Periodontitis in dogs can be a very silent killer as it releases bacteria into your pets bloodstream anytime they eat or chew.
It is also the leading cause of bad breath, bleeding gums, tooth loss, as well as ulcers in your dog’s mouth.
Periodontitis is found in over eighty percent of all dogs worldwide over three years of age.
This is a very painful disease to your dog as it can also cause the loss of your pets teeth, the loss of bone, and if severe enough, it will cause your dog’s jaw to fracture.
This disease is a series of changes that are caused by the inflammation and then the loss of the deep supporting structures of the teeth.
It also affects the gum tissue, as well as the connective tissues that cover the roots of the teeth that assist in their support.
It is perhaps the most common form of infection that is found in dogs.
When your dog eats, they will leave food particles and bacteria from the food along their gum line, forming what is referred to as plaque.
If this plaque is not removed, there are minerals that are in your dog’s saliva that will combine with this plaque and form tarter.
This chemical reaction can happen in your dog within 3 to 5 days if it is not properly removed as the plaque starts mineralization.
As the tarter builds in your dog’s mouth, it starts to become not only very irritating, but it also causes an inflammation process to occur called gingivitis.
Gingivitis can very easily be seen in your dog as a reddening of their gums that are adjacent to each of their teeth.
It is also very easy to identify as this is the major cause of bad breath in dogs.
If the tarter that is building up on your dog’s gums is not removed, it begins to separate the gums from the teeth and as a result starts to form pockets.
Once the pockets have formed, they become harbors for the bacterial growth and will encourage further growth.
Once it reaches this point in severity, it has become irreversible and your pet now officially has Periodontitis in dogs.
It is this stage that your dog starts to lose their teeth, develop abscesses, as well as bone loss or severe infections.
There are several factors that can also play a role in periodontitis; the age and overall health, diet, chewing habits, breed, genetics, grooming habits, and the actual mouth environment of your dog.
Although this disease affects a vast majority of dogs over the age of three, it becomes especially dangerous to older dogs.
The diet is also very important, as with this particular disease, hard food is much better at keeping the plaque from building up in your dog.
Chewing habits are also very important as dogs that chew on a hard rubber toy or like to eat hard dental chew able treats.
These will naturally remove a lot of the plague before it has a chance to start the mineralization process.
Small breeds and brachycephalic breeds are also at a greater risk of developing Periodontitis in dogs.
A lot of owners may have never heard of the term brachycephalic.
However if you own a Pug, Boston terrier, Pekingese, Boxer, Bulldog, or any other breed that has what is referred to as a pug face, they are a brachycephalic dogs.
These dogs have been bred so that they purposely have a normal lower jaw that is proportional to their size, but have a compressed upper jaw.
As owners of these breeds will attest, they are presented with several unique health issues, and this in one of them.
Small dogs and these breeds’ teeth are usually crowned together.
As a result of this crowning, they will accumulate plaque much more rapidly than other breeds simply because they cannot clean their teeth in the same way.
Grooming habits can also play major role with Periodontitis in dogs as any type of a hair follicle accumulation greatly increases tarter buildup as well as dogs that are open mouth breathers.
If your dog breaths with their mouth open, it causes a dehydration of their oral cavities which induces plaque buildup as well.
There are numerous symptoms that you can watch for with Periodontitis in dogs.
The first obvious symptom is a very persistent and nasty case of bad breath that is caused by the bacteria.
If your dog has this condition, look for pus around their teeth as that is the next symptom.
Another symptom is where your dog’s gums start to crack and bleed very easily as well as being extremely sensitive.
When this is starting to develop you will see your dog paw at their mouth and usually start too droll.
The final symptom that your dog has this disease is that their teeth will start to loosen and then literally fall out.
If this happens, they are in the irreversible stages of Periodontitis in dogs.
The treatment for Periodontitis in dogs will all depend on how severe it is.
The overall objective of any form of treatment will be to control this disease and to maintain the health of both the teeth and the gums.
However, preventing this disease from spreading into other parts of your dog’s body is also critical as this infection can threaten the life of your dog if it spreads.
The first form of treatment is usually placing your dog on antibiotics immediately to slow the disease prior to any dental treatments.
Next, your dog’s teeth will be than be cleaned thoroughly and polished to totally remove all of the plague and tarter.
Each tooth will also be checked for oral cavities as well as disease. Fluoride is usually applied with this treatment.
If the Periodontitis is severe, once they have been cleaned, your veterinarian will usually perform what is called root cleaning.
They will remove the tarter and then smooth the root of the teethes surface.
However, this procedure is extremely difficult and takes a very specialized veterinarian to perform it. If it cannot be done, the teeth are usually removed.
Periodontitis in dogs has one very simple treatment; prevention.
This is a disease that is not only extremely painful to your pet, it can also seriously jeopardize their overall health and if it is severe, can spread and eventually take their life.
But it can all be prevented by simply brushing your dog’s teeth on a two to three day a week regular schedule as they will stop this disease before it ever starts.
Would you go for months without brushing your teeth?