Gum Disease In Dogs: Symptoms And Treatment

Gum disease in dogs is bad news. What you can see in their mouths is just the tip of the iceberg. The damage is much deeper, painful and destructive.
Gum disease in dogs: symptoms and treatment

Gum disease in dogs, also known as periodontal disease, causes weakening and possible loss of structures that support the teeth.

It can lead to significant problems for the dog’s mouth, including eroded gums, bad breath, tooth loss, skeletal loss and chronic pain.

In this article, you will learn how this disease occurs and what you should do to deal with it.

What is gum disease in dogs?

Periodontitis that affects dogs is an oral bacterial infection and consists of four stages.

It begins with the formation of tartar and weakly inflamed gums and develops into gingivitis (stage 2).

This continues to mild and eventually severe periodontal disease, which can lead to loss of bones or teeth.

What signs to watch out for?

The first thing you can do at home is simply look for signs of oral disease. Lift the dog’s lip and ask the following questions:

  • Does your dog have bad breath? This is one of the first signs of periodontal disease.
  • Does your dog have red or swollen gums?
  • Are the dog’s teeth yellow or brown? Does your dog have any teeth or have they lost some?
  • How is your dog’s appetite? Is he still playing pick up stick? Does he have trouble chewing bones? Has he lost weight?

If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions, your dog may have gum disease. But do not worry, there is still time to deal with it.

Black gums in dogs.

Why should you not ignore gum disease in dogs?

The bacterial infection causes erosion of the gums, teeth and skeleton, which in turn causes chronic pain. It can also cause loss of teeth and bones. But that’s not all.

Gum disease in dogs also increases the risk of heart, kidney and liver disease. All of these things can be prevented if you take the right dental hygiene measures for your dog.

Symptoms are often seen only in older dogs with advanced periodontal disease. But despite this, we know that 9 out of 10 dogs aged three years have gum disease. That’s a shocking statistic.

Causes of gum disease in dogs

Gum disease begins when bacteria, food and saliva combine to form plaque. This plaque covers the teeth and after a few days it is combined with minerals and hardens to become tartar.

The dog’s immune system tries to fight the bacteria in plaque, which causes the gums to become red and inflamed. The tartar then continues to build up and begins to separate the gums from the teeth.

This separation of the gums creates a gap between the teeth and the gums, which is the ideal space for bacteria to multiply.

Advanced gum disease.

Treatment of gum disease in dogs

A brief physical examination is enough to detect swollen gums and accumulation of tartar. However, a complete examination of the mouth can only be done under general anesthesia or anesthesia.

If your veterinarian suspects that your dog is suffering from gum disease, he will examine the teeth and gums more carefully and do a thorough cleaning under general anesthesia.

It is a good idea to carry out any treatment or extractions at the same time as the cleaning so that your dog does not have to go under general anesthesia more than once.

Up to 60% of periodontal disease develops under the gums. As a result, a dental x-ray can be a valuable tool for detecting bone loss or deterioration.

Prevention is the best treatment

Periodontal disease is irreversible and any intervention is only to try to control it. Therefore, the best way to keep your dog’s teeth healthy is through preventative dental hygiene.

Start brushing your dog’s teeth when he is still a puppy and make sure to book a dental cleaning with the vet once a year.

Most pet stores sell toothpaste that is approved for animals. They can even be flavored, which helps your dog to tolerate or even like to brush his teeth.

As long as you create a good dental care routine at home and book regular dental cleanings with your veterinarian, you will be able to prevent gum disease in your dog.

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