Tooth and gum care in dogs is not always complete and regular. While some breeds may be prone to dental and gum diseases, these diseases can be seen in all dogs, regardless of breed and age. Gum diseases are one of the most common health problems in dogs, and according to research, the situation seems dire; It is predicted that almost 90% of dogs will suffer from various gum diseases by the age of 2 years. In this article, you can find answers to frequently asked questions about gum disease in dogs.
What is Gum Disease in Dogs?
Gum disease in dogs; It can be considered as a progressive disease that occurs due to bacteria in the mouth and damages the gums, other support structures of the teeth and bone. Gum disease symptoms may appear slowly and the disease progresses until it causes significant complaints. Therefore, preventive dental care for dogs should not be neglected. You can find our article titled Dental Care and Tooth Brushing in Dogs here.
What Causes Gum Diseases in Dogs?
The main cause of gum disease in dogs is plaque formations. Plaques contain bacteria that threaten gum health. These plaques, which are formed when the teeth are not brushed for 24 hours, become mineralized and turn into tartar unless the teeth are brushed for 3 days. The tartar, called tartar, causes changes in the enamel structure of the tooth and paves the way for more plaque to form. As a result of all these formations, gingivitis begins in dogs. If the treatment of gingivitis in dogs is interrupted, gingivitis will progress and lead to more serious problems.
What Are the Symptoms of Gum Diseases in Dogs?
The symptoms of gum disease in dogs are quite diverse. Some dogs do not show signs of gum disease. When looked at, they may have white and complete teeth, but with a detailed examination and imaging methods, it can be understood that there is a disease in the gums. For this reason, it is important that dental and gingival examinations are not interrupted during regular veterinary visits. As mentioned earlier, some dogs may not have symptoms of gum disease, but this statement is not valid for every dog and every disease. Symptoms of diseases may vary according to the stage of the disease; The stage of the disease in different parts of the gum may also vary. Gum disease symptoms in dogs are basically examined in 4 different stages.
Stage 1 gingivitis is gingivitis. When dogs have gingivitis, there is no bone or tooth loss yet. In some cases, dogs may experience vague fatigue and pain. Stage-specific symptoms include bleeding gums in dogs while chewing or brushing, swelling of the gums in dogs, reddening of the gums in dogs, and bad breath in dogs. The earlier gingivitis is diagnosed in dogs, the easier and more effective the treatment process will be. Thus, the progression of the disease and its potential consequences will be prevented. In the first stage, it may be necessary to provide oral hygiene and use a light dose of antibiotics as part of the treatment of gingivitis in dogs. In this context, it is important to plan the treatment processes specifically for the dog. Drug use should be done as recommended by veterinarians. You can reach our content called “Things to Be Considered in the Use of Antibiotics in Dogs” here.
From the second stage, the supporting structures of the tooth begin to be damaged. At this stage, the first stage symptoms such as gum swelling and bleeding in the gums are seen in dogs. However, the symptoms may be exacerbated and the gums may recede. In 3 stages, gingival recession in dogs can be moderate, and in addition, tooth loss can be seen in dogs. In the last stage, in addition to all these symptoms, pus may begin to flow around the tooth. When the gum disease in dogs reaches the final stage, the tooth must be extracted.
In addition to causing physical symptoms, gum disease in dogs can also lead to behavioral changes. Dogs who do not normally object to brushing their teeth may avoid this care process because their gums hurt, avoid eating dry food, stop playing with chew toys, withdraw inward and display aggressive attitudes.
Another symptom of gum disease in dogs is blackening of the gums in dogs. We would like to elaborate on this issue a little more.
Black Gums in Dogs
Blackened gums in dogs can be a cause for concern for many. When it is observed that the gums of dogs turn black, do not panic immediately. Some dogs have natural black pigment in their gums. This situation, which is caused by genetics, should not be considered as a problem. In fact, some dogs may have completely black tongues and gums, while others may have black spots or patches on their gums.
When you do not have black gums genetically, blackening of the gums in dogs becomes an issue that needs attention; because there may be many health problems behind it. It is possible to encounter black gingiva in dogs as a result of gum diseases, gingivitis, a skin disease called Acanthosis Nigricans, gingival tumors and melanoma, which is a type of mouth tumor.
Are Some Dogs Prone to Gum Diseases?
Yes, some breeds have a higher risk of developing gum disease. The incidence of gum disease may increase in small breeds and brachycephalic breeds, that is, those with flat noses. Race is not the only risk factor for these diseases, however. Factors such as failure to provide oral and dental hygiene and the shape of the mouth of dogs can also trigger the formation of periodontal diseases.
What Happens If Gum Diseases In Dogs Are Not Treated?
If gum diseases in dogs are not treated, both dogs may experience a serious pain problem and threaten the general health of dogs. When gum diseases are not treated;
- Gingivitis in dogs can damage the bone that supports the teeth, and jaw fractures can occur.
- Gum disease can lead to the formation of root abscesses, which can cause open sores on the cheeks or jaws of dogs.
- Tooth root inflammation can affect the eyes, which can cause vision loss in dogs if not noticed quickly.
- Bacteria and harmful inflammatory compounds in dogs’ mouths can enter the bloodstream and spread throughout the body, causing damage to various organs. As a result of gum diseases, organs such as kidney, liver and heart can be affected.
Gum Diseases in Dogs Can Be Prevented
Gum disease in dogs is common, but also preventable. It is very important to brush the teeth of pets regularly. The selection of toothbrushes and toothpastes special for dogs should be done correctly. At the same time, veterinary examinations should not be interrupted, they should be fed with quality food and toys that will support dental health should be preferred. You can review dog oral care products here.