Signs of Gum Disease in Your Dog

BY | May 20 | COMMENTS PUBLISHED BY

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Bacteria are present everywhere on canine bodies. When they get under the gums of your dog in the form of a plaque, it can lead to gum disease which is one of the most common dental conditions that assails dogs. A lot of people think that tartar, the brown colored coating on teeth is the cause of gum disease. However, that is not exactly true. Tartar is just hardened, calcified plaque which provides hiding places where the bacteria can thrive. Let us look at some of the most common signs of gum disease:

  1. Gingivitis โ€“ Symptoms of this condition include swelling and redness of the gums. If you notice that your dogโ€™s gums are more swollen or redder than usual, it is time to take him to the vet.
  2. Bad breath โ€“ Even before you notice any signs of gingivitis, pet owners may notice that their dog has really bad breath. A lot of pet owners think that dog breath is common, but it really isnโ€™t. It is common only because most of the dogs have some form of gum disease. Dental disease is the most frequent cause behind bad breath.
  3. Receding gums โ€“ If the gums of your dog look like they have separated from the teeth, that is a sure fire sign of gum disease. Once the disease becomes advanced, the tissue will recede all the way and expose the roots of your dogโ€™s teeth.
  4. Bleeding โ€“ If the gums of your dog bleed whenever he chews, or when you probe his mouth or brush his teeth, it is a sign that your dog has advancing periodontal disease.
  5. Loose teeth โ€“ In the later stages of periodontal disease, the teeth will start becoming loose and will easily fall off.

Diagnosis and Treatment

If gingivitis is caught and treated early on, it can be treated before it snowballs into periodontal disease. The key is to clean out the bacteria before they advance. If you let the gingivitis advance, it can lead to serious health consequences. A lot of the dogs, especially those that weight under twenty pounds, develop gum disease and based on their genetics, it can begin as early as 24 months old.As the gingivitis worsens, your dog will start to lose tissue and bone surrounding the teeth. Your vet might be forced to extract the teeth.

Gum disease prevention

Brush the teeth of your dog regularly. Once a day would be ideal, but if you cannot, at least brush them twice during the week. Products like

water additives

and

chews

can help in maintaining gum health. However, they should not be used as a substitute for proper brushing. Also, take your dog for scheduled dental cleaning sessions with the veterinarian. The vet will administer general anesthesia to scale and polish your petโ€™s teeth.

Everything You Need to Know About the Rare Condition of Hairy Dog Teeth

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 isnโ€™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 gets

Stuck 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 wonโ€™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 isnโ€™t brought under control, they will continue to suffer from subgingival hair or hairy dog teeth.

Tips on keeping the canineโ€™s mouth clean

  • If possible, try to brush your canineโ€™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 canineโ€™s mouth for any dental issues. If you canโ€™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 wonโ€™t do much, it can be extremely problematic. If you have any queries about hairy dog teeth or subgingival hair, leave a comment below.

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