In this article, we will discuss what could happen in your dog’s mouth and how much fixing it would probably cost you.
What is periodontal pathology in a dog’s gums?
Periodontal disease and gum disease, also known as periodontitis is a name for an infection that comes from bacteria in the dog’s gums and mouth. It is hard to see in the beginning stages, so owners usually notice that something is wrong with their dog when the dogs start to avoid eating solid food, are not happy to chew anymore or there is just a bad smell coming out of their dog’s mouth. In later stages of periodontitis, owners may notice teeth decaying, redness and swelling of the gums, and a more generalized spread of the infection.
I have heard the word gingivitis, what is the difference from periodontitis?
When food gets trapped between the teeth, bacteria tend to enjoy and start to multiply in the gums. This speeds up the development of plaque which if left untreated turns into hard tartar. The tartar causes irritation of the gum line, which is known as gingivitis and it is the first stage of periodontal disease development.
Gingivitis could be resolved if the owner reacts on time and takes the dog for a vet visit. However, if the infection has already spread around the tooth and has started to cause decay, then the vet may decide on a more rigorous way of treatment and disease management.
What could lead to periodontal disease in my dog?
You know how your vet may tell you that you should try and teach your dog to brush its teeth and you laugh? But then you end up at the vet’s office for periodontal disease? Well, believe it or not, the most common reason for this pathology is the lack of oral hygiene, just like in humans. Other reasons that could cause disease are irregular teeth alignment, dirty toys, and chewing hard stuff that could cause bleeding in the gums. All of these factors contribute to bacteria buildup, which if it’s not cleaned properly could lead to plaque formation that eventually turns into hard tartar, which damages the teeth.
What are the signs of periodontal disease in dogs and how is it diagnosed?
Symptoms usually depend on the severity of the disease but in general, most owners notice the following signs:
- bad breath
- bleeding and inflamed gums
- decreased appetite
- excessive drooling
- pain that won’t go away
- loose or missing teeth
In order for your vet to have a better look at your dog’s mouth, he may need to lightly sedate it first. Then he can perform a proper exam of the mouth cavity and check out the teeth and the gums. In some cases, where there is obvious tooth deterioration, he may need to take x-rays as well.
Treating periodontal disease in dogs
The treatment, as well as the clinical signs, vary depending on the stage of the disease. In cases where there is obvious gingivitis, your dog may do proper cleaning of the tartar and plaque, which is done under general anesthesia. In more severe cases, the vet may even pull out a rotten tooth, which is no longer in use but is causing discomfort and pain for your dog.
The biggest way to prevent this disease is mainly with regular visits to the vet and follow the instructions about cleaning and teeth washing. However, even when this happens, some breeds are more prone to periodontal diseases, such as Chihuahua, Pugs, Maltese, French bulldogs, Shih Tzu, and English bulldogs.
Depending on what your vet may decide to do, dog gum disease treatment could cost you somewhere between $100 and $2000.