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Have you ever seen hair sticking out of the gums of your canines while you or the vet is doing an oral examination? This rare condition is called subgingival hair and it occurs in dogs that have coarse and short coats such as Bulldogs, Beagles, and Labrador Retrievers.However, it is important to know that the hair isn’t from any other animal. In fact, it comes from the canines themselves. Dogs that have subgingival hair are generally suffering from inflammatory skin diseases such as flea allergy dermatitis, demodicosis, and atopy. The inflamed skin is itchy, making the canines gnaw and lick themselves to get rid of the itch. As a result, the long and stiff hair getsStuck in their gums.
Subgingival Hair or hairy dog teeth can cause periodontal diseaseYou might think that it is okay since the hair comes from their own coat. Even though it seems harmless, the immune system of the canines thinks otherwise. They assume the hair are foreign particles and begin to attack them, resulting in an inflammation of the gums. On top of that, subgingival hair will attract bacteria which will cause more inflammation, loss of teeth, mouth pain and infection.The extent of the infection depends on the canines themselves. Some of them won’t have any response to this rare condition while others will face gum infection, bone loss, fissures, and receding gums. Also, the overall health of the canines can change from a healthy state to an advanced form of the disease in a span of few weeks.Understanding the root cause of hairy teeth
Once you find considerable amounts of hair in the mouth of your four-legged friends, take them to the vet immediately to get it removed. The vet will be able to remove it with the help of a cotton-tipped applicator.If the area is bleeding or inflamed, the vet will have to perform a complete oral examination to get a better idea about the problem. It is important to find out and resolve the skin disease that is causing your canines to like themselves excessively. If your four-legged friends licking isn’t brought under control, they will continue to suffer from subgingival hair or hairy dog teeth.Tips on keeping the canine’s mouth clean
- If possible, try to brush your canine’s teeth on a regular basis. It could be every day or a couple of times a week.
- Feed your four-legged friend a raw diet. Raw food is a natural toothbrush and can lead to lesser dental diseases.
- Ask your vet to regularly check your canine’s mouth for any dental issues. If you can’t go to the vet regularly, examine it yourself. You can look at the gums, the roof of the mouth and under the tongue.
Always keep a close eye on your four-legged friend. Even though it looks like subgingival hair won’t do much, it can be extremely problematic. If you have any queries about hairy dog teeth or subgingival hair, leave a comment below.