Gum Disease And Your Dog: What You Should Know

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Brushing and flossing the teeth and undergoing routine dental cleanings are important tasks if you want a healthy and appealing smile. These same tasks are also essential if you want to protect your dog's oral health. While surprising to learn, your dog can develop a gum disease that may lead to the decay, pain, and the loss of one or more teeth. This guide will help you understand gum disease and how to protect your dog from this common dental condition.

Signs of Gum Disease

Understanding the signs of gum disease will help you determine if your dog is in the early or later stages of the disorder. It is important to remember that this disease worsens quickly, affecting your dog's teeth and gums differently during various stages.

During an early stage of gum disease known as gingivitis, your dog's gums will appear red and swollen. They may also have foul breath that is very noticeable. Also, your dog's gums may bleed when they are touched or while they are eating. If you notice small amounts of blood in their food or water bowl, they may have gum disease.

As the disease progresses, your dog's gums may begin to recede, or pull back off and away from the teeth. They may also lose a few teeth when the disease enters a later stage.

Treating Gum Disease

Regular cleanings will help reduce your dog's risk of developing gum disease. On average, experts recommend a professional cleaning every 6 months or at least once a year.

If your dog has already developed gum disease, treatment will depend on the current stage and severity of the disease.

During the earliest stage, brushing your dog's teeth will help remove plaque and any early signs of decay. Make sure to use a toothpaste specifically designed for dogs.

If your dog has a more advanced case of gum disease, professional treatment will be necessary. A professional cleaning that involves scaling the plaque from the teeth and gums can help stop the disease from progressing. If your dog has one or more loose teeth, extracting them will most likely be recommended.

Finally, if the disease has moved into your dog's jaw bone, they will lose teeth and bone mass. This damage is irreversible unfortunately. Your dog's vet may recommend an antibacterial gel to stop the infection from spreading further and pain medication so you dog does not experience any discomfort.

Gum disease may be most common in humans, but it can also affect your pets. This guide will help you understand and treat gum disease. Contact a provider, like Brian E Hall, for more help.