How to Treat And Prevent Gum Disease in Dogs

There are various conditions and diseases that can jeopardize the well being of a dog and a number of them have been found to affect humans as well. One of these is Periodontal Disease and if left untreated will bring about several health problems.

Here is an overview of Periodontal Disease, its symptoms, treatment, and prevention.

What Is Periodontal Disease In Dogs? 

Periodontal Disease is the accumulation of bacteria in the form of plaque on the surface of the teeth which ultimately results in gingival inflammation and early loss of teeth.

How Does Periodontal Disease Affect The Health?

Periodontal Disease has a significant affect on a dog’s health. Not only is it painful but it suppresses a dog’s
immune system which causes poor health and if left untreated may cause harm to other organs.

Which Dogs Are Most Susceptible?

Genetics, breed, age, diet, and general health contribute to the prevalence and severity of Periodontal Disease in dogs. Although it can be found in any dog, small breeds are at higher risk. Small dogs often have large teeth without an adequate amount of room to grow so the teeth begin crowding and will lead to an accumulation of bacteria and plaque.

What Are The Symptoms Of Periodontal Disease? 

Dogs that have Periodontal Disease typically have bad breath, dark and discolored teeth, red swollen gums, have reluctance to or trouble eating, chews differently than normal, has a tendency to paw at the face, and may become lethargic and depressed.

How Is Periodontal Disease Diagnosed?

Diagnosing Periodontal Disease in dogs is quite easy compared to other conditions. Veterinarians typically perform a thorough examination consisting of taking x-rays to evaluate the degree of infection, bone loss, and root abnormalities.

What Is The Treatment For Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal Disease is a legitimate threat to a dog’s health and should be treated as soon as possible.

Veterinarians generally perform root planning and gingival curettage to remove diseased tissue from the gum pockets. If this is unsuccessful oral surgery may need to be performed to remove excess gingival tissue, clean the roots, and remove damaged bone.

Owners should keep in mind that the ultimate worst case scenario will be the removal of the dog’s teeth so early preventative care should be practiced.

How Is Periodontal Disease Prevented?

Periodontal Disease can be prevented by regular brushing (optimally once a day or minimum of three times per week) and having a professional dental cleaning periodically.

There are dog biscuits and toys made especially for cleaning the teeth and can be purchased at a local pet or drug store.