The dog gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, literally means “disease of the tissues surrounding the teeth”.
It is the most common disease of the oral cavity among dogs and affects a higher percentage of animals as they age.
The dog gum disease may be caused due to the accumulation of a substance called “plaque” which coats the teeth.
The plaque is normally removed while chewing, but eventually accumulates and turns into a substance called tartar and accumulates on the teeth enamel.
Identify symptoms of the dog gum disease
Bacteria causes gum irritation and inflammation. These are known as gingivitis, you might have heard about. Gum begins to retract and finally fixing the teeth becomes weak and may fall out.
This process can take several years, but is reversible in its early stages, so take care of your dog’s health once you notice any of the symptoms listed below:
- Bad breath
- Brownish-yellow discoloration of the teeth and gum edges
- Reddish edges of the gums
- Receding gums, which exposes roots of the teeth
- Difficulty chewing
- Your dog can feel appetite, head to the food but refuse to eat it because of the pain when biting
- Pain which is also common with heartworm symptoms in dogs
Consult with a vet
The objective of treatment is to remove the stones and accumulated plaque, that cause gum inflammation, thus restoring oral health of your pet. Since periodontal disease occurs in several stages, treatment methods may vary widely.
- In the mildest cases, the only treatment that is required is the removal of plaque by brushing. The sooner you notice it, the easier it will be for your dog to pass through this procedure.
- If there is a tartar accumulation on your dog’s teeth, it’s necessary to remove it, which is usually performed under general anesthesia. It may be done using manual scrapers or ultrasound. Then the teeth are polished to avoid subsequent rapid adhesion of plaque.
How to prevent the dog gum disease?
Brush your dog’s teeth every day: You should know that it’s not “natural” for a dog, when its master brushes its teeth, so I recommend you to accustom a puppy to leave the mouth open and let you pass your finger over the gums and teeth, so that will not be stressful.
Diet: Dogs that have a bland diet are more prone to suffering from periodontal disease. Chewing bones, stones and wood as well may harm your dog’s teeth as very hard materials damage the enamel, facilitating the adhesion of the plate.
Teething toys: Especially, rawhide dog chews, without dyes or additives, once or twice a week, can be helpful. There are also toys made of nylon or other materials. But these toys won’t help, as they don’t substitute daily brushing.
Be attentive to appearing of the above mentioned symptoms. Try to provide your dog with meals that will force it to chew. For example, give a raw carrot as a reward. Turn your dog’s tooth brushing into a routine. The plaque on the teeth of your dog must be removed every day, before it becomes tartar.
If you don’t take care of your pet’s health in time, the bacteria covering the teeth can cause gum inflammation and become reservoirs of infection, invading, as a result, other organs, such as heart, lungs, liver and kidney. And remember, the sooner you notice it, the easier it will be to treat and prevent the further inflammation and infections.