Canine Periodontitis: Vital Things That You Should Know

Your dentist may have told you to avoid gingivitis, a gum infection, or inflammation. According to veterinarians, gingivitis in dogs is caused by a buildup of bacteria called plaque, which forms a biofilm across their teeth. If plaque isn’t removed, it “thickens and mineralizes, resulting in tartar.” Tartar, or calculus, attracts more plaque. Toxins infect the gingiva tissue at and below the gumline in dogs’ gum disease stage.


What is periodontal disease?

Plaque bacteria are the root cause of periodontal disease. Without regular cleaning, dental plaque builds up and hardens into tartar, which firmly adheres to the teeth. A vicious cycle of damage and infection to the tooth and supporting tissue begins when tartar and bacteria become trapped beneath the gum line, where pet owners cannot see them.

What are the symptoms of periodontal disease?

Gum disease in dogs begins with bad breath, tartar on the teeth, and a line of red inflammation along the gum line. Unfortunately, pet owners rarely notice their dogs’ first signs of periodontal disease. Gym disease is usually advanced and painful for a dog or geriatric cat when symptoms appear.

How is periodontal disease diagnosed?

During an oral exam, a veterinarian from places like Burbank Pet Hospital can detect any signs of periodontal diseases, such as red gums, plaque and tartar buildup, tooth loss, or mobility. Assume the veterinarian suspects you have periodontal disease. In that case, they recommend that your dog receive a dental cleaning as well as an X-ray while under general anesthesia to fully assess their oral health.


It’s a good idea to have your dog’s teeth checked for periodontal disease by a veterinarian once or twice a year because early treatment may be able to save your pet’s teeth. If your dog is acting normally, follow their advice if your veterinarian recommends dental care.

Is periodontal disease preventable in dogs?

A few vet-recommended strategies can help keep your dog’s gums healthy. Dogs, like humans, can benefit from twice-daily tooth brushing. Brushing helps remove plaque and bacteria. Most dogs can easily be taught to enjoy having their teeth brushed. Some pets even enjoy it if done gently.


With your dog, play with tooth-friendly chew toys. Soft rubber chews and thin, bendy chew strips are both excellent options. Tennis balls, antlers, hooves, bleached bones, and antlers are bad chew toys. Consult your veterinarian if you are unsure whether a toy is a good option.

What Is the Treatment for Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease in dogs is treated in the same way that gum disease is treated in humans, with thorough cleaning and removal of all plaque and tartar from the teeth. The safest and least stressful method is to clean above and below the gumline with your dog under anesthesia. 


Regular dental services can also thoroughly examine the mouth, extract loose, broken, or infected teeth, and take dental X-rays. They may prescribe antibiotics and pain relievers if they discover an infection in your dog’s gums.


One way to prevent periodontal disease is to have your pet’s teeth professionally cleaned and full-mouth dental x-rays taken. Pets should have their teeth cleaned for the first time at the age of 1–2 years. Periodontal diseases can be avoided by feeding your dog food that reduces plaque and tartar accumulation.