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Dog tooth decay?

by Kim

My dog appears to have tooth decay, but I don't understand how or why. We food our dogs well, choosing labels with good ingredients and never feeding them junk.

She is a 6 year old Bulldog/Boston Terrier mix.

Please help! Is this a cavity and what can be done?


Kim Trichardt

Comments for Dog tooth decay?

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Jan 13, 2012
My Online Vet Response for: Dog Tooth Decay?
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Kim,
From the photo you sent of your Bulldog-Boston mix dog, it appears that your dog has tartar on her teeth, NOT a cavity or tooth decay!

It is rare for dogs to get cavities, it is VERY common for them to build up tartar on the upper canine teeth and upper 4th PreMolar teeth further back in the mouth. See our page on Dog Dental Problems.

In your dog's case, considering the amount of tartar that she has, she will need to get her teeth cleaned first before you can continue with home maintenance and brushing. You can start giving her some tartar control treats for dogs, but this will not help her canine teeth. Since the canines are used to 'kill' their prey, dogs do not chew with the canine teeth.

Some holistic veterinarians will suggest hand scaling, depending on the severity of the dental disease, but I am unable to tell how bad the rest of your dog's mouth may be just from the one photo.

Click here to find a holistic veterinarian in your area. Another resource for vets knowledgeable in homeopathy is

Please keep us posted by coming back to this page and clicking the 'click here to add your own comments' link below.

Take care,
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

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DISCLAIMER: This educational advice is based on the depth of your question and the picture you submitted. The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person.

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