Chats with the Chatfields

Ep 47: Pearly Whites: The Importance of Dog Dental Care

July 25, 2023 Season 1 Episode 47
Ep 47: Pearly Whites: The Importance of Dog Dental Care
Chats with the Chatfields
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Chats with the Chatfields
Ep 47: Pearly Whites: The Importance of Dog Dental Care
Jul 25, 2023 Season 1 Episode 47

Welcome to "Chats with the Chatfields," where we explore the latest topics in veterinary medicine and animal care. In this episode, our hosts sit down with expert veterinary dentist, Dr. Mike Peak, to discuss the importance of dog dental care.

During the episode, Dr. Peak explains the role of proper dental hygiene in promoting overall canine health, and the common dental issues that can occur if dental care is neglected. He highlights the importance of regular dental check-ups, brushing, and professional cleanings, and provides practical advice for pet owners on how to keep their dog's teeth clean and healthy.

Dr. Peak also emphasizes the importance of proper nutrition and feeding habits in promoting dental health.

Throughout the episode, we provide valuable insights and expert advice on dog dental care, including tips for identifying dental issues early, selecting appropriate dental products, and preventing periodontal disease.

If you're a dog owner or just interested in learning more about the importance of dental hygiene in promoting overall canine health, this episode of "Chats with the Chatfields" is a must-listen!

This episode is certified to provide 1 hr of PACCC CEU’s!  The unique code will be delivered during the episode, so listen up! Don’t know what PACCC is? And why would they be involved in CEU’s?  Pet lovers can get more information at

Show our sponsors some love:
FullBucket Veterinary Strength Supplements - the leader in digestive health for horses, dogs, and cats!

SUBSCRIBE to our show on Youtube or on our website:
Follow us on instagram @ChatfieldShow

Share this episode with a friend who needs to hear it...or might be interested in the topic...or just to make their day brighter! :)

Show Notes Transcript

Welcome to "Chats with the Chatfields," where we explore the latest topics in veterinary medicine and animal care. In this episode, our hosts sit down with expert veterinary dentist, Dr. Mike Peak, to discuss the importance of dog dental care.

During the episode, Dr. Peak explains the role of proper dental hygiene in promoting overall canine health, and the common dental issues that can occur if dental care is neglected. He highlights the importance of regular dental check-ups, brushing, and professional cleanings, and provides practical advice for pet owners on how to keep their dog's teeth clean and healthy.

Dr. Peak also emphasizes the importance of proper nutrition and feeding habits in promoting dental health.

Throughout the episode, we provide valuable insights and expert advice on dog dental care, including tips for identifying dental issues early, selecting appropriate dental products, and preventing periodontal disease.

If you're a dog owner or just interested in learning more about the importance of dental hygiene in promoting overall canine health, this episode of "Chats with the Chatfields" is a must-listen!

This episode is certified to provide 1 hr of PACCC CEU’s!  The unique code will be delivered during the episode, so listen up! Don’t know what PACCC is? And why would they be involved in CEU’s?  Pet lovers can get more information at

Show our sponsors some love:
FullBucket Veterinary Strength Supplements - the leader in digestive health for horses, dogs, and cats!

SUBSCRIBE to our show on Youtube or on our website:
Follow us on instagram @ChatfieldShow

Share this episode with a friend who needs to hear it...or might be interested in the topic...or just to make their day brighter! :)



This episode is brought to you by full bucket veterinary strength supplements the leader in digestive health for dogs, cats and horses.

Jenifer Chatfield  00:13

welcome to this episode of chats with the Chatfields. This is the podcast to expand your idea of what impacts veterinarians, pet owners and basically all animal lovers in the galaxy as humans. We are your hosts. I'm Dr. Jen the vet 

 Jason Chatfield  00:27

and I'm Dr. Jason.

 Jenifer Chatfield  00:28

If you have not yet subscribed to our show, 

 Jason Chatfield  00:31

why not?!

 Jenifer Chatfield  00:31

 just go to And subscribe today. And if you want to reach us and you have a message full of love and positivity, you can find me at

 Jason Chatfield  00:41

And for all you other listeners out there, you can reach me at

 Jenifer Chatfield  00:47

Okay, I am excited. I think there'll be lots of grinning today. Yeah, we have a first timer in the chat room. Dr. Michael Peak joining us. And if you haven't heard of him pet lovers, I'm not sure why. Because he is fabulous

 Jason Chatfield  01:08

I should have done a "why not?!" there, right?

 Jenifer Chatfield  01:10

Yeah, you totally should have done a "Why not?!" there.This is one of the issues that pet owners ask me about all the time. So we thought, let's have an expert come in the chat room. Let's talk about it. Let's air it out. Get all the info out there. And so Dr. Peak is one of the rare folks who is actually a veterinary dentist. Yep. Those exists. And we found one. All right. He's a veterinary dentist. Dr. Peak actually graduated from vet school at Auburn University. I think he's supposed to yell War Eagle right there. Maybe? Yeah, okay.

 Jason Chatfield  01:43

Oh, very exciting. gave me goosebumps that was so exciting.

 Michael Peak  01:50

Football hasn't been a whole lot to get excited about of late, although they're gonna do better. And basketball is doing awesome.


Jenifer Chatfield  01:57

See? Do you see how optimistic he is?! This is why we like him. But he also is the founder of a really what I think is a unique practice in the Tampa Bay area. He's got two locations, and they are called the pet dentist. And he's not just any pet dentist, he's held I think every officer position leadership position possible in the Veterinary College, which is the group that certifies dentists and


Jason Chatfield  02:25

smart enough to call yourself an expert. Right? That's what they say. Yep.


Michael Peak  02:29

I guess so. I wanted, I wanted to be good at something. Well, I had


Jason Chatfield  02:34

you're great at being a dentist, right? That's


Jenifer Chatfield  02:35

fantastic. And I can't tell you how many times I've been so happy that you are great at being a dentist, because I have called Dr. Peak with all kinds of issues related to the teeth of my patients here in the Tampa Bay area. So we're very excited to have you on to talk about something that I think a lot of pet owners have a lot of questions about. So welcome, Dr. Peake to the chat room.



Thank you.


Jenifer Chatfield  03:00

So um, I guess I do have a burning question. And I'm not sure I've ever asked you this. I'm thinking I don't think I've ever asked you this. What like, what did you always know, when you were in vet school? You're like, Yep, I'm gonna work on teeth. That's a good question. It's happening for me. I'm working on teeth, the rest of the dental Support Unit. I'm not that interested in how that happened.



Right? Well, it's funny. I was wondering if we would even talk about this. But you you ask. So you know, if you were to ask me in vet school, if I wanted to do dentistry, I would have laughed and said, You are absolutely crazy. It's one of those things. I did not like dentistry. And I think it was because it's I didn't I didn't know much about it when I was in vet school, or even kind of coming out of that school. But that's what drove me into it. Believe it or not, I got into I was in private practice for about four years. And I saw very quickly how many dental cases that we treated every day and how important it was. And I realized how much I really didn't know about the details. And so I just started, took it on as a challenge and started reading and taking wet labs and it all kind of just snowballed and my interest got bigger and bigger and bigger, and ended up right before I got married. This asking my fiancee, hey, once we get married, would you like to move somewhere? Let me do a residency.


Jenifer Chatfield  04:40

Oh my god. I love to cut my paycheck to nothing.



Right? Exactly. She was thrilled about that.


Jenifer Chatfield  04:46

Right? Listen, folks. Let me just vouch for Mrs. Dr. Peake. I know her and she's super fantastic. And I feel like her response was probably like, sure that sounds like an adventure. Let's try it.



Right. There was a little trip Question.


Jenifer Chatfield  05:03

Oh, that's wonderful, though. That's such a great story. That's such a good story. Um, so the biggest question I think I get asked is with, so I get asked by new puppy owners, they'll say, So how often should I brush his teeth? Or should I brush his teeth? What can we do about his teeth? Because they're trying, I think to avoid the problems that I have to call you about.



Right, right.


Jenifer Chatfield  05:30

What do you tell people? What should I be telling people? What should they know?



Well, first of all, if it's puppy owner, it's important to tell them you know, most of the teeth they have right now are puppy teeth. And just like humans, they're going to shed these teeth and get adult teeth. At some point, it's usually about four to six months of age. And so it's not unusual for them, they probably won't see any teeth that they lose. Most of the time. They're lost while they're eating, and they swallow them and they pass on through. But they may find little teeth around in toys or on the ground and not to be alarmed that that's totally normal. And then somewhere around six to seven months, they'll notice that they have adult teeth, which the blessing is they're not as sharp as the little baby teeth. And so that helps, then going forward. It's you know, if I had advice as far as the brushing, yes, starting as a puppy, conditioning them with positive reinforcement to get used to having their mouth handled, looking in their mouth, introducing a real soft bristle toothbrush, like a child's toothbrush, a five to seven year olds, toothbrush. That's a good size. I don't care if it's Superman, or Batman or wonder woman ever the little toothbrushes. As long as it's a soft bristle, that that would be good.


Jenifer Chatfield  06:53

Dr. Peake, what about Paw Patrol? It was right there. And you missed it. Paw Patrol toothbrush for the puppy, come on, there's superheroes.



That's right Paw Patrol, right. So as long as it's a soft bristle, that would be great. But as a puppy, getting them used to having their mouth handled, and then kind of going forward. As they are adults, there's really two things that I think are very important. Well, I shouldn't say three, but but one is looking in their mouth, on a routine basis and looking for certain things. And I say it's really three things. But the second part of that is being sure your veterinarian looks in their mouth, ideally, maybe twice a year, but looks in their mouth at a minimum of once a year with the annual examination. But maybe twice a year. You think about us, we go to our dentist, typically twice a year, and there's a reason for that is they want to look in and problems.


Jenifer Chatfield  07:53

Dr. Jason is recovering from that.


Jason Chatfield  07:57

I knew I was gonna have the heebie jeebies on this podcast. Yeah. Twice a year, twice a decade, maybe for me, but


Jenifer Chatfield  08:04

yeah, and you know, that's an interesting question or point because they they asked me that, too. They're there. They'll say, Well, you know, should I bring my puppy? And when when should I bring them to get their teeth cleaned? How often should I brush their teeth? And I'm no pet dentist. And so I tell them I'm like, you know, how often do you brush your teeth.



The ideal situation would be once a day. And the reason for that is there are studies that show that even right after the teeth are meticulously cleaned by your dentist, or veterinarian for your pet sake, there's a little layer of bacteria that starts to grow and attach. And it will, it will continue to grow. And it's just like a little film on the surface of the tooth. And the best way to remove that film is by brushing. If you go 48 hours or more, that little film starts to change and starts to mineralize a little bit. And that's when you get tartar buildup. And so the ideal time is to catch it in that 24 to 48 hours and brush at least once once a day. Now, we know not all pets will allow that. And not all people can do that. But we have to recommend what we feel like is best and then we you know kind of backup and go from there. That's the real world that we live in.


Jenifer Chatfield  09:27

Yep, yep. Dr. Jason, I feel like you had a burning question. No, I


Jason Chatfield  09:31

just know I just feel bad whenever whenever we get these guys on here and they start talking about how to take care of your pets. I associated. I have pets, right. But I also have kids. I just said well, they're just baby teeth, who cares right to move on with life right? And it's probably not the best parenting for adults or humans. So I found that interesting that you should start with a puppy that didn't even think about to train to condition the the the animal not necessary to protect the teeth. That's interesting. They're gonna be gone in six months, but To get conditioned the animals so that when they are bigger and stronger, that they're used to it. And that's a really good a good point to make, it's easier to condition them when they're younger. Right and get them ready for when they're older. They really don't like it. The second thing is, man, I can't be looking at my mouth twice a day, or whatever, every day, I'm not getting my dog, but I'm afraid what am I find in both? So? No, I don't know about that.



Right? Well, and, you know, if you're not able to brush on a daily basis, again, for your pets, anyway,


Jason Chatfield  10:29

I brush my cakes.



I know, then, at least what I was, you know, kind of circling back around to being your pet's health advocate is by, you know, becoming a little Junior veterinarian looking in the mouth. And I think that is, even though most most veterinarians and veterinary dentists would say brushing their teeth is, is probably the best thing you can do. I agree. But the but I feel very strongly that if the owner can look in the mouth and look for things like unusual growths, you know, kind of get used to what normal looks like and everyone there that looks in the mouth, show me what you're looking at, know what normal looks like so that you can recognize abnormal, you don't have to know what it is just know this doesn't look right, I need to get you to the vet. Let's take a look at it. The reason that I say that is probably one of the the saddest things about veterinary dentistry is oral tumors. And sometimes by the time we see them, they're very big, because it's hard to look in your pet's mouth and you don't always look in. And so by the time we get to see them, they're big. If we could catch them when they're small, they're so much easier to treat. So looking for abnormal masses, you know, broken tea, loose teeth, discolored teeth, things like that. If they see those things, boy, that doesn't look quite right. Get them to your vet, have your bet, take a look at it. And then they'll they'll take it from there.


Jenifer Chatfield  11:57

Yeah, I think that's a great point. And on that point, we're gonna take a break. So we're gonna take a short break. And when we come back, we're going to talk about Okay, so you don't have a puppy. And your dog's been using those T for years. Now, what do we do? Where do we go from there? And then some common issues. All right, hang out. We'll be back after this break. Dr. Jenn the vet, and I'm here with my friend and colleague, Dr. Keith lassen. He's got an incredibly interesting story all about full bucket health,


Keith Latson  12:30

my college roommate and that school, housemate. Dr. Rob Franklin and I were collaborating on some cases, both of us were struggling with diarrhea in some of our patients, whether it was after a procedure or after after an illness. So we created a formulation. But we didn't want to just create a formulation. We also wanted to create a movement and animal health, for being able to help animals in need, through the use of bar products that we developed that really has resulted in our one for one giving program, which we're we're really proud of, as much as we are our formulations for dogs versus cats.


Jenifer Chatfield  13:04

And so if you want to know more about their one for when giving it full buckets, or if you're interested in better supporting your dog, cat or horses, digestive health, head over to full bucket to learn more. All right, so welcome back. Dr. Peake is still here. We're talking about your job. Right.



And obviously, he didn't have anything better to do.


Jenifer Chatfield  13:33

Wow, we're getting heckled by the guests. This is fabulous. It's like he's been in the chat room before he knows how it rolls. But anyway, um, we're not talking about cats today, friends in the chat room. So cat people, if you're looking for some cat stuff, we're not only because in my estimation, cat mouths? Well, they're not like little dog mouths. There are a lot of pleasure to deal with.



Right, maybe one day we'll do a cat podcast on dentistry. Yeah. I'll be glad to come back to that.


Jenifer Chatfield  14:04

Holy moly. And it's recorded. He's coming back to talk about cats. Okay. So we're talking about dogs. So puppy teeth, they're gonna lose their puppy teeth, but we're really messing with their mouth to get them accustomed to us messing with their mouth. But as you know, a lot of people purchase their dog from a shelter or rescue and they get it from a neighbor, or they get it from a family friend. Or a family member who can't take care of the dog anymore. And so it's not a puppy. It's a grown up dog. And so I'm talking dogs that are you know, over two years old. And they bring bring him to me at the vet. And they're like, you know, have really bad breath. What am I supposed to do about that? That's always the complaint, right? Yeah.


Jason Chatfield  14:50

One bad breath. Question mark. I got that covered. All right. Yeah. Get into it.



That's probably the number one complaint that especially as dogs are now When I grew up, and it said that's a long time ago, let's the dogs are in the backyard right now they're in the bedroom. bed with you. Yes. So


Jason Chatfield  15:12

wasn't it? It's a very quick



generation generation. And which is a great thing. I mean, but obviously, I think, which is also a great thing. They're getting much better care now than they used to. But that's probably the one complaint boy the breath is just terrible, and, and fix it. You had asked earlier about when the first cleaning evaluation, I think it's probably with most dogs is going to be somewhere around two to four years old, something like that. And depending on their size, small dogs tend to get tartar build up quicker than big dogs. Yeah. Why is that?


Jenifer Chatfield  15:52

Because people ask me that. And I just make something up. Like I tell him I'm like, I don't like you know, they just because


Jason Chatfield  15:58

their teeth is the same amount of buildup, but on a smaller surface area. Maybe because their teeth.



Yeah, that's that's really a big Well, there. It's like anything else in veterinary medicine. There's a number of different reasons, but that's what one of the main ones we think is, you know, dogs have in a normal dentition have 42 teeth. Okay, and you think about a big dog has 42 tea, but a small dog has 42 teeth. Now, they don't always develop all 42. But you try and put 42 teeth in a chihuahuas mouth. And they're just all stacked on each other and crowded. And so you, you end up with little nooks and crannies where plaque and tartar can build up easily. Yeah.


Jenifer Chatfield  16:41

Okay, that was correct. That's so so. So when I tell people I'm like, yeah, just because they're little dogs. They guys good enough. Little mouth. Okay, so is there. So if they're if their teeth are really crowded, or, like, you know, some dogs don't lose all their baby teeth. Right? And so like, I'll pick up the lip look into the mouth, or looking at the teeth of like, a little, like a Jack Russell mix. And I'll pick up the lip and the lady will be like, Oh, no, he has extra tea. Right? That's right, I'd be like, I see that. You're not supposed to be there.


Jason Chatfield  17:20

You don't get an award, right?



It's not a good thing. It's not a good.


Jason Chatfield  17:25

Extract, eat on my dogs are so great. So how,


Jenifer Chatfield  17:28

like, how legit is it that that we should remove those extra deciduous teeth.



It's very legit, because you want to protect the permanent tooth, that's the main thing, they really should have shed those teeth, they don't need them at that point, what they're only doing is creating more crowding and harboring areas where food and debris can get trapped. And then that's going to likely lead to periodontal disease of the permanent tooth that's there. So that having the extra teeth are not going to allow them to chew any better. It's not going to allow them to do anything any better. It's only going to create more problems. So get those baby teeth out, especially when there's a permanent tooth that's coming in. Now, there isn't one situation if there's a baby tooth there, yeah. And there's no permanent tooth that develops to push it out of the way. And there and it's not causing any crowding. It's okay to leave a baby tooth in those situations because they can serve as a functional tooth. If there's no permanent tooth. The only way you're going to know that though, is by taking dental X rays to be sure there's not a permanent to try and to push its way in. So there we have baby teeth. Yeah, really still there. And that happens in people too long time. They're functional.


Jenifer Chatfield  18:53

And people they miss out on the 50 cents, or I guess now with inflation five bucks from exactly, or the deregulation that people do. Hmm. Interesting. I've never I didn't realize that was a thing and people. Okay, so you mentioned dental X rays.



Yes, you're a huge advocate because we can only see so much of the actual disease what's on the surface of the tooth, the crown above the gum line that's fairly cosmetic. And even though it is a substrate for the bacteria to live in almost like a little condo, the real disease is going on under the gum line. That's where the infection may be if you've got periodontal disease, and there's only two ways to really detect that is by probing taking a periodontal probe and checking finding where the attachment of the gum tissue is. And if it's normal or abnormal and then taking dental X rays to or nowadays we're starting to do things like Cone Beam CTS to look for the bone loss around the roots.


Jason Chatfield  19:59

What was that? Can you say that fancy word? What? Yeah. Cone Beam CT. Is that was that? Is that what that was?



Right? Yeah, as our Wesley Chapel office, we have a cone beam CT, which allows us to take a CT of the head and we can, we can take little slices and look at those individual slices, and then put it all together and make a 3d reconstruction of the head and you can really well, you see a lot of things


Jenifer Chatfield  20:27

so so when you when you walk into that surgical suite, does someone say captain on the bridge like that sounds superstar Trekkie? Yeah,



but yeah, really, when?


Jason Chatfield  20:34

When is that? When would you recommend something like that? That sounds pretty advanced. And when would you when would that done? Right?



It's done on all of our patients. In the Wesley Chapel office, it's part of, of, of what we call a comprehensive imaging. And so we'll we'll do that. And it's amazing how many things you can pick up. Now. There's, there's advantages and disadvantages to Cone Beam CT, it's not exactly the same as see conventional CT. But it really can pick looks at hard tissues, like the bone and the teeth. It looks at them really well in high detail. And so you can see a lot of things like periodontal disease, you'll see things that in the middle and inner ear, which we're not experts at the ear, but the TMJ is it's an excellent way to image the TMJ is so yeah, we've kind of got off or


Jenifer Chatfield  21:33

you know what the TMJ is right, Jason? I don't what is that? Tempo? Bueller joint? Yeah, yeah.


Jason Chatfield  21:41

I thought you're going in with some kind of joke. You're being serious. I thought it was gonna be a punch line. I don't know what that is. Ha ha ha. Start laughing anyway,


Jenifer Chatfield  21:55

this No, no, no, no. Okay. So that I like I am. I am a little bit stunned with the whole cone CT. I did not realize that that technology was available that



we had an interesting case yesterday, a relatively young dog. Can I do have just a second to talk? Yeah, naturally, I think it was probably about 11 1011 month old, standard poodle sided nasal discharge, and was missing a canine tooth. So, you know, you're like, well, the left upper canine tooth and had left side nasal discharge. Okay. So, you know, you immediately start wondering, Well, is there a tooth up there? And so we were able to see it with dental X rays, and we're able to, it had it started to develop, but then had some trauma and it was in the nasal cavity. It was not, it was not, you know, it never erupted so we could see it there on X rays. That would have been a great one to do the cone beam CT on but I was in our Clearwater office. And so but we were able to open it up kind of make a little window through the bone into the nasal cavity could see it. grabbed it, pulled it out, kind of like the game of operation. Yeah. Took an x ray and it's it's cleared out so that I expect that dog to do really well and feel.


Jason Chatfield  23:19

I was I was actually gonna make a joke. So just put your needle nose pliers but then pull that thing out. And sure enough, you did a little more sophisticated, but But you did that. Wow. That's crazy. That's



really cool. You know the crazy thing about it is the tooth came out and it looked like a relatively well it was disfigured but a normal tooth and on the crown. It had calculus buildup. Oh, come on. oronasal. Canada. Wow. You must have felt


Jason Chatfield  23:47

Oh, not Yeah. Oh my god. Although right. Yeah, it should feel a lot better.


Jenifer Chatfield  23:52

But that so that's interesting. So that was a 10 month old dog. Right, coming to the pet dentist because it had gunk dripping out of one side of its nose. I mean, that's fabulous. You know, I wouldn't ordinarily I think most people wouldn't say, Oh, look, that dog needs a pet dentist. Right.



But you know, the veterinarian did a great job. He he noticed, hey, they're missing a tooth. Yeah, where is it? It should be here. And they took a Skull X ray and we could kind of see it on the Skull X ray. And he actually called and said, I've got a case I want you to take a look at and so that's how that kind of came about.


Jenifer Chatfield  24:30

That is awesome. That's a fabulous story. Okay. Um, Jason, you got anything like that?


Jason Chatfield  24:37

No, no stories. I have wrote down a few questions. Some of them are a little silly sounding but I don't care. Because Because that's me.


Jenifer Chatfield  24:44

That's what we're here. In the chat room. There's no judgment.


Jason Chatfield  24:47

Well, I'm always I'm always it doesn't matter who we're talking to, or what expert in what field of Veterinary Medicine I'm always amazed at how similarly, veterinary medicine is following human medicine. Right. It's just it just now. Actually progresses right? So we learn about us we apply it to, to our friends on the forefoot of friends. So do you ever say, what do we what do we worry about cavities? I get the question a lot do we worry about? We worry about cavities and our kids? And unfortunately some of us as adults, but do we don't worry about it? We never outgrown. But what about our, our pets have the same sort of physiology with the teeth? We don't ever talk about cavities, or do we talk about cavities? With the clients?



Yeah, no, they're actually pretty rare in dogs, true cavities.


Jason Chatfield  25:34

This is what I said. I thought I was making it up. So I'm really happy that that's true. All right.



So I'll get a little technical I'll try to not not know are you ahead shriek cavities and people are caused by bacteria, it's bacteria called most of the time Streptococcus mutans. And that bacteria eats little remnants of carbohydrates and sugars. And they live in the little nooks and crannies of our of our surface of our tea called pits and fissures, right in that in the in the grinding surfaces. And they they eat those carbohydrates and sugars. And then they release an acid and the acid eats a hole in the tooth, or softens the tooth. And that's what we see as a little dark spot that's soft, where it should be white and hard. Yeah, it's soft, and we call it decay. And so that's a true cavity. And when people would say, it hurts when you eat, right, yeah, it's it erodes through the enamel. So underneath that you have some sensitivity. And so it we know, in people, if we drilled out the decay, if we remove the decay, I know sets makes you cringe, yes. And then we can clean it out and place a filling. And we you know, brush with fluoride and keep our teeth clean and keep the keep the bacteria away, we can cut down on the cavities. So in dogs, their teeth are shaped a little different there. And most of them are conical, they do have some grinding surfaces. And if they do get cavities, it's usually on those grinding surfaces, but the pH of their mouth is a little different. And so they don't allow the same bacteria like Streptococcus mutans to populate as easily. That being said, I just saw a dog recently that he eats he got apple slices as treats. And the owner asked after the fact you know, do you think those apple slices contributed? And I said, I don't know.


Jenifer Chatfield  27:31

But but that's a lot of server and that fruit? That's right.



That's sugar. And they were smart enough to kind of think well, what's he eating that might be causing this. And so I said, you know, I don't want to take away his enjoyment of getting treats, you might just want to look for a dog type treat, rather than apple slices. And you might be able to do like a dehydrated apple or something like that might not have as much sugar and acid.


Jenifer Chatfield  27:56

So that is interesting. So number one, what I hear is it is true sugar will rot your teeth. Right? Typically.



It is true. We don't want to hear I don't want to believe it.


Jenifer Chatfield  28:09

No, no, no. Right. And then, but then also, it is all coming back to that microbiome, right? The oral microbiome, right? And the gut microbiome, like all of that is so fascinating. Because you do have good bacteria. Yeah, right? We gotta we gotta have bacteria in our mouth. Right? You couldn't



live? I don't think without it now. So you just want to do what you can to have the healthy mouth, bacteria and trying to avoid the bad bacteria.


Jenifer Chatfield  28:44

Yeah, so So along those lines. The other thing that people ask me about, or that I wonder about, is those solutions. And since we're talking about the microbiome, and the bacteria there can be related to decay and cavities and all this. What about that stuff that you can put in their water? That's supposed to and I don't even know if it's supposed to clean the teeth, or if it's supposed to rinse them out? I'm not sure what the purpose is for it. But is that effective? Like, well,



they're there are some products, water additives, and depending on what they do some help with the odor. And typically they have contents in them like called hydrogen, so they help prevent hydrogen sulfide. So which caused the odor in the mouth. And so those those helped with odor. The other side of that coin, though, is if you're blocking the odor, and you don't recognize the odor, what was that for main reason that people bring their pet to the to the vet, that look in the mouth. So you know, it could be good. It might not be good. Yeah, it's kind of hard to say. There are other water additives that help reduce the bacteria bad bacteria in the mouth, and they may be helpful. In my opinion, that's just my opinion, I don't think anything is better than brushing. Right? If you think about, you know, water cascading over a waterfall or rocks, there's usually algae there


Jenifer Chatfield  30:12

or lime, lime, there's



slime, that slime, the best way to get that slime away is to take a nice brush and brush it off. Yeah. So there's not any chemical that is that we know of that's going to be as effective as a brush. But that being said, not everybody can brush. If you're looking for a water additive, there is a website, the veterinary Oral Health Council, VO H Yeah, that I would suggest they have lots of products that have been tested. It's kind of like the American Dental Association, that Ada seal of approval, that they have been tested, and they they have met certain standards. So that would be a good place to live.


Jenifer Chatfield  30:54

I listen like true pod lovers who may be listening to the oral version of this, don't drive off the road, don't fall off your treadmill or whatever, whatever you're doing while you're listening. We're gonna put that link in the show notes. So you can find it just so that everyone gets it to be sure, we'll put that we'll also put a link to the pet dentist to to the clinic website because I think there's a lot of information and FAQ stuff. Okay, so that's a side thing. That's a bonus for look, look at the show notes. People like we put stuff in there. Okay. Jason, did you I interrupted your stream of questions? Did you


Jason Chatfield  31:30

I got a bunch more questions. And I'm not gonna ask them all because you got you answer them as we go along. And you guys get into the really listen, I I'm gonna go back. I really appreciate your explanation of the cavities, right? Because I'm not I'm telling you, people that really think about like, wait a minute, my kids get calves, especially those young kids, my kids are getting cavities. What about what about my dog? And my answer has always been they just don't really get cavities. And while that's true, if they ever asked why I don't know. But there's a much better answer. Right. I love


Jenifer Chatfield  31:59

it. So you could just shut it down by saying, well, the absence of Streptococcus mutans.


Jason Chatfield  32:04

Yeah, that's, that's That's it. You just point to my DVM and say that's why because I said, so. Those are not those are clients that don't come back. Anyway. So I have to, and I don't know where you were headed. And I hate to I hate to derail anything, like you said, but I have two questions. I'll be ready. Yeah, sure. Okay, so, so, big questions we get are, what type of toys and treats are going to be good or better for my dog's teeth? Because there are a gazillion, oh, no, that now there's a gazillion and one Nope. Yeah, I mean, there's a new one every five seconds. And they all claim to be the best. And even as, as general practitioners, it is really, really difficult to keep up. And because you never want to give out, you know, the wrong information or bad information. But you also don't want to just say you're on your own buddy. Right. So what would you suggest? How should we answer that question? And how would you answer that for a client? How about that? Well,



I would let me start by maybe talking about some things that you don't want to give.


Jason Chatfield  33:08

Oh, yeah, that's probably a better way to answer. Yeah,



yeah. So first of all, maybe nothing that they could swallow. That's not digestible. So, you know, something,


Jenifer Chatfield  33:23

don't non food items.



Right? You know, sometimes that that super ball that the kids are playing with, you know, the dog loves to go and retrieve it. If it's small enough that they can swallow it, then then that could be a problem down the road and a GI obstruction. So we don't want anything small enough that could swallow. And if there are a lot of treats out there that are meant to be chewed up and swallowed and are digestible, yeah, make sure that they are digestible. And there are certain things that are touted as good for their teeth that may or may not be good for their teeth. Okay, and so hard items, really hard items are not good for their teeth and the things that and you see it all the time they line the shelves of pet stores and things. Yeah, so I would avoid rocks. Ice zones.


Jason Chatfield  34:18

So you said you bring up ice now ice is becoming a really popular one. Nowadays, people think it's because water it can't hurt my dog and you're saying probably not not. And dogs absolutely love it. Like it'll crack your teeth, man. That's exactly I'm like I don't chew on ice, but I have pretty sensitive teeth. So I'll chew on ice for a lot of reasons. But yeah, but



if you're gonna do that, if you want to give them something like that, you could probably make a little popsicle and take some sort of like either beef, beef broth or chicken broth and put it in small little trays and make a little a little treat especially for hot days. But you know how popsicles are not as hard as ice Yeah, no to bite into them. So just make sure they're not hard like ice because we we see a lot of broken teeth that's probably the main thing that we see are dogs that bite down hard and they break tea or so again that Rocks ice real bones rock hard nylon bones cow hooves


Jenifer Chatfield  35:20

large nylon bones farm fresh Frenchie. She loves those hard dials like her favorite.



Yeah. Now and I tell people you know, if you look in my my dog's toy basket right now, is there a hard plastic nylon Bodley? Probably so, okay. Have I been? Have I been threatening my wife for years that she's gonna have to pay full price to have it repaired? Yeah. So if they never break a tooth, it's okay. But it


Jenifer Chatfield  35:52

gets but I get your point. Like it's a risk. And if, if if you're wondering as a pet owner, what you should get if you don't already have something, then you know, try to don't introduce this to your dogs. It's their favorite. It's bad. Right? Okay, that's



a mixture. If there's something to that they're going to chew up make sure that it's digestible. Yeah. You know, there are certain things out there on the market, rubber toys and things like that, that they, you know, some they supposedly can't chew up, but we consistently hear that the Rottweiler chews them to pieces. So, I don't know that there truly is an indestructible toy.


Jenifer Chatfield  36:27

No, there's not


Jason Chatfield  36:28

that there's time time when dogs are persistent, man. They're like, Oh, yeah. Is that a challenge? I got you. Alright. And then though, when


Jenifer Chatfield  36:36

actually especially a bulldog. Okay, so I gotta ask the question that about treats that further question, because so most of those that you're talking about are the ones that have like a mechanical impact, like, they chew on something that's abrasive. And it's like, you know, removes the any buildup or debris mechanically. But what about those ones on the market that are like enzymatic? So they're not their purpose is not to be as hard to chew. But there's, there's treats that they eat, essentially. But they but they're supposed to you're enzymatic? Are those effective at all? Or do they just taste good?



No, well, yeah, I think you're right on that the mechanical action of chewing is actually is good to help keep to stay clean, they need that. And so items that they can chew on that help brush the tooth as they chew. Yeah, those are good, then they may also have some additives in them that are enzymatic, and they could, one help prevent bacteria. And, or, too, sometimes they'll have certain things in them, that helps soften the calculus so that it's easier to then brush away or wipe away. And, and those things can help.


Jenifer Chatfield  37:58

They can't help, right. But none of these, I'll say, and you're being very diplomatic doctor, very diplomatic, because he doesn't want to do well. But also, he doesn't want to say listen, if you start with a dirty mouth, you could give all them treats and stuff till the cows come home, he's still gonna have a dirty mouth. You got to start with clean mouth, and then you could keep it clean.



That's true. Yeah, you make a good point that if it's real bad, giving them a lot of treats, that's not going to solve the problem, the need to have those disease teeth addressed. And I tell my clients that as a dentist, I really prefer to save teeth. However, it gets to a point where some teeth are not not functional. They're not comfortable. And they're only harbors of infection. And there's not a tooth they can't live without. So I would rather them not have it that tooth and have a comfortable mouth and have a healthy mouth and live longer than to not, then to keep it to that's not going to be functional. Yeah.


Jenifer Chatfield  39:02

That's a good point. Jason, do you have functional teeth?


Jason Chatfield  39:04

I have very functional teeth. Yeah, me too. It's just different than having healthy teeth. But I have very functional.


Jenifer Chatfield  39:12

Very true very


Jason Chatfield  39:13

much you on this side is really good.


Jenifer Chatfield  39:15

Okay, so you've had some excellent points there. Jason, do you have any further you had another question? On another one?


Jason Chatfield  39:22

I think dentistry is sort of up and coming and people are becoming more and more aware. Because Because nobody likes to take their you know, 13 year old little dog and oh my gosh, I'm so sorry, ma'am. You know, I had to take out like 12 teeth, you know, they are harder for them to hear. But then the next generation of pet owners realize that I can probably stop that with better preventative, but and I think we're going down that road. So my questions are all around that. The typical question, Doc says I give hard food to soften. What's what's better? Can't Lose hard food, soft food, which doesn't matter.



Yeah, right. I don't know. Maybe I'm just not sure about the actual studies on this. The the logical thinking has always been that if you give a dry kibble that again, the mechanical brushing chewing action is going to to keep the teeth cleaner. And I do believe that's the case, there have been some studies that have been done with certain certain types of foods a bit more intuitive for


Jenifer Chatfield  40:24

sure. Oh, yeah. Like, like that TD there was a diet that was spared exact order removal. Yeah. Yeah. I don't know, are there



certain dental specific diets that are formulated so that when the tooth bites into it, or the dog bites and into the tooth actually sinks into the kibble, and that provides mechanical brushing action? And I wholeheartedly believe that those in their studies? Yeah, and, you know, the logical thinking is soft food is going to just kind of get gunked caked in between the teeth and under the gum line and create more areas for bacteria that lead to bad periodontal disease. So, you know, I think dry food in general is better than soft food. Yeah,


Jason Chatfield  41:05

I think that's the accepted sort of sort of thing. And I think you still get those questions a lot, especially from generations of owners that have been giving soft food forever. And, you know, the pet food industry is is really good at marketing. And some of the some of those things look really good, right? And they do so. But don't listen. So you can mix it, I suppose. As long as it's not all soft food, your dog can enjoy both, I suppose. Right? Yeah. But


Jenifer Chatfield  41:29

So along those lines, I do think that are this, like our current generation of pet owners. The millennials are the largest pet owning population now. But they are quite focused on preventive care, which is great. I mean, right. So someone boarded in preventive care, right. It's fabulous. But you see those signs that have popped up that say anaesthesia free dental? Oh, that was one of my big start questions, right. Yeah, it's like it's at a pet store, or it's at a groomer or it's at a boarding kennel. And like, I mean, I know we have a ton of listeners who are folks that work in that area. And also are just asking the question, is that anesthesia free dental? Because I don't go under anesthesia to get my teeth cleaned. So is that real legitimate? Or is that a scam? Is that Is it hard? Is it hurtful? For my dog? Yeah, your dog your dog to know too?


Jason Chatfield  42:31




Yes, so yes. So I don't know if you can hear my dog. So if you know I think probably most people would expect me to poopoo the anaesthesia free dental cleanings and and not going to do that. What I what I will say is for you, you can sit in a chair, you can put dental X ray film in your mouth, you can take dental X rays, they can probe, they can chart, they can do everything very effectively and efficiently. Unfortunately, that's not the case for 99.9% of dogs. ello.


Jason Chatfield  43:09

Like to see that point zero 1% that you can



exactly. I don't know that it exists. But I don't know that anybody thinks


Jason Chatfield  43:16

oh, well trained dog. Right. So



if you want my opinion, I think that the anesthesia free or non anesthetic dental procedures are fine to do in between professional health care, especially if you're not able to brush it home and they are able to look in the mouth. Remember, that's the very least looking in the mouth. Yep. And they are, you know, providing a service. We don't, don't fall into the trap of that's all I need to do for my pet. Okay, you still need that good thorough oral exam from your veterinarian. And for many dogs, not all of them, it's probably going to be about a once a year once every 18 month, anesthesia, and thorough oral examination and ideally with some dental X rays, looking for true disease under the gum line and not missing it. Because it's difficult for me and this is all I've done all my professional life to look in a dog's mouth and be able to tell you everything that's going on. Out the X rays. Yeah, I can't do it. And I don't know anybody that can. So if we want them to be as healthy as possible. I know. I'll tell you a little a little. A little research project that was published not that long ago. You know, the concern is oh, I've heard I don't want my dog to go under anesthesia because it has it shortens their lifespan. Every time they go under anesthesia takes six months out their life or whatever that is. Yeah, I heard was a study done. It was a big study, and they were you know, 1000s of dogs that they looked at, and it was done by a large corporate entity that has bought some veterinary practices all across the country and they were able to take their big database. And that's also metadata. Exactly. And so it is, that means if we, if we looked at two or three dogs, that's the numbers are not that good, but you can do 1000s. And okay, now we can start to say these are, these are accurate. And what they found was, and I'm going to tell you two sides to this story, okay. Those dogs that were anesthetized and had their teeth cleaned more often lived longer. So it's just the opposite of what we were saying, I don't want him to be anesthetized so much because it takes shortens their lifespan. And actually the that's not supported in the research over 1000s of dogs. Now, does that mean that anesthetizing them more and cleaning their teeth more allows them to live longer? Not necessarily that the other side of that may be? Well, what about these that were never anesthetized to have their teeth cleaned? And what kind of care were they getting to begin with? Yeah, and so maybe they weren't living as long because they weren't getting


Jenifer Chatfield  46:10

so many variables. But there's a quote, but there, but there is no correlation between anesthetic episodes and loss of duration of life. Correlation? Yeah, not that. I would agree. Because it's, it's there and gone and moving on. I think if our dogs live, like 150 years, maybe, maybe you could, you could argue with shaving off of you, but but they don't. And so but the other the other reason that I hesitate with those awake dental cleanings, although now I wouldn't hesitate as much. So now that you told me they're useful, is because if



it's in between the professional cleanings as as a tool, one other tool in the toolbox,


Jenifer Chatfield  46:54

it doesn't replace the other. But is it hurts like it can hurt to get your teeth. I mean, you know, people are afraid to go into the dentist for a reason, because sometimes it hurts. And I just feel like you can't I would like cause that to be under anesthesia. If someone's like yanking around on her teeth, and scraping and cleaning and all that stuff. So I just feel like it hurts,



right? And the instruments are sharp. And so any quick jerk, you could do some damage. And you can say, Well, my my dogs really good. Or this dogs or I'm really good with these dogs and they they stay really quiet. That's great until they don't. Right. You know, and you don't they're not going to say hey, I'm about to snatch my head to the side. Right? And then our


Jenifer Chatfield  47:41

friend, our friend Kathy Santo, the AKC certified trainer would say Sure, sure. Your dog is sure.



Yeah, yeah.


Jenifer Chatfield  47:52

Yeah. So all right, Jason, you got one more? You got one more production?


Jason Chatfield  47:57

I don't know. I don't, none of them are short. But, but I think again, I think the dentistry stuff is up and coming, especially in awareness of of, you know, owners and stuff. So can you touch on the correlation that exists or doesn't exist between heart disease and, and dental disease? Because I know, I went to school 100 years ago, and I think I remember one time they talked about this, or maybe a whole class period, but I think I think it exists, right doesn't exist. And I'm not sure clients actually aware of this. And so this this could anything to help to help make them feel more comfortable that I'm it? Yes, it's a risk. But yes, the reward is so much better because it can avoid all these other giant dependency problems. And not everyone thinks to write to the heart. They just don't think that way. Because it doesn't it doesn't not do it. If so, maybe you could touch on that. If that is



yes. The short answer is there is an association between advanced periodontal disease and changes, microscopic changes in the heart, the liver and the kidneys. Oh, wow. Okay. So the word thought, yeah, the, there's an association. As far as I know, there are no studies that show cause and effect in either dogs or humans, meaning, if you have bad teeth, you're definitely going to get this or the other way around. If you have a heart murmur, you're definitely going to get bad teeth. But there is an association meaning that as we see more dogs with bad teeth, we also see more dogs that have heart murmurs and or that have microscopic changes in the liver or kidneys. And so the short answer is, yes, there's an association. I'm not aware of of any direct correlation, but yes, yet.


Jenifer Chatfield  49:50

I thought there was. When this first sort of came to light, I thought there was some paper that I never read, but the people talked about that talk about specific bacterial infections of the mouth, leading to endocarditis, right, inflammation of the heart valves, which is why your vet sometimes will put your dog on clindamycin doxycycline, something like this for three or four days before the cleaning, if they're really bad, so that we can drop the bacterial population. And it's the other reason that we, you know, we try to make sure that they have, they gotta have it in a tracheal tube in, they don't want to inhale that stuff. And also, when you're in the mouth cleaning, there's bleeding, right? Because in the gums is like direct direct highway to the heart and into the body. And so we try to cut that down. And for some reason, I associate endocarditis with severe periodontal disease, but I don't know because I would just school 103 years ago. I don't know, there was



a study, there was a, there was a published report, it has been a few years ago and actually was at a University of Florida, if I remember correctly, have a dog that had an endocarditis that they were that they that they connected with the same bacteria from the mouth to the heart valve. Okay. You know, kind of current trends now are trending away from antibiotic use as much as you can. Oh, yeah, yeah, not necessarily in this, there are certain certain instances. So the American Heart Association, American Dental Association, they get together, and periodically, they'll review the data, and they'll come up with recommendations. And right now, in humans, I think the only time that they're recommending preoperative or antibiotics is if you have a heart valve replacement. So if you okay, if you've had a heart valve replacement, it used to be there were some other things like if you had had some other surgical implant, like a hip replacement, or something like that. And but I think right now, the the current recommendation is, if you've had a heart valve replacement, anything else may not necessarily need it. However, I would say in humans, they're probably not dealing with the same level of mouth, decay and infection that we see on a very regular basis,


Jenifer Chatfield  52:21

not even close.


Jason Chatfield  52:24

Well, I would hope not. Yeah, right.


Jenifer Chatfield  52:28

Well, and now like and humans, and that goes all the way back to that oral microbiome issue, right. And we're just now starting to understand how we live with these bacteria that keep us alive. And so now they're starting, there was a paper came out with correlation between chronic oral infection, and Alzheimer's, development of Alzheimer's. And so that like, it is important in your mouth and your dog's mouth, that you make sure that you have the right bacteria doing the right things at the right time. And the way you do that is prevention, where you can do at home, regular brushing, get your veterinarian, when did you times a year for that oral inspection, that oral exam and see the pet dentist when necessary, right. I mean, that's the that's four things



and see your vet. Yeah. Yeah.


Jenifer Chatfield  53:19

Okay, so I gotta ask one final question, Jason, I'm cutting you off. If there was, if there was one, or maybe two, but one thing that you wish every pet lover on the planet knew? What would it be?



For Dental aiming for dental health is like, the direct


Jason Chatfield  53:41

line to my office, that's what I wish.


Jenifer Chatfield  53:46

Or it doesn't have to be dental health, just what pops in your mind. You're like, Oh, God, it's this. If I could just get people to see this. Like, is there one thing that you wish? Or maybe you could say to? But one thing you wish every pet? Gosh,



it's all encompassing. I'll answer it from a veterinary dentist standpoint. Perfect. I like I said earlier, I would want them to look and get their pet used to them looking in the mouth to look in the mouth. And when I say a regular basis, at least once a month. Yeah, looking in the mouth, because you're going to pick up problems much quicker. And if you see something that you're not sure about or you think doesn't look right. Set up an appointment, have your veterinarian take a look at it. Because I think the earlier we spot things and we detect things, the easier it is to treat and the much higher success rate that we'll have no matter what it is and less pain and problems for your pet. Yeah, and once


Jason Chatfield  54:47

a month isn't that hard. Anybody can do that. I'm not giving anybody a pass on that. Anybody? Well, I guess it depends on the animal but for the most part, you know, that's not that hard and it can the benefits can be can be huge.


Jenifer Chatfield  54:58

Absolutely. You Right, yes, yeah.



And it doesn't cost anything. I mean, I guess eventually if you need to go to the vet, yes, but But it


Jason Chatfield  55:06

will cost a lot less, right.



Yeah, we're talking about catching it early and preventing problems. So that would be the one thing when they're sitting in your lap, you're petting them watching TV, or you're rolling on the floor, having a good time with them, you know, look in their mouth. And if you see something that doesn't look right, call somebody that that knows. If you


Jenifer Chatfield  55:27

see something, say something


Jason Chatfield  55:32

to people that we should wish to put out there.


Jenifer Chatfield  55:36

Okay, well, Dr. Peake with the pet dentist, thank you so much for joining us, friend. My pleasure. All right. And don't think we've already we have forgotten that you said you come back talk about cats. We didn't forget that. But anyway, in the show notes, people look in the show notes, because we'll have links to his practice. He's got great information up there. We'll have links to that. What does that veterinary Oral Health Council? Yeah, we'll have that link up there, too. And I hope you guys find a way to take better care of your dog's teeth. Yeah, I guess Jason has that as well for you


Jason Chatfield  56:14

that I just start with looking in the mouth. I think that's an easy way to start. And then you'll probably find you can progress to if you don't already brushing the teeth and all that. And then I don't know why these guys come on here and give everyone tips on how to put them out of business. But that's what they care about the animals more than anything, so yeah,


Jenifer Chatfield  56:30

they do. Thank you. And so thank you so much, Dr. Peake for joining us. And I guess that's it. I'm Dr. Jenn the vet and I'm Dr. Jason. I will catch you all on the next episode. The professional Animal Care certification council or pat brings independent testing and certification to the pet care services industry is your dog's daycare or boarding kennel or a groomer manned by pack certified professionals don't know if you don't know you got to ask. Look for the pack emblem at your facility to make sure that your pets receiving the highest level of professional pet care because we all know it's safer in a pack your pack C E code for this episode is cc 220080.



This episode is brought to you by full budget veterinary strength supplements, leader in digestive health for dogs, cats and horses.