|Barked: Tue Aug 10, '10 11:03am PST |
|"Normal" as in it happens to most dogs, yes. "Normal" as in it should happen as a natural part of aging? No. Not the way it happens with the average dog, anyway.
Rotting teeth, and diseased gums that aren't capable of holding onto the teeth is a direct result of improper diet and the total lack of stimulation the average diet of processed foods can provide. Genetics also play a big role, and poor breeding practices really compound the problem in many lines of purebred dogs. It's not seen as a problem that should be addressed in one's breeding program, though, because gum disease and tooth loss is seen as "normal".
Dr. Tom Lonsdale discusses at length the state of pet dental health in his book, "Raw Meaty Bones". Really interesting is his take on what is supposed to happen to the teeth and gums naturally among carnivorous species, and the role tooth decay plays in the life of individual animals, as well as the health and dynamics of an entire pack in the case of social carnivores that hunt together. Worth a read even if you're not particularly interested in raw feeding.
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