Does Dog Food Rot Teeth?

Dry food and chew toys help slow plaque growth, but tartar removal requires a veterinary professional.
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Although all types of dog foods lead to plaque accumulation on the teeth, wet food generally contributes to tartar buildup faster than dry food due to its adhesiveness. If left untreated, tartar buildup causes oral diseases and conditions such as rotten teeth that require immediate veterinary attention.

Dry Food

According to Sunnyside Pet Healthcare Center, dry food does not adhere to dogs' teeth as quickly as wet food does. Although dry food does contribute to plaque removal as dogs chew, dry food does not help scrape off tartar attached to teeth. To remove tartar buildup, a professional teeth cleaning is required by a veterinary professional.

Wet Food

Eating wet and sticky dog food contributes to rapid plaque buildup since little teeth scraping is involved while chewing. The plaque buildup eventually becomes tartar if not removed. Wet food also includes human food, which the ASPCA suggests should not be fed to dogs as it also easily attaches to teeth. Consider feeding your dog a mixture of wet and dry food to slow the amount of plaque buildup.

Tartar's Affect on Teeth

As plaque from bacteria hardens, it mineralizes and becomes tartar. Tartar that builds up on dogs' teeth eventually presses down on the gums, causing irritation and gum recession. This leads to oral complications such as periodontal disease, or infected gums, rotten teeth and even tooth loss if left unaddressed. According to VCA Animal Hospitals, periodontal disease is the most common disease affecting dogs.