Mouth, Teeth, and Gums: Oral and Dental Pet Health

Gum Disease

1 User Review

Posted by Tango (Tijeras, Nm, US) on 03/03/2013

I was wondering if there was something topical that I could put on my cats gums. Can I use clove oil or is that toxic for cat's. I have read that it is, so I'm a little scared to use it. He is 16 years old and I don't know if that would make him more sensitive or not. He is on a very good Diet and also on Vitamins too. If anybody else has any suggestions for something topical that I can put on his gums, that would be great. I feel desperate to make him comfortable because he's been through a lot in the last three years. 3 Operations and he is doing well but now his gums are red and he's uncomfortable again. Also has Herpes Virus. Poor guy has been through a lot. Thanks so much.

Replied by Sunsmile
(Sunnynv, Us)

Hi, I'm aromatherapist, my kitty has the same gum problem. DO NOT USE CLOVE OIL on cats or dogs. Its Highly toxic. All u can put straight on its gums is Cold Pressed Extra Virgin Organic Coconut Oil, and its nice also to mix it with his food. And Coloidal Silver water to get rid of the infection. Use only High quality organic raw products-Cold pressed oils are raw.

Replied by Maude
(Sacramento, Ca)

I have an older cat with chronic gum, teeth, mouth ulcer problems. Petzlife spray has worked well. Also will try the other suggestions for colloidal silver and lysine treatment for the ulcers.

Replied by Babs

I know this is an older post but I just stumbled across it. I am taking care of a dozen rescued cats, and one of them I found with stomatitis....and she'd had it for a very long time....years. We had to have a few teeth pulled but after some scary antibiotic issues, we stopped it all. I found that she just didn't want to eat her food, which caused her to not heal as she should (feeding raw, with multiple nutritionals). I did some research into the stomatitis (teeth and mouth infections) and found that in most cases the whole mouth is like an ulcer....inflamed...and very painful. I began to use slippery elm powder, mixed with hot water and then cooled, and then I would add the nutritionals, and whatever meat I was giving her. The VERY FIRST time I gave it to her (I was having to feed her by a dropper), when she finished I set her on the floor, and then a couple of minutes later I offered her food bowl.....she snapped her head down and smacked away and cleaned her plate!! From that day forward I just simply mix in the slippery elm/water mixture with her meat and nutritionals and she licks the plate clean.

I know it was the slippery was the only thing I changed. She had been on colloidal silver, probiotics, olive leaf, etc. etc. and a handful of nutritionals for a long time. Small improvements tho....the slippery elm put us over the top. I'm about to add bladderwrack for it's fucoidan content as well as healing iodine.

Slippery elm is very makes a soothing and protective coating for the mouth (actually the entire digestive tract), soothes inflammation and helps healing to begin.

This is over two months now and after nearly a year working on her health, I NOW see vast improvement! She is so fantastic. Take away the pain, soothe the tissues, and healing can begin. Do some's incredible reading.....

I am also using it for another of the rescued cats with mega colon. I refuse to use the laxatives the vet wants and do not want her on meds. Slippery elm normalizes bowel movements. I mix the same slippery elm into her food, along with soaked chia seeds. problems anymore. Am transitioning this one to a raw diet also, and hope to reduce her weight and bring her back to good health!

The slippery elm is fantastic stuff! It has a light maple flavor, and I thought for sure they wouldn't touch it but they seem to love it. I have another that I give it to in his cream.....loves it.

Aida Tan

Hi, may I know how long to use slippery elm on the cat? What is the quantity? My cat 12 yrs old is not appetite to eat. Trying to feed him on wet food. And feed him drinking water. He is upset each time we feeding him. He always sleep. Please help. Need some advise? He having bad mouth and tooth problem.

thank you.


I have a cat who has only 3 fangs left no other teeth and he is in perpetual pain and the gums go from a bit inflamed to very very inflamed so my experience is that teeth have nothing to do with inflamed gums and it is a terrible mistake to take the teeth out to stop gum inflammation - it does not work

Replied by Theresa
(Mpls., Mn)

Hey Babs!

Thanks for the awesome feedback on the slippery elm! When the right remedy is applied, it works - and obviously so. Kudos on not giving up until you found the right remedy!

I am very excited to hear about your results with slippery elm and mega colon - wow! Can you please provide doses that you used - how much slippery elm powder into how much water? And how much chia seeds? I know readers following in your footsteps will be asking about dosage.

Thank you for sharing your journey!!!

Replied by Dog_Conscious
(New York Area)

My experience with slippery elm and my dog. My dog has had very bad acid reflux for years and unfortunately no vet, holistic or traditional has been able to help (they only say take Pepcid - a very bad solution). After a dental procedure in July 2013, we were given antirobe to give to our dog. It's a very potent anti-bacterial drug that is strong enough to penetrate bone. The acid reflux became so severe that our dog would faint and have a seizure from it. Again, no vet, holistic or traditional knew what to do. So, as I always do, I researched and found slippery elm. It was a "miracle" for a month. Then, he started to show signs that again no vet, holistic or traditional (we went to 5 different vets for help) knew what was going on. From Sept. 2013 thru Dec. 2013 there were symptoms which included: extreme hind side pain, wouldn't eat unless it smelled right, excessive thirst (he's got kidney disease so we thought he could be in renal failure), dry eye, etc. We tested for numerous things. I questioned everything (as I usually do). He got sub-cutaneous fluids and homeopathic remedies. It was miserable for him and for us. He would only eat liver. We got a vet nutritionist to help. Finally, after he lost a pound in a matter of weeks and then gained several pounds in two weeks, it dawned on me. It's the slippery elm that stopped the absorption of his hypothyroid medication that caused this. Yes, as I said, the severe reflux improved to just minor episodes for a month but the reflux came back anyway and in addition, he now didn't have enough thyroid medication in his system. I followed the directions of what I found online for the slippery elm (which wasn't adequate - 1 hour before the medication) because as I asked every vet no one had an answer for me except one after the fact (as that one vet mentioned, "The slippery elm should always be given at least 2 hrs before or two hours after any other medication.") Of course, no vet wanted to believe my conclusion until all the symptoms finally went away during the weeks following the end of the slippery elm usage. It took about 12 - 16 weeks following the end of the slippery elm usage for the symptoms to be completely gone and his thyroid to be back to normal. We now have found other alternative health solutions for the acid reflux (still all the vets wanted him to take Pepcid) that appear to be working.

I'm not saying to not use slippery elm. I've heard of it being helpful for very sick animals outside of this forum, too. Just please be careful if your dog/cat is on any medication (although we try very hard to use alternative health solutions, he eats home cooked organic food, thyroid medication is a necessity for our dog). I also do wonder if the slippery elm does not allow for the complete absorption of nutrients when given with food. If it causes lack of absorption of medication, that leads me to believe it could cause lack of absorption of nutrients, too.

Another thought, when a vet says that tests or study's were done on humans so the result might correct not be for dogs/cats, trust your instinct. Who's to say it might not be for them, too. BTW: every single symptom I researched that was about humans applied to my dog and led us to be able to help him. Also, he was never in renal failure (YAY! ), his excessive thirst was due to dry mouth which IS (no vet wanted to believe which caused the wrong homeopathic remedy and was just a waste of time and money) a symptom for hypothyroidism (in humans AND dogs). In addition, I found a study from the NIH that stated that humans who have hypothyroidism can have their sense of taste and smell thrown off because of it. And finally, we couldn't understand why our dog would only eat liver for weeks (which made us a bit nervous). Turns out liver is very good for the thyroid.

Bottom line: listen to your animal and then, yourself! Good luck to everyone.

Replied by Theresa
(Mpls., Mn)

Hey Dog_Conscious!

Thank you so much for sharing the journey of healing for your boy. It really pays to stick with it, and to go with your gut. I appreciate your sharing what you learned about slippery elm; it is important to understand that even when 'natural', remedies and therapies need to be studied and fully understood to avoid or negate negative side effects.

Very impressed with how you did not give up on your boy and found the answers you needed!

Thank you!

Replied by Patricia N.

Do you use slippery elm powder, or with water. I make slippery elm with water and turn it into a type of loose paste. I use it for intestinal problems for me and my cats.

what is your slippery elm recipe for teeth. My kitty has bad teeth. I tried to get them taken care of, but the vet said he wouldnt remove the bad teeth in the back, unless I paid 1000. up front. I asked for a payment plan, and he said no. then told me that the cat would get lymphoma and die anyway with such bad teeth. in houston tx, I had yet to find a vet with a heart of love for animals. so, now he has been diagnosed with lymphoma, and is very ill. I am wondering how to kill this back teeth problem, and have used many things.

today, I tried am looking to find more information on Apple Cider Vinegar with the mother for his back teeth. they now have an infection which is coming out of his nose. so I clean it up alot and give him goldenseal and salt water solution for his nose.

that works well. but the infection is still there. I wonder about acv, because it is quite effective in many ways. I wanted to try garlic, but it seems to be toxic to cats. so...i have gotten a pain killer from a vet, and it lasts 1 day...but I need to heal the gum area, and get those teeth out.

can anyone tell me of a better, or truly working answer? I am very holistic, but this one is frustrating me. cats seem to be allergic to so many herbs and tinctures.

patricia n.

24 posts

For infection, I would use colloidal silver which has no taste or smell. It is a wonderful remedy for so many other things too. So is oregano oil but that is super potent in smell and taste and must be highly diluted, of course.

Replied by Theresa
(Mpls., Mn)

Hello Patricia,

My first thought for you was the vet you saw was unkind, and that you try to find a vet you can work with - one who will respect your approach. There are holistic vets if you search them out. And since you appear to be dealing with cancer, to consider Essiac tea and turmeric, and perhaps Chaga mushroom. Search the EC pages for those remedies - both in human and pet sections for a range of advice.

Oil Pulling

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Sandra (Southern France) on 10/14/2014

I have a problem with chronic inflammation (that's how they explain that my tendonitis isn't healing). 2 days ago I have a sudden swelling in my upper jaw and and cheek (probably due to a cracked tooth???). Looking for a natural solution I found this site. What a WONDERFUL source for information!!!

I tried oil pulling for the first time last night (I mixed sunflower and olive oil). The swelling and pain are already reduced!!! I will definitely continue and report back. Good luck to you all!!

Raw Bones

4 User Reviews
5 star (3) 
1 star (1) 

Posted by Mrsg (Jupiter, Fl, USA) on 06/13/2013

Giving my dog raw bones has helped clear the tartar build up on my dog's teeth. Even her vet said her teeth looked white. Thanks EC!

Replied by Carolyn
(Carrollton, Tx)


Good luck with that on a regular basis. I was giving our greyhound raw beef bones and he got a sliver caught in his intestines. Finally passed it with a cooked turnip and potato.

Replied by Theresa
(Mpls., Mn)

Hey Carolyn!

How interesting your experience from mine. I've fed from toy breeds to giants raw bones for over 20 years and never had a complication with splinters. Perhaps its the cut of bone you fed? The O shaped marrow bones I find useless as teeth cleaners, same with the knuckles - they only serve to wear the teeth down prematurely. Rib bones and some steak bones have worked well for my pack. That said, I have introduced bones early on to my puppies and they learned from the onset to gnaw their bones rather than crush/splinter and swallow. I do believe early exposure allows for puppies to learn to gnaw bones rather than crunching them and wolfing them down.

Replied by Earlgrey
(New York, US)

I cured my cats naturally of mouth sores and this also works for other illness :

- rub 2% foodgrade Lugol's Iodine on the infected area twice a day for one week then once a day with a Q-tip-apply more often if severe infection

- add 3 drops of foodgrade Lugol's in a small bowl of water daily for 3 months then 2X a week, if cats very ill- daily

- sprinkle half cap 200mcg 3X a month in food

- sprinkle some psyllium husk powder once a week on food

- foodgrade DE on food daily for 2 months then 1X a week

- Cod Liver oil

- clean cats teeth with olive oiled Q-tip

- Nutrex Bioastin 12MG Hawaiian Astaxanthin- 2X a week on food

- Weruva Cat food

- Do not vaccinate pets- vaccines cause cancer

- Do not give antibiotics to cats, cause parasite overgrowth



Raw Bones
Posted by L (Whitefish, Mt) on 06/12/2011

We have 3 big dogs - a chocolate Lab, a chocolate Newfoundland, and a Great Pyrenees/Bernese Mountain. We just had their regular vet visit and he was is awe over our dogs teeth. All of them are between 4-5 yrs. Old and their teeth are gleaming white, with no tartar at all. He asked what we did. We feed them half their food (high end kibble with no corn) am and then other half at noon. But at night we always give them a raw marrow bone to chew. We have a butcher that cuts them at 3" and we freeze them and give it to them frozen so it lasts longer. It also keeps them occupied at least a 1/2 hour, another bonus!

After reading so much on this site, however, I am going to start moving them and our 2 cats to an all raw diet.

Hope this helps someone with high vet dental bills!

Replied by Gracieuse
(Ut, Netherlands)

Yes! I've had my puppy, now six months of age, on a complete raw meaty bones diet, supplied with organ meat once a week. She's blazing with health, with pearly white adult teeth, doesn't smell.

For more info see

Also worked wonders with a cat suffering from various ailments (sneezing, bad teeth, bad coat, urinary issues).

Salivary Mucocele

Posted by Sandy (North East, Tx, Usa) on 06/04/2012

In search of a Natural Cure or at least a bit of help or advice. My Iris probly has .

We just need to save the money to get the test to find out for sure. But yes the bump is on the right side of her neck, not in the throat. We cannot afford $5,000 or more for surgery so I already have a place for back up to give her to who will give her the surgery of corse she'll be lost to us forever. Iris is part of the family and also has the job of getting us across the streets and driveways safely. She loves her job and looks foward to it everyday. Please help find a way to avoid surgery and get her back to normal. There has to be at least a person if not more who'll answer this honestly. If you find it in your heart to write anything Bless You.

Replied by Lilly
(Margate, Florida)

I have a 4yr old pit w/the same lump on her head, just behind her ear. I tied it off w/a string to cut off the blood flow. When it died or popped open I poured hydrogen peroxide on it, let it bubble. Then poured baking soda on it. Never took off the string. After it was gone and healed, the string fell off. Her black fur turned brown in that area but soon turned black again, never to return, she's almost 6 now. Thats what I did. good luck.

Replied by Nh Gardener
(Small Town, Nh, Usa)

For Sandy from East Texas re. Iris--I posted above, recommending you try food grade diatomaceous earth (DE) mixed with her raw apple cider vinegar-dampened food, starting with 1 tsp. Once a day, increasing gradually to 1 or 2 level or rounded tsps. 2 X/day. DE absorbs and eliminates toxins from the body, and is inexpensive. Check internet for sources. Gently melted coconut oil is helpful, starting with 1 tsp. Once a day in food, increasing to 1 tsp. Twice a day. If she likes it, no need to melt it. It's probably already melted this time of year in Texas anyway. If she were our dog, I'd also order calcium bentonite clay from a certain company website, also in Texas, and apply it to her neck as a poultice, if possible. The clay is very fine and draws toxins out. You hydrate the clay with a 2:1 mix of water to clay. Add clay to the water and let sit for several hours or overnight. Stir well. Make a slab 3/4 inches in depth, apply to swelling; cover with an herb leaf such as comfrey, or a tree leaf, then cover that with self-adhering plastic wrap, wrapped around Iris's neck to keep damp and hold in place. Change once or twice a day. Along with that, pray. All good wishes be with you and Iris. I think DE will help a lot.

Replied by Sandy
(North East, Tx, USA)

Thank You So Much! Iris thankfully went from a huge opening that was probly about 3 inches, you could even see her swallowing inside her throat, to a little tiny scabbed up hole. Since this can happen again to her I am printing out the note so I have it. I cant believe I cleaned her wound up to 6 times a day with hydrogen peroxide (just like I would me), switched her food to no grain or gave her homemade food, Iris loves Organic Coconut Oil! Now she has bacteria in her ear. I would rather deal with that though. Thanks!

Sardines for Mouth Sores

Posted by Kathryn9 (Owings. Md.) on 04/16/2014

Cat has had mouth sores off and on since I can remember. For awhile, enisypril lysine cat chews seemed to work. Then they stopped. I now use 1/2 tsp of real sardine packed in olive oil every other day. Problem solved once again!

Stained Teeth

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Kat (NC, US) on 08/27/2014

Thank you so much for this site. It has been a God send so many times for me and mine!

I read about using Colloidal Silver to help with my dog's teeth. His teeth were dark and full of plaque; I couldn't brush them well enough and they bled. Winston has an underbite and his teeth looked brown.

I use 1/2 tsp. Colloidal Silver per dish of water and add to his water about once per day. I don't add more until he drinks the whole thing. He weighs 35 lbs. I just got a non-name brand C.S. and it seems to work great!

Replied by Sylvia
(Az., US)

Olive oil has removed plaque off my dogs teeth. I have not taken my dog to the vet for teeth cleaning in 6 years and her teeth look great.

Just rub olive on their teeth and let it sit a few minutes and then use a tooth brush and a little tooth paste or wrap gauze around your finger and brush pets teeth. Be careful of the gauze my dog likes to lick it and you don't want them to swallow the gauze!


I sure hope you don't use human tooth paste. Swallowing it can be fatal to pets. The package says DO NOT SWALLOW So how dangerous is it for a small mammal.

Teething Remedies

Posted by Tucson_arizona (Tucson, Arizona, U.s.a.) on 05/16/2010

Need suggestions to help a puppy who is 3 months old and teething.

Thank you.

Replied by Annie
(Wpb, Florida)

I would check out Nylabones, which are very safe for puppies, especially if you don't want them eating raw hide bones at that age!

Replied by Rainman
(Central, Vt, Usa)

I don't care how old your dog is... do not ever (I mean EVER) give your dog rawhide. They are absolutely without a doubt poison. Not too mention a choking hazard. Do a good search.. you will find testimonials about dogs with pancreatitis and a slew of other issues from eating these chemical and bacteria charged chew toys. Just don't do it. I would say nylabones are safer... but, ask a few vets how many dogs he has seen with gum disease and injuries from obssesively chawing on these synthetic bones.

Melijda... look up raw meaty bones for teething. Not only is this good for teething... it is very healthy and NATURAL! RAW food is what god (mother nature) intended for our beloved pets... we should do as much as possible to see that they get what they need.

Replied by Janice
(Coloma, Mi)

I had a dog die about 10 years ago from pancreatitis. I didn't realize until years later that it could have been from the pigs ears I was giving her. Don't give your dogs those awful things. Now my present dog gets raw meat and raw bones and she's doing great.

Water Pik

Posted by Barb R (Norwood, ON Canada) on 12/07/2019

Just had one of our 9 kitties at the vets for a loose tooth. $400 later, and me refusing to allow 3 different aneathetics, 1 should due, she came home with a further diagnosis of needing more extractions. We have had 2 cats and a dog have major dental work done. I don't know about elsewhere, but vets in Canada are getting ridiculously expensive. We already follow earthclinic and have used coconut oil massaged with clean cloth into teeth and gums. So we now need to find something more aggressive for this cat, Millie, to avoid surgery and pain. My husband has been through root canal extractions and metal filling removal as prescribed in the great doc Root Cause. Dr Thomas Levy in his book, The Toxic Tooth says you can cure human dental conditions with a Water pik type device with hydrogine peroxide added to water. I am off to buy one for all of the animals. 7 cats and 2 dogs, and I'll let you know how it works. Will likely be a 2 person exercise.

Replied by Barb R
(Norwood, ON Canada)

Barb again. Forgot to mention we've been feeding raw recipes to all of our animals since 2003. For cats, great website called For dogs, searching BARF recipes will show a lot of info.

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