Teeth Cleaning is Important! (Canine, Dental, Endocardiosis)

Why Is Teeth Cleaning So Important?

This’ll sound like feara-mongering. I’m so sorry. I cannot stand it when the veterinary marketers engage FEAR MONGERING to drive spending. And they do it. A LOT. But with dental decay and periodontal disease there is ACTUALLY something to be feared. ALOT. 

I’ll be brief because I’m typing this on my cell phone and I have fat fingers. Hahahaha. 

Here’s exactly why an owner should worry about the teeth and gums of a beloved dog. (Not Rottweilers)

  1. Dental tartar pushes up on the gums and it hurts. People say “It mustn’t hurt that bad, she’s still eating!” Of course they won’t stop eating, because that’s hard-coded into their DNA as the single most important thing they do. They won’t actually stop eating until a dental infection is about to kill them or it rots into the sinus. So really, it’s a HIDDEN PROBLEM.
  2. INFECTS CRITICAL ORGANS:  Dental tartar keeps germs in-and-against the blood stream and those germs go from the gums to the following organs in order of prevalence:
    1. The heart valves
    2. The lungs (elderly dog pneumonia)
    3. The liver (chronic hepatitis)
    4. The bladder (Recurrent UTI’s)
  3. CAUSES HEART FAILURE: It could be argued that upwards of 90% of mitral valve failures in dogs are the result of rotting teeth. And I concur.

I’ll be honest and tell you that like most people, I ALSO do not care how the teeth LOOK.

When people get “sermons” about dental care, they are silently thinking “I don’t care how his teeth look.” And they tune it out. Big. Mistake.

I see dogs with pitch-stains from pine branches. Healthy gums. I’m happy. 

I see dogs with worn teeth and healthy gums from bones and antlers. Healthy gums. I’m happy.

I see dogs on LEBA III with no tartar and healthy gums. I’m happy.


I don’t really care HOW you do it –  please keep those germs from residing in, and infecting the gumline.

LONGEVITY: Is the marriage of BONES and BODYWEIGHT. Lots of beef bones, and a LOW body weight and most dogs can be teenagers.





Author: Dr. Erik Johnson
Dr. Erik Johnson is the author of several texts on companion animal and fish health. Johnson Veterinary Services has been operating in Marietta, GA since 1996. Dr Johnson graduated from the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine in 1991. Dr Johnson has lived in Marietta Georgia since 1976.