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Dr. Ann M.
Dr. Ann M., Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 5008
Experience:  ER and general medicine Veterinarian since 2005
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I have a "dog dentistry" question... I have a 3 year old labrador

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I have a "dog dentistry" question... I have a 3 year old labrador whose back teeth are very dirty, and has very smelly breath.

He only eats dry food (Orijen), and is never given anything sugary. But he doesn't chew his food - he pretty much inhales it (we use an anti-gulp bowl, but he still doesn't chew).

We have tried dental chews like "Hi Life Dental Chews" and "Dentastix" - but it's the same thing, he barely chews them... He just breaks them into small enough pieces to swallow as quick as possible.

Brushing his teeth is basically impossible. He will not allow things into his mouth without freaking out.

We are a bit concerned now because his back teeth are very dark and dirty looking.

What can we do? Should he be sedated by the vet and have his teeth scaled?
Hi there and thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I am a licensed veterinarian and I would be happy to assist you.

If I were you, I would definitely have your dog sedated and have his teeth scaled. When dogs have tartar and gingivitis, bacteria have a direct path into the bloodstream through the inflamed tissue. That can cause liver, kidney, or heart disease. It is much safer to have your dog sedated and have his teeth cleaned than it is to allow the dental issues to progress.

Considering that it is not possible for you to brush his teeth, once the teeth are clean I would start using a drinking water additive to help prevent this buildup from occurring again:
Water is the only thing that dogs will put in their mouth that will cover and bathe every surface in the mouth, so this is a great way to help prevent buildup in the future.

I hope that I have answered your question thoroughly... if you feel that I have provided anything less than excellent service, please reply to me first before rating my service and let me know how I can better assist you. Thank you for your question; it has been a pleasure being able to provide assistance. Best of luck.
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