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Gum disease (periodontal disease) is one of the most common diseases in dogs. The disease typically begins with inflammation of one tooth, which then progresses into different stages of the disease if not treated. Stage one is characterized by gingivitis of the gum without separation of the gum or tooth. Stage two is characterized by a 25% attachment loss; stage three is characterized by a 25-30% attachment loss; and stage 4 is characterized by more than 50% attachment loss.
There are a variety of factors that contribute to gum disease. Streptococcus and Actinomyces bacteria are the most common causes. Additionally, dogs with crowded teeth and those that groom themselves are particularly susceptible. Poor nutrition can also contribute to the onset of that condition.
Treatment for canine gum disease depends upon how advanced the gum disease is. In the early stages, treatment is focused on controlling plaque and preventing attachment loss. This can be achieved by daily brushing with pet toothpaste, professional cleansing, polishing and the prescribed application of fluoride. In stages 2 and 3, treatment is focused on cleaning in between the gum and teeth, as well as applying antibiotic gel to rejuvenate the gum disease tissues and decrease the size of the space. In the most advanced stages of the disease, you pet may require bone replacement procedures, periodontal splinting and guided tissue regeneration. The best remedy for gum disease, however, is prevention. Regular and proper brushing will prevent any gum related issues.