Dental disease in dogs: Dental diseases in pets are called pet dental disease or periodontal disease. Cases of dental diseases in pet dogs are quite common. This condition is found in about 80 percent of dogs, which usually occurs by the time the dog is 3 years old. Dental disease is a common clinical condition (recognizable) in dogs.
This condition often occurs when bacteria in the mouth build up on the surface of the teeth, a hard substance called plaque. Unless the pet dog’s teeth are brushed (cleaned), these plaques remain on the teeth.
These plaques lead to inflammation, which is known as gingivitis. Gingivitis is the early stage of periodontal disease.
Symptoms Of Dental Disease In Dogs
The symptoms of dental disease can be easily seen by the vet:
- Red gums or bleeding
- Swelling in the mouth (redness, pain, and warmth)
- Drooling excessively
- Blood in saliva
- Loose teeth, which in severe cases may begin to fall out
- Loss of appetite
- Detection of blood in a bowl of water or on chewing toys
- Dog’s bad breath
- Blisters in the mouth, which sometimes bleed when touched
- Sneezing or runny nose
- Dog irritability
Causes Of Dental Disease In Dogs
Many factors can cause dental diseases in dogs. Streptococcus and actinomyces bacteria are the main causes of mouth infections in dogs. Streptococcal bacteria are rapidly spreading infections, which can be spread through microscopic droplets in the air from an infected dog coughing or sneezing and pass into the body of healthy dogs when inhaled. Apart from this, it also gets infected by eating the infected dog or licking its plate.
Actinomycosis is a long-term infecting bacteria that causes sores or abscesses in the benign tissues of the body.
Prevention Of Dental Disease In Dogs
- It is generally important to keep a pet dog’s teeth and mouth clean to avoid serious complications arising from dental disease:
- To prevent gum diseases, it is very important to pay attention to the fact that the dog’s teeth are brushed daily, so that plaque does not build up.
- Do not allow the dog to chew bones or hard things (wood etc.), as these can damage the teeth and mouth. Instead, you can offer special toys available for dogs, which are specially designed according to the dog’s mouth.
Prevention includes the following things:
- Taking the dog for regular mouth cleaning:
Under general anesthesia, the dog is x-rayed and the teeth and gums are examined. This procedure reveals exactly what is causing the dog’s gums and teeth problem.
- Good food:
Some dogs may benefit from a dental diet (which is low in protein and calcium to reduce the buildup of plaque and tartar). Due to this, their teeth become scrubbed (clean) as well as prevent plaque from forming in them and hardening them. So talk to your vet about which diet is right for your dog.
- Choosing the right toy:
A better way to help prevent gum disease in dogs is to provide tooth-friendly items (that don’t damage the teeth). In such a situation, take special care while taking toys. You can choose such things as rubber balls, raw leather items that are not hard, rubber toys, etc., in which the medicine can be hidden. (Be aware that hard rawhide can cause gastrointestinal problems if your dog swallows a large piece.)
If a dog has a tooth fracture or any other dental disease, keep it away from things that can cause pain in its teeth such as animal bones, any objects made of wood or metals, etc.
Treatment Of Dental Disease In Dogs
There are different methods of treatment that can be adopted to treat dental disease in dogs depending on the situation:
The pet dog is treated according to the severity of the disease. Animal doctors can diagnose the condition by looking at clinical signs and through X-rays.
- In stage 1, there may be slight redness or swelling between the gums and the teeth. In this, cleaning the gum line (the surface of the gum that touches the tooth) is the essential treatment.
- In stage 2, periodontal pockets between the gum and tooth
- In stage 3, gum disease occurs when the periodontal pockets around the teeth enlarge by more than 5 millimetres, which means there is now bone loss. This condition is often treated by removing the affected tissue around the root and bone of the tooth.
- In stage 4, when bone loss is more than 50%, tooth extraction is the only treatment.
If the dog has undergone any kind of surgery, the vet may then prescribe painkillers for a few days as well as recommend soft food.