70% of cats and 80% of dogs have the dental disease called periodontal disease by the time they are 3 years of age. How can this be? You feed your dog the proper diet, treats, and stay away from table scraps for the most part. Their teeth look great and so do their gums. How is gum disease a threat and how does a pet get it? There were no signs or symptoms that indicated your fuzzy family member even had the start of periodontal disease. However, after taking them to the veterinary clinic for a routine check-up you’ve been told Fido has gum disease.
Your local vet has spotted periodontal disease in your pet’s mouth. The advancement of this disease can cause many uncomfortable and devastating problems such as chronic pain, missing teeth, eroded gums and eventually bone loss. This fate is not one you want man’s best friend to endure. Luckily, your dog does not have to suffer any of the negative side-effects. Your first step in tackling the disease is to keep regular visits scheduled with a veterinary clinic ready to offer periodontal treatments that will keep your dog in great health.
What, but how? Why do dogs suffer from gum disease? The blame goes directly to bacteria. When your dog eats, the food particles and saliva form a film over teeth called plaque. Plaque contains bacteria that a dog’s immune system will recognize as being foreign. A foreign body invader causes more white blood cells to attack. The bacteria communicates with white blood cells and makes them release enzymes that are known to cause gum tissue to break down. This battle causes inflamed gums, destroys tissue, and creates bone loss. Ultimately your pet will lose teeth.
Periodontal disease happens more often in dogs, at least five times more often than in people. As it turns out, dogs are known to have way more alkaline in their mouths than humans do. This literally promotes more plaque formation. Do you brush your pet’s teeth every day? Even though your vet may already have recommended this, it’s not something a lot of pet owners consider important until it’s too late. If you don’t brush your canine’s teeth more plaque is allowed to form and bacteria increases.
A veterinary clinic is always available to help with gum disease. They offer veterinary services and help including knowing the first symptoms of gum disease. This may come as a shock to you, but the first symptoms aren’t symptoms at all. Gum disease is a silent killer. Pet owners are less likely to notice any signs of gum disease, unlike a local veterinarian. You can count on one thing, if you notice signs of periodontal disease in your dog, it is already very advanced. At this point, your pet could be living in chronic pain, which they will hide since it’s instinctive for a dog to avoid showing any weakness.
Vet services include helping you learn how to take care of your dog’s teeth. Gum disease can be prevented in animals. You can start by brushing your dog’s teeth two times every day. This helps minimize bacteria and the build-up of plaque. Essentially, you’re giving your pet a suitable defense that helps them maintain a clean and healthy mouth. Of course, there are other things you can do as well. This includes taking your dog for frequent oral cleanings and exams, among other things.
Do you know if the quality of your dog’s food is good enough? If your dog is showing signs of gum disease it’s time to feed them a dental diet. Ask your vet about foods that help to scrub teeth while chewing, or foods that have plaque preventing additives that keep plaque from hardening. You can also make sure that the treats and toys you give your beloved pet are good for chewing. Tooth-friendly chew toys can slow down and prevent gum disease too.
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