Keeping your dog’s teeth clean can be challenging, and thus, oral health issues are fairly prevalent. Research indicates that by the age of two, 80% of dogs exhibit signs of dental illness. Typically, problems begin with a buildup of sticky plaque that hardens into tartar. This can lead to gingivitis, a painful condition characterized by inflamed gums, and eventually periodontal disease. Dogs are susceptible to tooth loss and infections that can affect other organs.
Bacterial infection of tooth tissue inflames the gums, ligaments, and bone. Untreated gum disease can cause tooth loss by destroying supporting tissues. This causes dog tooth loss.
Gum disease is caused by germs (plaque) at the gum line and poor dental hygiene. Breed, genetics, age, and diet are also factors. Bacterial waste products such as hydrogen sulfide, acids, ammonia, and other substances build below the gumline, causing tissue injury. The dog’s infection reaction (inflammation) triggers tissue disintegration and tooth loss. Gingivitis and periodontitis are gum diseases that can be treated at this vet clinic.
In gingivitis, bacterial plaque inflames the gums, not the ligaments or bone. The gums turn coral pink to scarlet or purple and swell. Gums bleed easily with common bad breath. Gingivitis can be remedied with appropriate dental cleaning, but untreated can develop into periodontitis which is not good for dental health in pets.
Gingivitis is commonly addressed by having the dog’s teeth professionally cleaned while anesthetized. Cleaning below the gum line is advised. If gingivitis doesn’t improve, the dog may need additional cleaning. After cleanings, your vet may seal the teeth to reduce bacterial buildup and enhance healing. Unresponsive dogs should be tested for immune system disorders and diabetes. If teeth aren’t kept clean and plaque-free, gingivitis will return. Therefore, brushing and regular veterinary cleanings are needed.
Periodontitis damages the gums, ligaments, and bone. Plaque, tartar, and gingivitis have grown over the years. It causes irreparable tooth loss. Small-breed dogs have more periodontitis than large-breed dogs. Hard kibble’s mechanical cleaning impact on the teeth helps dogs with dental problems. Back teeth are usually affected. Upper teeth are more damaged than lower teeth, and cheek surfaces are worse than tongue surfaces. Gingivitis usually appears at age two and improves with treatment. Untreated periodontitis leads to tooth loss in dogs aged 4 to 6.
Periodontitis is treated with above-and-below-gum-line cleaning. In some circumstances, surgery is required to clean the root surface. X-rays of the jaws can reveal bone loss. These are often advised for diagnosing and treating periodontal disease. Periodontitis-afflicted dogs need extractions. Dogs fare fine without their teeth after tooth extractions. Finally, veterinarians address dental crowding or underlying illnesses that contribute to periodontitis.
If your dog has periodontitis, continue oral hygiene at home. Follow your vet’s advice for brushing, dietary adjustments, plaque prevention gel, and oral rinses plus also don’t forget their dog and cat vaccinations.
Prevention Is The Key
The most key thing to remember is that gum disease cannot form on teeth free of plaque. Toothbrushing and a healthy diet and routine dental checkups are the most effective techniques for preventing gum disease in pets. Plaque can be extracted from a dog’s teeth by cleaning them with gauze at least every 2–3 days if daily brushing is not possible. Only the outermost surface of the teeth requires brushing or wiping. People’s toothpaste should not be used. Your veterinarian may suggest diets, toys, and treats that help remove plaque from the teeth.