You visit the dentist twice a year. Did you know that your dog should also have semi-annual dental exams? Some of the same dental problems that you might experience can also cause affect your dog. Gum disease is one of those dental issues that can cause serious problems for your canine companion.
Take a look at two types of gum disease that can affect your dog:
Each time your dog receives dental care, it will have its teeth cleaned. This is important because gingivitis can develop when teeth are not properly cared for. With gingivitis, the gums will become unhealthy. With proper treatment, your dog can recover from gingivitis. Here are the signs of gingivitis you should watch out for.
One of the first signs of gingivitis is gum discoloration. Healthy canine gums are usually light pink. However, gums that have been infected with gingivitis become a dark red or purple.
In addition to the discoloration, gingivitis may also cause your dog's gums to bleed, especially when they chew. If you notice signs of blood on your dog's chew toys or on its food, you should schedule an appointment with your veterinarian.
If dog breath has suddenly been replaced with bad breath, your dog may have advanced gingivitis. As pus begins to develop under the gum line, it causes the breath to smell rotten. This is a sign of severe infection inside your dog's gums.
When gingivitis is not treated properly, your dog can develop a more severe form of gum disease known as periodontitis. Unlike gingivitis, periodontitis causes permanent damage to the gums, ligaments and jawbone. Here are the signs of periodontitis.
Periodontitis can cause pain. When it does, you might notice that your dog has difficulty chewing. In fact, once the pain becomes severe, your dog may refuse to eat, altogether. If your dog is refusing to eat, or appears to be in pain, you should contact your veterinarian.
As the gums become more infected, the teeth will begin to loosen. This is because the socket is filling with pus and bacteria. Eventually, if the periodontitis is not treated, the teeth will begin to fall out.
One of the final signs of periodontitis is the appearance of leaking pus around the gum line. It may look like food debris at first. However, if you gently press on the gums, you'll notice a small amount of pus ooze out around the tooth. This is a sign that your dog is in need of immediate dental care.
You might not realize this but your dog needs dental care too. If you notice any of the signs listed above, you should schedule an appointment with your veterinarian. With proper care, your dog can have a lifetime of healthy teeth. If you notice severe bleeding in your dog's mouth, you should take them to the veterinarian immediately.
To learn more, contact a professional like Robert Irelan DVM with any questions you have.