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Periodontal Disease In Dogs – Everything you need to know

Periodontal Disease In Dogs – Everything you need to know

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Does your dog have bad breath? Did you know brushing your dog’s teeth is as vital as brushing your own?

Although it may seem ‘harmless,’ bad breath can be an indication of other serious illnesses. Cavities for dogs are not that common; however, gum disease is, and your dog may be more prone to it than you’d think.

Periodontal disease in dogs is such a common health problem that 80% of dogs face this disease by the time they reach three years of age. There are also certain breeds that are more susceptible to getting it. 

Below, we dive into more detail about what you need to know about periodontal disease in dogs.

Table of Contents

What is periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease in dogs is a condition that affects the gums, bone, and other supporting components of the teeth and is caused by bacteria in the mouth. Periodontal disease in dogs is quite common and can be treated if caught in the early stages; however, it can easily go undetected. Therefore, once it progresses to further stages, it can be quite dangerous and incurable.

Did you know it only takes 24hrs for a high amount of dangerous germs and bacteria to start building up in your dog’s mouth? 

What are the stages of periodontal disease?

The four stages of periodontal disease are:

1. Gingivitis

Gingivitis causes little swelling and redness of the gums. There may also be some tartar buildup evident. At this point, the tooth’s support has not been compromised.

2. Slight periodontal disease

Slight periodontal disease is diagnosed when the bone and ligaments that hold teeth in place have lost some of their strength. The gums are redder and/or more irritated at this point.

3. Moderate periodontal disease

Moderate periodontal disease is diagnosed when up to 50% of the tooth’s support has been lost. (While the teeth in Stages 2 and 3 appear identical to the naked eye, an x-ray will reveal more bone loss in Stage 3.)

4. Advanced periodontal disease

Advanced periodontal disease. is defined as bone loss of 50% or more. Tartar is quite visible to the naked eye at this stage; the gums have retreated, and the teeth have been damaged. Decay-causing bacteria may enter the bloodstream and infect the heart and other parts of the body.

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What are some of the causes of periodontal disease?

Some of the causes of periodontal disease include

Signs and symptoms of periodontal disease in dogs

Keep in mind, your dog may have periodontal disease, and you may not notice any symptoms at all.  

Here are a few signs and symptoms to acknowledge that may indicate your dog has periodontal disease, whether in the early stages or sadly, in the latter stages of this disease. 

Behavioral issues due to the illness

You may notice your dog experiencing some of these behavioral issues mentioned below, which could be due to the later stages of the disease your dog may be in. If your dog is experiencing this type of behavior, take your dog to a vet to get a proper diagnosis. 

Is periodontal disease curable in dogs?

The first stage of periodontal disease (gingivitis) is curable. This stage can be maintained by regularly brushing your dog’s teeth and providing overall good oral health care. If your dog enters the secondary stage of periodontal disease, it is incurable, and the damage to the teeth is irreversible. You would need to consult professional advice from your vet about ongoing treatment and management for your dog at this stage.

How to treat the disease

If you’re at stage 1 of this disease, you will treat your dog by maintaining healthy, daily hygiene practices. Still, I would also recommend visiting a vet to have them professionally check your dog and give you individual advice tailored to your dog’s needs. If your dog is in the later stages of this disease, your vet may offer you medication and treatments for ongoing care.

What happens if periodontitis is not treated?

If left untreated, periodontal disease can have serious health consequences for the dog’s mouth and the rest of his body. Untreated periodontal disease may lead to eye problems, a higher chance of organ damage, jaw fractures, mouth cancer, oronasal fistulas (an opening between the oral and nasal cavity), and tooth abscesses are just a few of the health problems that might arise.

Are certain breeds more susceptible to getting periodontal disease? 

Due to poor hygiene, misaligned bites, heredity, and/or the shape or size of their mouths, some breeds are more susceptible to periodontal disease than others. Some of these breeds include:

Pugs

Shih Tzus

Yorkshire Terrier

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Chihuahua

Boxer

Chinese Crested

Poodle

These are usually small or brachycephalic dogs (short-headed dogs). The snout of brachycephalic dogs is shorter. But keep in mind that poor oral hygiene in other dog breeds can still lead to periodontal disease. 

Tips to help prevent periodontal disease:

        


Frequently Asked Questions  

Is periodontal disease in dogs painful?

Yes, periodontal disease in dogs can be quite painful in the later stages of this disease. Not so much in the beginning as you may not even notice any signs or symptoms that your dog may be in pain.

Is the disease contagious to humans or other pets?

No, you cannot contract a canine periodontal disease from dogs to humans. It is not “contagious.”

What should I do if my dog has stage 4 gum disease?

A proper vet-professional diagnosis to determine if your dog is in the later stages of this disease is a must. Then you should be provided with an ongoing treatment plan for your dog.

Can periodontal disease be fatal in dogs?

The disease has the potential to be fatal. The decay-causing bacteria enter the bloodstream and infect the heart & other parts of the body. 

How much does it cost to treat periodontal disease in dogs?

Costs would vary from each veterinary practice, but you may see prices for initial consultations ranging from USD $200 + and then costs for treatments ranging from USD $400 + and more costly treatments ranging in the thousands. 


lastly..

If you think your dog may be experiencing early signs of periodontal disease or, sadly, is in the latter stages of it. We hope you find this guide informative and helpful in getting the proper care and treatment for your dog!

Remember, to prevent periodontal disease, one of the many essential tasks (mentioned above) you need to do is make sure that your dog’s teeth are cleaned regularly. Plaque should be removed daily as well, and this way, the gums will stay healthy too. 

If you think your beloved pooch may be in the later stages of this disease, for proper diagnosis, please see a professional vet as soon as you can. 

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