Help! My dog’s teeth are green

The other day something caught your attention in your dog’s mouth; your dog’s teeth! They don’t look right but you can’t tell if it’s something you should be worried about because you don’t remember what they should look like. 

Your dog’s teeth are green. Now you’re wondering; should they be green, yellow, or white? What exactly should they look like, and is it okay if they look green?

For starters, it’s not okay for a dog’s teeth to look green. It may be stains from something your dog ate, a medication or something more serious. 

Dog teeth looking green is a form of discolouration which you shouldn’t ignore, especially if the greenish or yellowish-brown colour is seen on one or two teeth, this can tartar build-up or a sign of tooth infection. 

[1] Are dogs teeth supposed to be white?

The actual colour of dog teeth is white and you would notice most healthy and very young pups have pearly white teeth, except those with enamel hypoplasia. 

The natural colour of your dog’s teeth can be maintained with proper oral hygiene, any discolouration is a sign of poor dental hygiene and should be addressed ASAP. 

Dog teeth discolouration can be caused by any of the following; food stains, plaque and tartar stains, stains from bleeding of gums, stains from medications, or stains from metal. No form of discolouration or stain on your dogs’ teeth is okay and should be quickly addressed. 

[2] What does it mean when your dog’s teeth are green?

If you find your dog’s teeth turning green or a shade of greenish brown or yellow, it could either be from food stains or plaque and tartar build-up. The latter is mostly the case. If the discolouration is even on the surfaces of your dog’s teeth, this may be a thin film of plaque covering your dog’s teeth waiting to harden into tartar. 

Tartar is the hard greenish-brown or yellowish-brown substance that forms on the teeth, you’ll usually notice it from the gum-line where the tooth meets the gum as it starts to accumulate from there. 

Tartar on your dog’s teeth is not great news because it encourages the growth of bacteria in the mouth, it promotes tooth decay and a host of other dental diseases. This isn’t something you should take lightly as bacteria in the mouth can also get washed into the oesophagus and stomach where they will pose health risks and cause other diseases for your dog.

[3] How do you get rid of dog teeth build up?

It takes deliberate steps taken daily to remove tartar from your pets’ teeth. You have to make it a daily routine because these plaques and tartar accumulate every day and getting rid of them while they’re still soft is much easier than scraping off hard and large tartar deposits. The tips below will not only get rid of tartar build-up but will also make sure your dog’s teeth stay neat and tartar. 

Combine healthy foods with natural diet 

A combination of synthetic and natural dog food will not only keep your dog in great health, but will also work to keep your dog’s teeth clean and healthy. 

Dogs are facultative carnivores, therefore adding generous amounts of meat meals, including raw bones to their diet helps them maintain healthy, strong and shiny teeth. Raw bones prevent the build-up of plaque and tartar because they are abrasive. Dogs in the wild use raw meat to maintain strong and shiny teeth and this can work great for your dogs too.

Give your dog something to chew 

Dental chew toys are designed to encourage dogs to chew and while they are at it, the plaque and tartar on their teeth are gradually scraped off. Dental chew toys come in different sizes and textures, get one for your dog to satiate his innate instinct to chew. 

You can throw one at your dog after meal time to clean his teeth while keeping him busy. Chewing at a toy everyday will not only get rid of plaque and tartar from your dog’s teeth, it’ll also prevent him from chewing up your shoes and furniture.

Brush your dog’s teeth daily 

In addition to making sure your dog chews for a few minutes every day, you may also have to brush your dog’s teeth daily. This isn’t just for oral hygiene but for the overall health and well-being of your canine. 

Brushing your dog’s teeth may be a challenge especially if he isn’t particularly excited about you poking a “stick” into his mouth. But this shouldn’t deter you, if approached correctly your canine will learn to accept routine daily teeth brushing

The steps below will help you to gradually and successfully introduce your pet to teeth brushing.

Simple Steps for Brushing Your Dog’s Teeth

  • First, get a pet toothpaste and toothbrush. Human toothpaste is not ideal for dogs because unlike we humans, dogs tend to swallow the paste and pet toothpaste is safe enough for them to swallow.
  • The best time to brush your pet’s teeth is when he/she is calm and relaxed, this will probably be after an exercise session. 
  • To brush your dog’s teeth, kneel in front of him with the toothpaste and brush. Gently urge him to open his mouth with one hand while saying some nice and soothing words. 
  • Brush the front of his teeth by moving the brush up and down and in a circular motion for a few seconds. 
  • At first, brush only the front of the teeth until your dog becomes comfortable with it. Then you can urge him to open his mouth and proceed to brush the inner part or back of the teeth. 
  • Give your dog a healthy treat at the end of each brushing session, this will act as positive reinforcement and encourage your pet to accept teeth brushing.

Use dental spray 

If teeth brushing doesn’t work for you and your dog, you can resort to adding an oral hygiene solution to your pet’s water. Mixing dental spray with water is a hassle-free way to make sure your dog’s oral hygiene is top-notch.

If your dog already has large deposits of tartar on his teeth, consider booking a tooth cleaning session with a vet to professionally get rid of all that build-up. 

[4] How to clean your dog’s teeth naturally

Just like humans, a dog’s oral health significantly contributes to its overall well-being. And a great way to ensure your dog’s teeth are in great condition is to incorporate ways to keep his teeth healthy into your dog’s daily routine. 

Plaques form every day and just within a few days of neglect, tartar deposits will already appear on your dog’s teeth, this is why a daily routine is absolutely necessary. The only way to naturally maintain good oral health for your canine is to watch what you feed him.

It all boils down to what you feed and whatever goes into your pets mouth should keep his teeth neat and shiny while nourishing his body.

Kibble and dry foods have become the go-to food for pets. These are great for balancing the diet of your pet, however, they do very little to keep your pet’s teeth in great condition. Dry foods are high in carbohydrates and when they get stuck on your pet’s teeth, these sugars promote the rapid growth of bacteria and build-up of plaque and tartar. 

Soft food doesn’t help either, as they tend to get stuck between your dog’s teeth and cause tartar build-up. The best food to combat tartar build-up and promoting healthy teeth is raw meaty meals with bones. As carnivores, these are the perfect diet for dogs (even cats). While it may be unrealistic to feed your pets only raw meat, a healthy dose of raw meat, bones and dry food is the ideal diet.     

Dogs have the natural urge to chew and this plays an important role in keeping their teeth in great condition, you should use this to your advantage. Raw bones are especially great for tartar control because they’re abrasive and dogs enjoy chewing bones, they can chew on one for hours. 

Raw meaty bone diets are also great for dog teeth because of the enzymes they contain that clean and strengthen teeth. You can also use antler, bully sticks and dog chew toys to keep your dog’s teeth free from tartar.  

While giving your dog treats as positive reinforcement for good behaviour, make sure you pick only healthy treats and not unhealthy treats that are laced with sugar. Treats like freeze-dried meat, dried pig, beef, snouts, are all healthy options for your pet. 

Fruits and vegetables are also great treat and snack options for your canine. You can feed your furry friend green beans, slices of carrots, apples, squash, pumpkin, etc. The best way to keep your pet in overall good health is to ensure that whatever gets into his mouth is healthy. 

[5] How do you know if your dog has a tooth infection?

With poor oral hygiene comes tooth infections and dental diseases, this happens to both humans and pets. Dogs can lose their teeth to serious infections and decay. Periodontal disease is the most common dental disease seen in pets and it affects the teeth at the socket or gingiva. 

This can cause a whole tooth or several teeth to rot away, however when detected early, a vet can prevent tooth loss and the spread of the infection to other teeth by removing the decayed areas of the tooth. Tooth decay and dental diseases come with a great deal of pain and you need to be very observant to tell when your dog is in pain. 

Besides pain, you can tell if your dog has a dental infection from tooth discolouration. Since a tooth starts rotting from the cavity, you will notice brown or black spots on affected tooth or teeth.

Here are the most common indications of a tooth infection in a dog: 

  1. You may find that your dog is in pain, although this won’t exactly jump out at you, so you’ll have to take notice of your dogs behaviour. Is he/she drooling more than normal? That may be a sign of pain. 
  2. Bad and very smelly breath is also another telling sign of dental disease. If your dog’s breath is suddenly unbearably stinky, do not ignore this or assume that it will go away. Find out why and what is behind it, this may help you save your dog’s tooth from complete decay and loss. 
  3. With a painful tooth, your dog will find it difficult to eat and enjoy his meals which will show as decreased appetite. Lack of appetite is always a sign of a problem and should never be ignored, if you find him struggling to eat, it’s time to pay the vet a visit. 
  4. Sometimes tooth infection comes with a painful swelling on the face. If you notice a facial swelling, take your dog to a vet ASAP to salvage the situation and possibly prevent tooth loss.

Final Thoughts

It’s not normal for your dog’s teeth to look green and any form of tooth discolouration should be taken seriously. Discoloured dog teeth is a sign of poor oral hygiene; green, yellow or brown stains on a dog’s teeth are mostly due to tartar build-up and if ignored, it will most definitely lead to a tooth infection or some other dental disease especially gingivitis and periodontal disease. 

Tartar build-up on dog teeth also poses other health risks as they act as breeding grounds for bacteria which can move down into the gut and cause other problems in a dog’s system. Endeavouring to take care of your dog’s teeth is the only way to keep your dog’s teeth healthy, strong and shiny.