If you have a pet, you probably understand the importance of training, feeding, grooming, and providing your dog or cat medical care when necessary. Unfortunately, most people do not place enough emphasis on their pet's oral health. While surprising for most people to learn, most dogs and cats have some form of periodontal disease by the time they are 3 years old. Most dogs do not show actual signs of gum disease until it progresses to a more severe state. Without a diagnosis and treatment, a dog with gum disease may experience decay, tooth loss, and painful infections. With this guide, you will learn a few signs of periodontal disease to ensure you can get your dog efficient treatment.
You may notice your dog's breath has an unappealing odor at times. This is common in healthy dogs, but gum disease will cause breath to smell foul continuously.
As the plaque and bacteria builds up on your dog's teeth and gums, it will spread through the entire mouth. The production of saliva will decrease, as well, making your dog's mouth hot and dry. This increases bacteria growth, increasing the risk of gum disease, but also making your dog's breath have a foul odor.
Your dog will not be able to explain soreness and tenderness in their gums, but inspecting their mouth, bowls, and even toys for blood can help you determine if they have a form of gum disease.
Open your dog's mouth and inspect their gum tissue for signs of bleeding. Gently press different areas of their gums, as well. If the tissue becomes instantly red and starts bleeding when applying pressure, schedule a consultation with your veterinarian.
Eating, drinking, and chewing will place extra pressure on your dog's gum tissue and teeth. As your dog eats, drinks, and chews, small amounts of blood may fall onto their chew toys, bones, and food or water bowls. Check chew toys, bones, and food or water bowls for traces of blood.
As the gum disease spreads through your dog's mouth, teeth may loosen and eventually fall out. Check your dog's mouth periodically for loose teeth.
Gently press on each tooth and try to wiggle it. If it moves and your dog is showing other signs of gum disease, check with your veterinarian about a dental exam.
Your dog's physical and emotional health is important, but you must also put time and energy into their oral health. If you notice one or more of the above signs, your dog may be suffering from a form of gum disease that requires immediate treatment. Talk to a vet like Windsor Veterinary Clinic PC for more information.