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Dental Disease

Dental disease in pets is of two forms, each attributable to dietary starches. Periodontitis is an infection and inflammation of the gums brought on by the development of calculus (plaques). This calculus precipitates on the teeth due to the presence of bacteria and acidity created by fermenting starches in the oral cavity. Caries (cavities) also result from bacterial fermentation of carbohydrates that release acids that erode the tooth’s surface. Aside from tooth damage, loss of teeth, pain, and halitosis, the chronic oral infection can seed systemically into the blood and lodge in organs and heart valves. Organ failure and congestive heart failure in late life can often be linked to long standing oral infections brought on by a steady diet of starches.

• “Caries results from bacterial decay of tooth structure brought about by the release of acids from oral bacteria fermenting carbohydrates on the tooth surface. Therefore, a diet high in highly refined and easily fermentable carbohydrates will favor the development of caries.” Hale, F. Dental caries in the dog. Canadian Veterinary Journal, 50 (12), 1301-1304, 2009.
• “…the low-protein diet caused high mortality during lactation, very low body weights at weaning, reduction in the size of the molars, delay in the third molar eruption, high frequency of missing cusps on third molars and increased susceptibility to carious lesions in the occusal sulci and on the smooth surfaces of the molars…” Shaw, J., and D. Griffiths. Dental Abnormalities in Rats Attributable to Protein Deficiency during Reproduction. Journal of Nutrition, 80, 123-141, 1963.
• “…it appears premature to consider or promote food starches in modern diets as safe for teeth.” Lingstrom, P, et al. Food Starches and Dental Caries. Critical Reviews in Oral Biology & Medicine, 11 (3), 366-380, 2000.

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