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Published: Jan 31, 2012

Bad breath may indicate a dental health problem, which can be dangerous if left unaddressed. Pets need to have their teeth cleaned regularly, and since February is Pet Dental health Month, this is the perfect time for dog owners to schedule cleanings.

VCA Animal Hospitals also points out that dog owners can brush their canine companions' teeth at home as well, and doing so on a regular basis can greatly reduce the risk of infections, inflammation and other dental health issues. A veterinarian can guide you in the best way to go about keeping your pet's dental health in good standing, from brushing techniques to which products to use.

If your dog's breath smells far worse than usual, this could mean that they are developing a periodontal infection. The American veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) reports that bad breath, along with inflamed gums and brown teeth, is a clinical sign of periodontal disease.

"Periodontal disease is the most common health problem that veterinarians find in pets," explains Dr. Rene Carlson, president of the AVMA. "It's estimated that by the age of two, 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats have some form of periodontal disease."

You should have your pet's teeth checked regularly. The vet may need to give your furry friend dog shots of anesthesia so they do not feel pain while their teeth are being cleaned.