Gingivitis in dogs - Causes, symptoms and treatment

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Not only humans can be affected by dental problems, our best friends also need proper dental hygiene to prevent common dental diseases in dogs. One of the frequent and alarming problems that can compromise the oral health of our furry animals is gingivitis, which consists of a progressive inflammatory process of the gums.

In AnimalWised, we will tell you everything you need to know about the gingivitis in dogs, its symptoms, possible causes, forms of prevention and treatment. You will also find some tips to take care of your best friend's teeth, avoiding bad breath and oral problems.

You may also be interested in: Bad Breath in Dogs - Causes, Symptoms and Treatment Index
  1. How does gingivitis develop in dogs?
  2. Symptoms of gingitis in dogs
  3. Treatment for gingitis in dogs
  4. How to prevent gingivitis in dogs?

How does gingivitis develop in dogs?

Almost all oral problems in dogs begin with the bacterial plaque formation on your teeth and gums. Gingivitis is often considered the "next step" in the formation of tartar in the mouth of our furry puppies, when we are unable to combat or eliminate it in time. Let's understand a little better how gingivitis develops in dogs below..

If your furry does not have adequate oral hygiene, which includes regular brushing, it will begin to accumulate food debris between its teeth and gums. This accumulated organic matter serves as food for the bacteria that are already naturally lodged in the dog's mouth. By having abundant food availability, bacteria begin to reproduce accelerated. Consequently, an overpopulation is generated that agglomerates in the form of bacterial plaques..

The tartar clings to the teeth and the bacteria continue to feed and multiply, making their way and moving under the gums. At this time, the inflammation of the gums known as gingivitis.

In the event that an effective treatment is not established to combat the advance of bacteria, the inflammatory process will continue to expand in your furry's mouth. Rapidly, bacteria move from the gums to the muscle and bone tissues that provide support and lift to the teeth, which consists of the periodontitis in dogs.

Symptoms of gingitis in dogs

Dental disease in dogs can progress quickly and silently, making it somewhat difficult to recognize its first symptoms. For this reason, it is essential not only to prevent them by offering adequate oral hygiene, but also check your mouth regularly from our best friends to identify early any signs of tartar, inflammation or lump on the dog's gum.

Usually the first specific symptom of gingivitis in dogs is the formation of a red line along the gums, they will likely look red and swollen. With the progression of inflammation, a picture of gingival hyperplasia can occur in dogs, which consists of an excessive increase in the volume of the gums. Later, if the gingivitis is not treated, the Bleeding gums in dogs, as well as the formation of lumps or abscesses, which usually contain pus and / or blood inside.

In addition, dogs with gingitis may also present the following symptom:

  • Loss of appetite and weight.
  • Bad breath.
  • Excessive salivation / drooling.
  • Difficulty chewing and swallowing your dry feed.
  • Urge to constantly scratch your mouth.
  • Pain: the dog will prevent them from touching his mouth and may react negatively if an attempt is made to do so.
  • Alterations in their behavior: the pain can lead to alterations in the dog's usual behavior, which may appear sadder, lose the will to play and walk, or even show aggressive reactions.

As we have mentioned, the inflammatory process of the gums will continue to expand towards the bone and muscle tissues, leading to the periodontal disease in dogs. In advanced cases of periodontitis, we can observe that the dog has rotten teeth or some teeth are missing. For this reason, it is essential to fight tartar and treat gingivitis in your dog quickly to prevent the aggravation of its symptoms and preserve the oral health of our best friends..

Treatment for gingitis in dogs

When identifying any of the mentioned symptoms or any alteration in the behavior of your dog, do not hesitate to go quickly to your veterinarian. At the clinic, the professional will be able to evaluate the presence of tartar and gingivitis, as well as request the necessary tests to observe the evolution of bacteria in the muscular and bone structure, and verify the health status of your best friend.

When the diagnosis of gingivitis is confirmed, the specific treatment will depend on the severity of the inflammatory process and the health status of your furry. Generally, the vet recommends the administration of analgesics to alleviate the pain that the dog feels and improve its quality of life. You are also likely to use antibiotics to fight bacteria and stop them from progressing through your body..

If the bone structures have not been compromised, a surgical intervention to remove tartar, polish the affected teeth and proceed to cure gingivitis in the dog. But in more serious cases, it is necessary to extract the tooth affected by gingivitis and / or periodontitis.

How to prevent gingivitis in dogs?

The best way to prevent gingivitis in dogs is to offer a adequate oral hygiene to your best friend, throughout his entire life. That means getting regular brushings with dog-friendly products, which you can find in almost every pet supply store. But if you are looking for a more natural alternative, we will teach you how to prepare homemade toothpaste for dogs.

Also, if you want to learn how to brush its teeth correctly, at AnimalWised we explain the different ways to clean a dog's teeth. It will also be essential to regularly check your best friend's mouth to recognize early any changes in his teeth and gums. If you detect bad breath, tartar, swelling, abscesses, discoloration or bleeding, do not hesitate to go quickly to the veterinary clinic.

Last (and not least), you can also talk with your trusted veterinarian about the possibility of changing your dog's dry food for a BARF diet or a homemade one with semi-cooked food. A natural and balanced diet helps prevent organic waste from accumulating between the teeth, preventing the formation of tartar and gingivitis in dogs. Also, the use of recreational bones benefits the reduction of tartar on your teeth, so don't miss our article on "The best bones for dogs ".

This article is merely informative, at we do not have the power to prescribe veterinary treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the vet in the event that it presents any type of condition or discomfort.

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