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One of the most common reasons dogs have to go to the veterinarian is to solve a problem that could have been avoided. Periodontal disease is inflammation and pain of the gums and teeth of a dog. Periodontal disease in dogs begins with gingivitis then can develop to periodontitis. About 80% of dogs have developed teeth problems by the age of two because their teeth are not being taken care of. It is easy for us to get up and brush, but who's going to brush our dogs?
Gingivitis in dogs is the first stage of periodontal disease. Gingivitis is when the dog’s gums become inflamed because of material such as food has gotten stuck in the teeth and begin decaying around the gum line. Gingivitis can be seen as a layer of yellow to brown plaque around the teeth and gum lines. This plaque is mostly caused by a mixture of saliva and bacteria that hardens around the teeth. Gingivitis is reversible and preventable if looked after properly.
Periodontitis occurs as gingivitis worsens. Periodontitis is a gum infection of the deep structures that hold the teeth. The infection affects the cementum and the periodontal membrane which are structures that hold the teeth. The infection loosens the tooth leaving space in its holding space that results in bacteria growth in the spaces. Periodontitis is very hard to reverse once a severe case has occurred.
Symptoms of periodontal disease in dogs begins with bad breath also known as halitosis in dogs. Signs of gingivitis in dogs can be seen when the dog's mouth is opened. A build up of yellow to brown substance will have built up around the gum line as well as redness of the gums. This inflammation can cause sensitivity and swelling in the dogs mouth. Your dog may have a change in their eating habit such as slow chewing, or being unable to eat large are hard pieces of food. If the pain is severe, your dog may not eat at all. Excessive drooling may also be present as a symptom of periodontal disease. Periodontal disease can lead to bleeding as well as loss of teeth.
Periodontal Disease can be prevented in the first place by simply brushing your dog’s teeth daily and feeding them dental treats as well as letting them chew on hard bones. You can also prevent periodontal disease have your dogs teeth cleaned at your veterinarian.