If you have a dog, you probably treat it like part of the family. You feed it the right food, make sure it gets daily exercise and you take it to the vet at least once a year. Do you also brush its teeth at least once a day? Do you take it in for routine dental care at least once a year? If you don't, you might be putting your doggy at risk for periodontal disease. Take a look at the causes, signs and prevention of canine periodontal gum disease.
Why Dogs Get Gum Disease
You might not have known that your dog could be at risk of developing gum disease. Every time your dog eats, bacteria builds up in the mouth. A sticky film covers the teeth that can turn into plaque if left alone. Cavities and dental infections can also lead to gum disease, especially if the infection has moved into the soft gum tissue.
Know the Signs of Gum Disease
Now that you know that your dog might be at risk for gum disease, you need to know what signs you should be looking for. These signs include:
Prolonged bad breath
Red, swollen gums
Blood in mouth or saliva
How to Prevent Canine Gum Disease
There are several things you can do to help prevent your dog from developing canine gum disease.
Proper Oral Hygiene
Like you, your dog needs to have its teeth brushed each day to remove the bacteria and plaque that can lead to gum disease. It's a good idea to brush your dogs' teeth at least twice a day. Go slowly and be sure to brush all of its teeth, including the ones in the very back. It may a little while but your dog will get used to the toothbrush.
Regular Dental Exams
Your dog should receive dental exams at least once a year. The exam should include a thorough cleaning and a full set of dental x-rays. With regular dental exams, the veterinarian will be able to catch early signs of gum disease. Proper treatment will help prevent tooth loss and dental pain.
You might not realize this, but chew toys do more than just entertain your dog. They reduce the occurrence of gum disease. The saliva that builds up in the mouth each time your dog chews will wash away bacteria that's building up between its teeth.
Gum disease is a serious threat to your dog's teeth. If your dog develops any of the signs of gum disease, be sure to see a pet dentist as soon as possible. Proper oral hygiene can help keep your dog's teeth and gums healthy.