Yes, it's true, someone probably let this dog lick them on the face and couldn't imagine why it's breath smelled like 2 week old dead fish. But bad breath is not the only problem that we see with dental disease of this degree. As you can imagine, this dog's mouth must hurt. Go to your dog right now. I'll wait, bring him or her back to you computer. Now sniff his breath. Lift his lip carefully like Kim was doing in the first picture. If you smell rotten eggs or see any staining on the teeth, or worse, if you see tarter and red gums like this you call your veterinarian first thing in the morning, hang your head in shame and make an appointment to have your pet's mouth examined and the disease treated. That's right, disease. Oral disease is a painful condition that leads to tooth loss. Infections in the periodontal pocket can cause abscesses. Cat's (not pictured here due to the aforementioned tech issues) also get cavity like lesions that expose the nerves. Bacteria can get into the blood and cause kidney disease, heart valve disease, and liver abscesses. Toxins from these heinous bacteria make your pet feel like crap. This is serious stuff. Oh, I know, your pet is too old for anesthesia and dental treatment. Horse Hockey! (for all you Col. Potter fans). Old age is not a disease but rotting teeth are. Have your vet perform a complete physical examination, including the oral cavity. This, along with some basic blood work will determine the safest way to treat your pet's mouth.
See, here's another dog with horrendous teeth. This guy isn't going to be so lucky. Once the teeth were cleaned and radiographs were taken, it was determined that not all of the teeth could be saved. That's right, we had to make the phone call that owner's hate to hear, "Mrs (fill in your name if you haven't been taking care of your dog's teeth.) we have finished Fluffy's cleaning and radiographs and we have to extract several teeth" The owner always gasps and asks how the dog will eat. I tell them, "better than he is eating now because these teeth are loose and painful."
Notice how clean the teeth left behind are? Notice how many are missing? And this is only one side of the mouth. I assure you that the other side looks much the same. Do not let your pet's teeth get like this. Your veterinarian should be examining your pet's teeth at every wellness visit. You should ask your veterinarian if your pet's teeth are OK and if yes, what you should do to keep them that way. If no, what do you have to do to treat this disease. Once the mouth looks like the pre pictures above, no amount of brushing, or treats, or prayer will clean them. I have to clean them. Then you have to work out a home care program and do your part. Oh, yeah, when your veterinarian tells you the teeth are bad, don't answer with, we just had his teeth cleaned last year. Look in the mouth and have the doctor show you the problem. Then the two of you need to come up with a plan to treat the problem and then prevent the problem from coming back so soon.