Periodontitis is one of the most common diseases in dogs from 2 years of age, and it mostly affects small dogs. It occurs through the appearance of bacterial plaque that accumulates in the gums, and is treatable in its early stages. If it advances and the necessary measures are not taken, it could cause serious consequences.
What does periodontitis look like in dogs?
This pathology affects the oral cavity of dogs. While it’s more common than you think, you need to keep it from getting worse. If left untreated, it could cause tooth loss. But also some organ infections, such as the heart and lungs.
What are the causes
The main cause of periodontitis in dogs is the appearance of dental plaque in the pet’s mouth.
It is produced by the accumulation of bacteria which, combined with saliva, form a yellowish patina. This sticks to the base of the teeth, causing redness and inflammation of the gums (gingivitis).
In addition, it is common for it to cause bad breath (halitosis), which is a key element in understanding if your pet has a problem.
What happens when the disease occurs?
Initially, even if the tooth appears healthy, the formation of bacterial plaque destroys the tissues that secure the teeth, weakening them. In addition, gaps form between the tooth and the gum. This is then pushed, leaving the root uncovered, causing pain to the animal.
If this plaque is not removed, what in principle can be solved with a simple cleaning of the teeth, could become a much more serious problem.
Consequences of periodontitis
If you are careful and recognize it from the first symptoms (inflammation, bad breath), the disease can be cured. It is important to check that it does not reappear.
More advanced periodontitis, such as severe gum inflammation, can cause much more complex damage. For example, loss of tissue and loss of bone and the supporting structure around the teeth. It could also weaken the jaw, causing a fracture.
This process, even if it can be controlled, will not be able to heal completely.
Recognize the symptoms to treat them in time
As we have already told you, bad breath is the first sign that must warn you. Many times we consider halitosis to be a normal phenomenon. Along with this, there is also an inflammation of the gums.
As the problem progresses, the swelling becomes acute, and redness appears in the area. This can cause pain in the dog while eating, or difficulty chewing.
If the bacterial plaque increases and adheres to the cavity between the tooth and the gum, the problem worsens. The teeth will weaken, and may even come loose.
Diagnosis and treatment of periodontitis in dogs
Based on the severity of the periodontitis, x-rays are taken. It involves observing the hidden space under the gums.
If your dog is in the first stage of this disease, treatment includes plaque control and prevention. It is important to brush your furry friend’s teeth every day with an animal-specific toothpaste.
If the disease is in a more advanced stage, it will be necessary to do a more thorough cleaning of the teeth, to eliminate tartar and plaque. Accompany this treatment with antibiotic gel.
In very severe cases, an ultrasound cleaning procedure is sometimes necessary. Sometimes, surgery is also recommended to remove infected teeth.
How to prevent periodontitis in dogs
First, through a healthy diet . The ideal is to give your dog the kibble, and avoid soft foods. Eliminate sweet and unhealthy foods from your diet.
The environment inside the mouth must be clean and healthy. This includes using products that stop plaque or tartar from appearing.
We remind you that there are, in the form of a prize, some bars whose function is to eliminate tartar and which, without a doubt, are a good option.
And, of course, at the first warning sign, go to your trusted vet for a check-up.