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Periodontal Disease in Dogs: How to Stop and Prevent

Periodontal Disease in Dogs: How to Stop and Prevent

Ensuring your dog's oral health is important to their overall well-being. Unfortunately, many dogs do not receive the necessary at-home dental care to maintain healthy gums and teeth. Our vets in Chino Hills provide insight into how periodontal disease in dogs can be prevented and treated. 

What is periodontal disease in dogs?

Periodontitis, also known as gum disease or periodontal disease, is caused by plaque accumulation on a dog's teeth, leading to infection and other health issues. In the early stages, there may not be any obvious signs of periodontal disease in dogs. However, in its advanced stages, it can cause chronic pain, tooth loss, gum erosion, and even bone loss. 

What causes periodontal disease in dogs?

Bacteria buildup in your dog's mouth can harden into tartar and plaque if not cleaned regularly. Once tartar forms on your pup's teeth, removing it becomes more challenging and may require professional intervention. 

The tartar will continue to build up and eventually cause the gums to recede. At this more advanced stage, you may begin to see abscesses, tissue and bone deterioration, and even teeth loosening and falling out. Advanced periodontal disease can even lead to jaw fractures in small and toy breeds.

Poor nutrition and diet in some dogs may also contribute to the development of periodontal disease. Other factors include dirty toys, excessive grooming habits, and crowded teeth. 

How can I tell if my dog has periodontal disease?

As periodontal disease is relatively undetectable, you may notice the following symptoms in advanced periodontal disease:

  • Bad breath (halitosis)
  • Loose or missing teeth teeth
  • Blood on chew toys or in water bowl
  • Excessive drooling
  • Favoring one side of the mouth when chewing
  • Reduced appetite
  • Discolored teeth (yellow or brown)
  • Inflamed or bleeding gums
  • Irritability
  • Problems keeping food in mouth
  • Weight loss
  • Bloody or "ropey" saliva

Periodontal disease is a serious health concern for our dogs. It can be painful and negatively affect your dog's bodily health, as bacteria on the gums can travel into the bloodstream and affect major organs like the heart or kidney. If you notice any of the above symptoms in your pup, take them to the vet right away.

How to Treat Periodontal Disease in Dogs

When you bring your dog in for periodontal disease, your vet may recommend a professional cleaning or other treatments depending on the severity of the dog's oral condition. The cost of your dog's dental care will vary depending on the treatment required.

A thorough examination of your dog's gum health and condition will require anesthesia. Pre-anesthesia blood work is also an important step in order to determine whether your pet is healthy enough for anesthesia medications.

Dental procedures for dogs typically include:

  • A pre-anesthetic physical assessment
  • A complete oral examination 
  • Teeth cleaning 
  • Teeth polishing 
  • Dental X-rays 
  • Fluoride treatment 
  • Dental sealant 

How can I prevent my dog from developing periodontal disease?

Preventing periodontal disease in your is quite simple. Regularly brushing your dog's teeth and taking them for annual or bi-annual dental checkups can help avoid this disease.

Brushing between appointments is also beneficial, as it keeps your dog's mouth clean and stops plaque from building up. You may also consider giving your dog dental chews or toys designed to clean their teeth when chewed.

If your dog shows signs of periodontal disease, such as swollen or inflamed gums, change in appetite, or missing teeth. It is important to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as possible. 

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Do you think your dog may have periodontal disease or another oral health condition? Contact our Chino Hills vets today to book an examination.

New Patients Welcome

TLC Animal Clinic is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Chino Hills companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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