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303 – Canine dentistry: What you need to know about oral health
8th July 2019 • Pure Dog Talk • Laura Reeves
00:00:00 00:23:45

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Canine dentistry: What you need to know about oral health

By listener request, here’s everything you need to know about oral health with Veterinary Dental Specialist, Dr. Jeff Schreiber. “Periodontal disease is very painful for the dog,” Schreiber said, but “Our pets are stoic. They don’t show pain very well.”

Image by Romuald Gałęcki from Pixabay

Schreiber emphasizes that the best cure is prevention. Daily tooth brushing, Chlorhexaderm oral rinse and appropriate chew toys are the secret to success. “Plaque is the enemy,” Schreiber noted. Visit this site for a list of great products from chews to rinses to food choices:

Signs of a problem:

  • bad breath
  • not eating as well
  • blood on chew toys
  • dropping food out of mouth, prefer soft food
Schreiber strongly advocates regular dental cleanings while the pet is anesthetized. The veterinarian will pull blood work and should take xrays of the mouth. “60% of tooth structure is under the gum line,” Schreiber noted. “Good hygiene at home saves money on cleanings.”
“Dogs are supposed to have 42 teeth. Each tooth is a patient in and of itself,” Schreiber said.

Dental Emergency

Breaking a canine is an emergency. “If we can catch it within the first day, you have a window where we can save the tooth and save the dog from a root canal. Breaking the tooth is an open wound. It needs to be dealt with, even if it is after the fact and needs a root canal. For folks who want the tooth to look good as new, the tooth can be crowned,” Schreiber said. Dr. Schreiber is a graduate of Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine, class of 1981. In February 1991 he opened Miracle Hills Animal Hospital. In January 2018 Dr. Schreiber merged his practice into VCA 80 Dodge Animal Hospital. His primary practice interests include advanced dentistry, internal medicine and junior and senior wellness care. Dr. Schreiber is also a member of the Foundation for Veterinary Dentistry. Outside of the practice he enjoys showing his dogs in AKC obedience trials, camping, golfing and spending time with his family. He and his wife have two grown children and three grandchildren. He can be contacted at



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