Medical Pet Oral Infections

Gum Disease, Oral Infections in Dogs, Prevention of Oral diseases

Gum disease is usually silent. When it starts there are no outward signs and symptoms. Yet once it advances, gum disease can devastate your dog's mouth, causing chronic pain, eroded gums, missing teeth, and bone loss -- a fate hardly fair to man's best friend. gum disease in a dog can be prevented or at least slowed.

Why Do Dogs Get Gum Disease?

Blame bacteria for gum disease in people and in pets. Almost immediately after an animal eats, bacteria, along with food, saliva, and other particles, begin forming a sticky film called plaque over teeth.

Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, happens five times more often in dogs than in people. The reason? Dogs have a more alkaline mouth than humans, which promotes plaque formation. Also, most pets don't have their teeth brushed every day, giving plaque-forming bacteria the chance they need to multiply.

What Are the Symptoms of Gum Disease in Dogs?

Unfortunately, the first symptoms of gum disease in dogs are no symptoms at all at first.It’s rare that pet owners ever notice signs of gum disease in their dog, and if they do, the gum disease is very advanced. By then, your dog may be living with chronic pain, which animals instinctively hide to avoid showing weakness.

What Are the Symptoms of Gum Disease in Dogs? continued...

Some symptoms of severe gum disease include:

  • Problems picking up food
  • Bleeding or red gums
  • Loose teeth
  • Blood in the water bowl or on chew toys
  • Bad breath (halitosis)
  • "Talking" or making noises when a dog eats or yawns
  • Bumps or lumps in the mouth
  • Bloody or ropey saliva
  • Not wanting the head touched (head shyness)
  • Chewing on one side of the mouth
  • Sneezing or nasal discharge (advanced gum disease in the upper teeth can destroy the bone between the nasal and oral cavity)

Complications of Gum Disease

Periodontal disease can cause more problems than tooth pain. For example, dogs with unchecked gum inflammation may be at higher risk for heart, kidney, and liver disease.May lead to tooth loss, bone loss and fracture of jaw bones.

 

Preventing Gum Disease in Dogs

Our veterinarian at Avon Animal hospital recommend you to  follow these four steps to prevent or slow painful gum disease in your dog:

  1. Bring your dog in for regular oral exams and cleanings. Oral exams with dental X-rays done under general anesthesia are the only way to get a full picture of what's happening in your dog's teeth and below the gum line.
  2. Brush your dog's teeth every day. You know that the best home care for keeping your pearly whites in top form is daily brushing -- well it's the same for your pooch. While the task may seem a little daunting, it doesn't have to be. Patience, the right tools, and some guidance from your veterinarian can lead most pet owners to success. As a matter of fact, if you take it slow, most dogs and cats, even senior pets, will allow you to brush their teeth.
  3. Feed your dog quality dog food. Some dogs will benefit from "dental diets" that help scrub their teeth as they chew, or from foods that have additives that prevent plaque from hardening. Talk to our experienced vets visit us to find more . At Avon animal hospital in surrey we keep different kinds of dental foods. Depending upon your pets internal health like liver, kidney, skin issue our veterinarian can make recommendation.
  4. Offer safe toys and treats for daily chewing. Chewing every day on tooth-friendly goodies is another way to help prevent gum disease in dogs. Look for treats and toys that aren't hard, like: rubber balls, thin rawhide strips that bend, as well as rubbery toys in which you can hide treats. (Beware that hard rawhide can cause gastrointestinal problems if your dog swallows a large piece.)

To prevent fractures and broken teeth, avoid hard treats of any kind, such as animal bones (raw or cooked), nylon bones, or cow and pig hooves.

It's only recently that most of us have even heard of dentistry for dogs, so chances are good your dog may already have some gum disease. Studies show that more than 80% percent of dogs have some stage of periodontal disease by the age of 3.

Once the problem is under way, treatment depends on its stage, though initially all treatment requires an exam and X-rays to determine the presence (or absence) of disease.

 

 

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