Periodontal disease, also known, as gum disease in dogs is silent but destructive. It shows no signs in the beginning but when not given medical attention, it worsens and the next thing you know your dog's mouth is a disaster. As pet parents, we would never want something like this to happen to our fur-babies, right?
Luckily, it does not have to end ugly for your furry buddy. Gum disease in dogs can be terrible, but it's not impossible to avoid. This article will show you signs and what you can do to prevent gum disease as a Pet Parent!
CAUSES OF PERIODONTAL DISEASE IN DOGS
Gum disease in dogs, also known as periodontal disease, is mainly caused by bacteria that have been staying for quite a while in your fur-baby's gums. These then develop plaque that turns into tartar. Tartar builds under the gums and this is what causes your dog's gums to swell and to become irritated. It also eventually results in bone loss & teeth falling out, and to even more serious health problems.
Gum disease is more common in dogs than in humans since dogs have higher levels of alkaline in their mouths than we do. Another reason why it's more common in our furry friends is that our doggos do not have the ability to brush their teeth every day (or to simply brush their teeth, for that matter). That's why bacteria have greater and faster chances to double up.
Even though gum disease happens more in senior dogs, dogs of any age can still develop this especially if they have:
- a compromised immune system
- poor nutrition
- bad chewing behaviors (chewing dirty toys)
- bad grooming habits (licking themselves regularly while rarely given a bath)
- alignment of the teeth (crowded/pressed teeth are more prone to gum disease)
- neglected oral hygiene
IDENTIFYING THE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
The difficult thing about periodontal disease in dogs is that it begins without showing any symptoms at all. And it will be almost impossible for you to recognize that your fur-baby has periodontal disease unless the situation has already worsened.
Simple things you can do is to open your dog's mouth and observe if he has:
- a stinky breath
- red, swollen gums
- yellow and/or brown teeth
- signs of discomfort or pain when eating or chewing
All mentioned are symptoms of mild gum disease in your fur-baby. But some of the severe symptoms include:
- a foul-smelling breath
- bleeding gums
- bloody saliva
- loose and/or missing teeth
- bumps and lumps on gums
- head shyness
- decreased to no appetite at all
- sudden weight loss
HOW PET PARENTS CAN HELP PREVENT PERIODONTAL DISEASE IN DOGS
Provide SAFE chew toys.
Yes, we feel you. The variations of a selection of chew toys and treats for our fur-babies are overwhelming. But how sure are you these products are made from safe ingredients and do not easily break & splinter? This is why you should always buy from trusted brands like Pet Parents® Gnawtlers that are specifically chosen from Grade A premium raw elk antler for their weight, mass, color, & state. These are far less likely to splinter or break your dog’s teeth, so these are worry-free chews that are likely to last a long time.
We take into account what kind of chewers your dogs are and how sensitive teeth are.
Whole Elk (softer) - typically for average chewers - for aggressive chewers they don't last as long because they are softer.
Split Elk (split so the bone marrow is exposed) - best for senior dogs & puppies who have sensitive teeth.
Whole Deer (harder) - best for aggressive chewers because of being harder & doesn't gnaw down as fast.
Brush every day.
How we care for our oral health is how we should be for our dogs'. While brushing your fur-baby's teeth is a little bit of hard work, patience is key. Brushing every day keeps your dog's teeth (and mouth) clean, and minimizes the presence of plaque-making bacteria.
Ensure your fur-baby's health.
To make sure your dog is equipped with the right health boosters, provide Pet Parents® Turmeric for Dogs Supplement that will give your fur-baby healthy ingredients that can help promote dog immune support, such as BioPerine®, turmeric for dogs, CurQmin™, & Coconut Oil. These ingredients can help maintain a normal inflammatory response.
You, as pet parents, keep up with gum and tooth health that you and your pup will live a happy life! Gum disease in dogs can be tough especially when it gets worse and the signs can be unrecognizable in the beginning but don't fret, as there are always ways to navigate your fur-baby's life into a happier and healthier one (of course, with a complete set of teeth and healthy gums!).