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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
Gingivitis – Symptoms of this condition
include swelling and redness of the gums. If you notice that
your dog’s gums are more swollen or redder than usual, it is
time to take him to the vet.
Bad breath – 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 isn’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.
Receding gums – 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
Bleeding – 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
Loose teeth – 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.
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 pet’s
Everything You Need to Know About the Rare Condition of Hairy Dog
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 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 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
- 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.