Dogs can’t brush their own teeth, and as a result, they can easily suffer from Periodontitis or dental disease from the spread of bacteria in their gums. Periodontitis is the single most common type of infectious disease in dogs and is generally spread by the bacteria in plaque, especially when not properly controlled by regular brushing and cleanings.
It can lead to tooth loss, jaw fracture, and other diseases as the bacteria are ingested with food on a daily basis.
There are a number of signs of Periodontitis. To start with, a dog will have bad breath, usually followed by bleeding gums. With just these symptoms, the disease can still be stopped and treated relatively easily. However, once it develops further, other symptoms might include tooth loss, tooth extrusion, ulcers in the mouth, gum recession, and poor appetite due to pain.
Actually diagnosing the disease starts with a full medical workup and a mouth X-ray to check the total health of the dog’s teeth. Because 70% of the teeth are below the gum line, it is important to see what is happening down there. Usually, general anaesthesia is required to do a full dental work up next.
Treating Dental Disease
After diagnosis, the dental disease is treated with antimicrobial drugs, antiseptics, and a series of dental procedures such as ultrasonic scaling, root planning and pocketing in the teeth to remove the affected areas. In severe cases of bone loss, extraction will be required to stop the spread of the disease through your dog’s mouth.
The easiest way to avoid dental disease in your dog is to brush their teeth daily with a pet dental product. You should also have their teeth checked every 6 months or so by the veterinarian. If your dog does not allow the checking of his teeth, it may be less frequent.