Watch for These Warning Signs of Periodontal Disease in Dogs

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Watch for These Warning Signs of Periodontal Disease in Dogs

Our four-legged friends bring boundless joy to our lives with their unconditional love and playful antics. However, just like us, they require proper dental care to uphold their overall health and well-being. Periodontal disease in dogs, commonly known as gum disease, poses a significant risk and can lead to serious complications if left unaddressed.


Indications of Oral Hygiene


  • Unpleasant breath: Halitosis, or bad breath, often serves as one of the initial and most noticeable indicators of dental issues. Bacteria responsible for periodontal disease emit an offensive odor.
  • Discoloration of teeth: Brown or yellow tartar accumulation along the gumline signals the presence of plaque buildup and potential gum irritation.
  • Gums that bleed: Easily bleeding gums when touched serve as a warning sign for gingivitis, the initial phase of gum disease.


Behavioral Shifts


  • Chewing difficulties: Mouth discomfort due to inflamed gums or loose teeth may cause your dog to struggle with chewing, leading them to favor one side of the mouth or avoid hard food altogether.
  • Excessive drooling and pawing at the mouth: These actions can indicate pain or discomfort stemming from dental issues.
  • Decreased appetite and weight loss: Mouth pain and chewing challenges can result in reduced appetite and subsequent weight loss in some dogs.
  • Changes in temperament: Discomfort caused by periodontal disease might make your dog less playful and more prone to irritability.


Additional Indicators


  • Loose or absent teeth: Advanced periodontal disease can compromise the jawbone, resulting in loose or missing teeth.
  • Facial swelling: In severe instances, infection can extend beyond the gums, leading to facial swelling.


Early Identification is Essential


Should you observe any of these warning signs, promptly arrange an appointment with your veterinary dentist. Timely diagnosis and treatment of periodontal disease can avert more severe health issues in the future, including heart disease, kidney disease, and bone loss.


Preventive Measures


The encouraging news is that periodontal disease is largely preventable! Here are some recommendations to maintain your dog’s dental health:

  • Regular brushing: Brush your dog’s teeth with a VOHC-approved toothpaste at least 2-3 times weekly.
  • Dental chews: Provide VOHC dental chews daily to aid in the removal of plaque and tartar buildup.
  • Professional cleanings: Schedule regular professional dental cleanings with comprehensive dental radiographs at your veterinary dentist’s office.

By prioritizing your dog’s oral hygiene and seeking veterinary care when necessary, you can assist them in maintaining a radiant smile and experiencing a lengthy, joyful life!


Dog Dentist Mount Pleasant


Here’s a bonus tip for you; transform oral hygiene into an enjoyable activity! Utilize positive reinforcement and praise throughout the brushing process to make this experience more fun for your pet. Remember, a healthy mouth equals a happy, thriving pet! Call our team today to schedule your pet’s annual dental exam! 


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