Four Things You Need To Know About Gum Disease In Dogs
Dogs can develop diseases inside their mouths, just like people can. Your dog can develop gum disease, also called gingivitis. Here are four things you need to know about gum disease in dogs.
Why do dogs develop gum disease?
Dogs develop gum disease due to poor oral hygiene, just like people do. If your dog's teeth aren't cleaned, the bacteria in their plaque and tartar will lead to gum inflammation. While dog's mouths are reported to be cleaner than people's mouths, poor oral hygiene can still lead to disease.
What are the signs of gum disease in dogs?
The main clue that your dog has gum disease is that their breath smells bad. While you may think that it's normal for a dog's breath to smell bad, this can actually be a sign of disease. When you look at your dog's teeth, you may also see visible tartar buildup on their teeth and along their gum line. Tartar is a hardened, brown substance that you won't be able to remove with a dog toothbrush.
If gum disease isn't treated, it can lead to tooth loss, so it's important to notice the signs of the condition and seek treatment.
How can dog owners prevent gum disease at home?
To keep your dog's gums healthy, you need to make sure that plaque and tartar can't accumulate on their teeth. An easy way to do this is to give your dog access to chew toys and chew bones. Chewing on these objects will help to remove plaque from the teeth. However, chew toys aren't enough on their own; it's also important to brush your dog's teeth.
Regular tooth brushing helps to remove plaque from your dog's teeth. If your dog is very energetic, take them for a walk first to tire them out, and then brush their teeth when you get home. Make sure to use a toothpaste that's meant for dogs since human toothpaste can be toxic to dogs.
How can veterinarians help?
Regular trips to a veterinarian are also very important. Veterinarians are responsible for dental health for pets, and at your dog's regular checkups, they'll check your dog's gums for signs of disease. If disease is discovered, a thorough teeth cleaning can treat it. If your dog has a lot of tartar on their teeth, or if they're very uncooperative, they may need to be anesthetized to make the cleaning possible.
Gum disease is a serious problem for dogs, so if you think your dog has it, take them to a veterinary clinic, such as Animal House Veterinary Hospital.