How Is Oral Health Connected to Your Dog’s Gut Microbiome and Overall Health?

Your dog’s red, angry gums and bad breath could be caused by bacterial imbalances either in the mouth or in the gut. Oral health and gut health are closely connected: in fact, it’s a two-way street.

Inflamed gums, tooth decay, bad breath, and other oral problems can affect your dog’s health far beyond their mouth. When your dog’s mouth contains too many harmful bacteria, the saliva that gets swallowed carries those bacteria to the gut, where they can multiply and disturb the balance in the gut microbiome.

At the same time, problems in the gut can lead to problems in your dog’s mouth. For example, when your dog’s gut contains too many harmful bacteria, the smelly gas those bacteria produce gets absorbed into the bloodstream and is eventually exhaled as bad breath. An imbalanced gut microbiome also leads to excessive inflammation, which can cause trouble throughout your dog’s body.

So what is a microbiome? It’s a community of bacteria, fungi, and other microbes that live in your dog’s body and are essential for health. The gut microbiome lives in your dog’s digestive tract and the oral microbiome has its own community of important bacteria and microbes that live in your dog’s mouth.

How Does a Dog’s Mouth or Gut Become Imbalanced?

A microbiome is imbalanced when it’s missing “good” bacteria, contains too many harmful bacteria, or doesn’t have enough diversity. Factors like disease, age, diet, and medications—especially antibiotics—can cause bacterial imbalances in your dog’s mouth or gut.

Missing Good Bacteria

Too Many Harmful Bacteria

Not Enough Diversity

How Can You Know What’s Going On in Your Dog’s Mouth and Gut?

You can test your dog’s oral microbiome with our at-home DoggyBiome™ Oral Health Test.

This easy test assesses the health of your dog’s mouth, revealing any bacterial imbalances that can cause bad breath, gum disease, tooth loss, or other issues. You send us a swab of your dog’s gums, and we analyze all the bacteria. You’ll receive a detailed, personalized report with actionable insights to help you improve your dog’s oral health. Our before and after oral tests can also help you evaluate the effectiveness of any oral health intervention, such as tooth brushing, oral prebiotics, or dental cleanings.

We recommend testing your dog’s gut microbiome with our at-home DoggyBiome™ Gut Health Test

Gut microbiome testing can give you a detailed understanding of what’s going on in your dog’s gut, revealing any imbalances that may be causing bad breath or other oral symptoms. 

You send us a small poop sample from your dog, and we do the rest. Using DNA sequencing, our scientists analyze all the types of bacteria in your dog’s poop and compare them to our healthy dog reference set to determine if an imbalance is present. We then provide an interactive online report of your dog’s gut microbiome with personalized diet and supplement recommendations to help relieve symptoms and improve your dog’s digestive, oral, and overall health. 

How Can You Restore Your Dog’s Gut and Relieve Their Symptoms?

For dogs with moderate to severe gut microbiome imbalances, we recommend our DoggyBiome™ Gut Restore Supplement.

The supplement introduces an entire community of beneficial dog-specific bacteria to add diversity and bring balance to the gut while relieving symptoms. Our Gut Restore Supplement is a fecal microbiota transplant (FMT) in an oral capsule. FMT has been shown to improve a wide range of symptoms in dogs with gut microbiome imbalances. Replenishing any missing bacterial populations can often resolve symptoms quickly by restoring a healthy balance to your dog’s gut. If possible, we still recommend testing your dog’s gut microbiome with a Gut Health Test.

For occasional or mild bad breath and daily gut health support, we recommend our DoggyBiome™ S. boulardii + FOS Powder.

This probiotic and prebiotic supplement is designed to support healthy gut function by promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria. It contains the probiotic yeast Saccharomyces boulardii, which helps rebalance the gut and has anti-inflammatory properties. It also contains Fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS), a prebiotic that promotes gut health and immune function by feeding “good” gut bacteria.

For dogs with harmful levels of E. coli in the mouth (when identified by a DoggyBiome™ Oral Health Test), we recommend our DoggyBiome™ Oral Cleanse Powder.

This prebiotic bacteriophage formula is formulated with two active ingredients: PreforPro (a prebiotic bacteriophage) and organic Icelandic Kelp. PreforPro reduces high levels of Escherichia (E. coli) bacteria, which can contribute to oral health problems like bad breath and gum disease. Icelandic Kelp reduces plaque and prevents the formation of tartar.

Prior to using the supplement, we recommend testing your dog’s oral microbiome with a DoggyBiome Oral Health Test.

For dogs with oral microbiome imbalances, we recommend TEEF! Drinkable Prebiotic.

This safe, human-grade supplement contains a prebiotic formula, Protektin42™, that promotes beneficial bacteria in the mouth and reduces inflammation-causing bacteria to restore balance to the oral microbiome. Some dogs may benefit from using both DoggyBiome Gut Restore Supplement and TEEF! Drinkable Prebiotic.

How Can You Help Prevent Oral Problems or Dog Digestive Issues in the Future?

For daily gut health maintenance that’s also important for a healthy mouth, try our treat with “healthy” benefits, DoggyBiome™ ImmuneShield™ with EpiCor® Chews.

Our chews are specially designed to maintain a healthy immune function, reduce systemic inflammation, and support your dog’s gut health. The active ingredient, EpiCor® Fermentate, is a postbiotic formulation that has been clinically shown to increase and improve immune function. The soft, trout-flavored chews are easy to give and dog-approved for tastiness!

Health Tip

Taking care of your dog’s oral microbiome with good oral hygiene practices (like daily tooth brushing with a dog-specific toothpaste) is the first line of defense for preventing oral health problems.

Feeding a healthy, balanced diet is the best way to manage your dog’s gut microbiome. If you’ve taken our Oral Health Test or Gut Health Test, follow the diet recommendations in your dog’s personalized report to support the growth of beneficial bacteria. 

Since the gut microbiome is an ever-changing ecosystem that is impacted by multiple factors, including diet and medications, we suggest re-testing your dog’s gut health annually or anytime symptoms arise. A well-balanced gut microbiome will help your dog live a healthier, happier life. 

Learn More About Dog Oral Health​