May 4, 2010

How can you tell if my dog has gum disease?

Filed under: dental care for dogs — Dr. Amber Reed @ 9:33 pm

gum disease in dogsOtherwise known as periodontal disease, gum disease in dogs is a condition wherein the gums around the teeth become weakened and inflamed.  Dog periodontal disease usually develops because of poor dental hygiene and may result in tooth loss or other more serious side effects.  While most dogs affected by gum disease tend to be older, it is not impossible for young dogs to develop the condition.

Most often, periodontal disease in dogs results from the consistent presence of plaque and food particles along the gumline.  When these food particles are not removed and the plaque forms the gums get irritated and gingivitis results.  You can recognize gingivitis by redness in the gums that are next to the teeth.  In addition, chronic gingivitis is one of the main causes of halitosis in dogs and animals alike.

Eventually, plaque on the teeth forms tartar which can build up under the gums.  This tartar causes your dogs gums to separate from the teeth and allows bacteria to grow.  This condition is periodontal disease and is irreversible.  Symptoms of periodontal disease include pain, tooth lose, abscesses, and even bone loss.  Many factors contribute to the development of periodontal disease in dogs.  While age and general health are leading factors, diet, breed, grooming, and home care can also be important contributors to dog periodontal disease.

canine teeth careTreatment of gum disease in dogs depends on the severity of the disease.  Professional dental cleaning is recommended for dogs with low grade periodontal disease so that tartar and plaque can be removed.  However, in more advanced cases of dog periodontal disease may even involve surgery.  In order to protect the overall health of your dog it is important to take preventative measures against periodontal disease.  Because periodontal disease is irreversible you should try to maintain dental health through regular veterinary visits, a healthy diet, and daily oral care.

About Dr. Amber Reed

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