies, our teeth don’t. Sour candy contains higher levels of acid compared to other types of candy which can lead to problems in the mouth.

Not many people are aware, but these flavorful, colorful candies top the list of worst candies for your teeth. Consequences of eating too much sour candy can lead to erosion, loss of enamel, and getting tooth decay. If these issues occur many times you may start to feel the sensitivity because your teeth may be eroding, which in worst case scenarios can cause throbbing pain in your teeth.

Water has a pH balance of 7 which is near the level at which teeth are safe. When the pH is 5.5 or smaller that is when our teeth are at risk for demineralization, tooth decay, and erosion. The pH of sour candies are generally around 4 or below, which is more than 10x stronger than something at a pH of 5.5. Below is a chart in which you can see how close some of the candy are to battery acid.

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According to Crest, acidic candies breakdown your enamel which expose the nerve center more, thus the painful tooth sensitivity. Some people even experience burning sensation in their tongue, cheeks and gums. Ouch!

Tips to Help Protect your Teeth

Ideally, avoid eating sour candies is the best way to prevent damage, but for someone who still wants to eat them, here are some tips to help reduce the chances of damage.

  1.  Limit your intake.
  2.  Never brush right after eating sour candy. If you look at the enamel of your tooth under a microscope, it will be solid like a wall, but when acid from drinks and/or food touches the enamel, the enamel becomes more like a sponge due to the acid. It takes 1 hour for your saliva to remineralize and harden the enamel from a sponge back to a wall. So if you brush right after, you can damage your teeth and cause sensitivity/discomfort.
  3.  Use sugar-free candy. One great sugar-free alternative is xylitol, which tastes just like candy but does not produce acid.
  4.  Rinse your mouth with water after digesting acidic food & drink, as this will help wash away any excess acid in the mouth.

Schedule a Consultation with us Today!

Our office philosophy is focuses on preventation and we always try and educate our patients. If you feel like your teeth may have been affected and want an evaluation or your teeth are still sensitive even after using sensitivity products. Feel free to contact us at 281-789-8836 or schedule online so Dr. Sung can provide a personalized plan to help prevent any issues with your oral health.