Gum Disease Prevention

We’ve stressed before how important your pets’ oral hygiene is to their overall health. Gum disease is a particular problem because, if gums are not properly maintained, it can have a direct impact on your furry friend’s vital organs. That means issues for kidneys, liver, and even heart.

Why Our Dogs Get Gum Disease

You can blame bacteria for that! Every time your pet eats, bacteria, food, saliva, and other types of particles form a sticky film over the teeth. This sticky film is plaque and you let it build up enough, it will harden into tartar, spreading from the teeth to the gums and other parts of the body.

Gum disease happens five times more often in dogs than in people. Dogs have a more alkaline mouth than humans, which further promotes plaque formation. And because most owners don’t brush their dog’s teeth every day, plaque-forming bacteria has the chance to multiply even more.

Symptoms

The first symptoms of gum disease, unfortunately, are no symptoms at all! Typically, pet owners notice any signs of gum disease when it has already drastically progressed. Long before you notice it, your dog may be suffering from chronic pain and instinctively hiding it from others. What pet owners do notice include:

  • Bleeding or red gums
  • Loose teeth
  • Problems picking up or chewing food
  • Bad breath
  • Bumps or lumps in the mouth
  • Favoring one side of the mouth when chewing food

Gum Disease Prevention

The good news is that periodontal disease is easily preventable with a mixture of home dental care and annual veterinary dental care. What would your mouth look like if you never brushed your teeth? Well that’s exactly what will happen with your dog’s teeth if you do not regularly brush them. Regular brushing is the best way to prevent plaque build up and slow the progression of periodontal disease.

Furthermore, there are plenty of treats, chews, and water additives on the market that can be used to assist in preventative oral health for your pet. Of course, routine visits to us is also important in your pet’s oral healthcare program. Cleanings give us a chance to examine each and every tooth to make sure everything looks good. Radiographs also help us to evaluate parts of the tooth that cannot be seen with the naked eye.

All of this makes for a comprehensive oral care plan for your pet.