What Do Teeth and Kidneys Have in Common?
From a Chinese Veterinary Medicine perspective, kidneys and kidney energy are responsible for production of bones, teeth, and marrow, which includes the nerves, brain, and spinal cord. So it only makes sense that degeneration in any of these systems would lead back to problems with the kidneys.
Based on this knowledge, it should not be surprising to see recent studies have linked periodontal disease to chronic kidney disease in dogs and cats. It is estimated that, if periodontal disease was eliminated, there would be 15,000 less cats with chronic kidney disease in the United States.
According to the data released in the Banfield Pet Hospital "State of Pet Health Report 2016", there has been a 23% increase in occurrence of dental disease, stomatitis, and tooth resorption in cats and dogs over the past ten years. This should not really come as a shock if you look at the changes in the pet food industry over the past ten years. Pet foods contain significantly less meat and more carbohydrates, as carbohydrates are cheaper than meat. Unfortunately, those carbohydrates break down into sugars, which contribute to poor dental health. The increase in corn-based dry kibble diets for cats directly contributes to periodontal disease and kidney disease.
Only 20% of dog owners and 11% of cat owners brush their pet's teeth, yet over 80% of pets have periodontal disease by age 3, according to the AVMA. Most pet owners mistakenly believe that feeding dry kibble diets will decrease amount of plaque, tartar, and periodontal disease in their pets. In reality, just the opposite occurs - the carbohydrates in the kibble contribute to dental disease. Most cats swallow kibble pieces whole, as do many dogs. (Just look at their vomit - whole pieces of undigested kibble come up.)
The pet food industry understands that pet dental disease is on the rise. Instead of making better food, they have a new genius marketing and money-making plan: they are getting into the dental treat business. Unfortunately, the big pet food companies only care about the profits, making dental sprays, rinses, chews, and treats with ingredients that are as unhealthy for our pets as the foods they market as "healthy". Don't fall for these ploys. Avoid ingredients like glycerin, dyes, water, alcohol, wheat, sorbitol, corn starch, soy, chlorhexidine, carrageenan, titanium dioxide, BHA, BHT, copper sulfate, potassium sorbate, and iron oxide. (Really, the list is exhausting.)
For easy dental care, try my dental drops or use grass fed marrow bones. Raw feeding will also promote good dental health. Small breed dogs tend to need more dental care. Cats are often neglected when it comes to dental care. Chicken or turkey gizzards are a great natural dental treat for cats, as the chitin which lines the gizzard will help work the teeth and gums, breaking down plaque and tartar.
Prevent secondary problems like kidney disease by taking good care of your pet's teeth. Their good health depends on you!