Canine periodontal disease is painful, frustrating, and usually heavy on the owner’s pocket. It makes our beloved pets suffer from unbearable pain and discomfort. But can a “simple disorder” like a toothache or bleeding gum be deadly for our brave and strong canines? Can periodontal disease kill my dog?
You are about to find out!
Can Periodontal Disease Kill My Dog?
If you have been a puppy owner for a while now, you will agree that dogs are the most precious part of our human pack. They adore us, and we also share a special bond with them. That’s why most owners provide their pets with lots of love, tuns of exercise, regular checkups, and a nutritious diet to ensure that their furballs are in perfect physical shape.
But, one thing that most pet owners take for granted is oral health. Even though poor oral hygiene can lead our dog’s teeth to periodontal disease, a painful condition resulting in bad breath, bleeding gums, and tooth decay, the gums and teeth of our beloved pets are rarely given any priority. Inadequate oral care is also linked to other canine health concerns, including a broken jaw, heart disease, and diabetes.
Having an understanding of the periodontal disease is critical, so you can take proper steps to safeguard your darling pooch’s health before it leads to something a bit more severe. In this article, we will give you a brief overview of periodontal disease, its causes, symptoms, and possible treatments.
What is Periodontal disease in dogs?
Periodontal disease is simply the result of untreated gingivitis. Gingivitis in canines is pretty similar to what we humans may experience when our gums are swelled. Usually, it is caused by the build-up of plaque on our canine’s teeth. Periodontal disease is not limited to any specific dog; all dog breeds are prone to it.
Periodontal disease and gingivitis, both teeth diseases, are preventable. But unfortunately, most dog owners don’t pay much attention to their pet’s oral health, and their unconscious negligence makes this problem a recurrent medical concern.
If ignored, oral diseases can worsen and cause rotten teeth, dog teeth infection, broken teeth, severe disfigurement, and loss of life.
Causes of periodontal disease
The main culprits of this disease are the tiny pieces of food that get stuck in the dog teeth. This left-over food is responsible for the growth of plaque, leading to gingivitis and periodontal disease.
Though all dogs can suffer from periodontal disease, small dogs with crowded teeth are more susceptible to developing it. Their teeth shape makes it hard to clean between their choppers, leaving plenty of room for plaque to build and grow.
Senior dogs are more vulnerable to periodontal disease because of poor nutrition and broken teeth. Their immune systems are also not that strong to fight off bacteria produced by internal gum disease.
Symptoms of Periodontal disease in dogs
Knowing that dogs are experts when it comes to hiding their feelings, it can be tricky to catch the early symptoms of dog tooth infection. Usually, the only time owners recognize that something is off is when it’s a little too late to act.
Here we have listed the most common warning signs of gum disease. Rush to your vet as soon as you notice any of these symptoms.
- Weight loss and loss of appetite
- Lack of interest in chewy toys
- Unnecessary food aggression
- Blood in the food bowls or on dog chew toys
- Dogtooth infection
- Dog broken tooth
- Chronic bad breath (Halitosis)
- Chewing food with only one side of the mouth
- Nasal discharge on sneezing
Can periodontal disease kill my dog?
The three most possible complications of periodontal gum disease are dog loose tooth, gum loss, and bone loss.
Periodontal disease can get so extensive that even the slightest pressure can fracture your canine’s jaw easily.
Bacteremia is a gum infection causing your pup to experience bone loss. This infection is perilous as it can infect your pooch’s actual blood. Bacteremia can also progress to sepsis, a disease capable of spreading to different organs.
The periodontal disease puts your dog at high risk of developing heart, liver, and kidney diseases. It causes these essential organs to break down and stop working. So yeah, periodontal disease can kill your canine.
Best periodontal disease treatments
Helping your fido get rid of periodontal disease involves consistent and long-term care. Your veterinarian may suggest several oral treatments depending on the severeness of your pet’s oral health.
· Canine mouthwash
A dog mouthwash can help you keep your furry companion’s oral health in great shape. Most dog mouthwashes are formulated by keeping in mind your canine’s oral health, so they have no adverse effects. These mouthwashes are highly beneficial in eliminating the build-up of plaque and tartar on your dog’s teeth.
· Anti-inflammatory drugs
Your veterinarian may recommend your dog an anti-inflammatory drug to cure the pain caused by an infected dog tooth. These nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines are also expected if your pooch undergoes mouth surgery.
Another medicine that your veterinarian may prescribe your dog is antibiotics. Antibiotics help fight off tooth infections caused by periodontal disease. Abscessed tooth pain also requires this type of medication.
Your pup may be placed on antibiotics for many days before a severe dental cleaning. Additional dosage is also expected after the cleaning process.
· Dental cleaning
Dental cleaning is a serious medical procedure that requires your dog to be under anesthesia. The primary aim of dental cleaning is to remove the majority of plaque and tartar build-up from your dog’s teeth.
While your canine is unconscious under the effect of anesthesia, the vet may take an x-ray and other dental exams to look out for additional bone and teeth related complications. These exams are especially essential when treating periodontal disease.
Dog periodontal disease prevention
· Brush, Brush
The best thing you can do to put a stop to periodontal disease is to make toothbrushing a regular part of your dog’s routine. Use safe animal toothpaste and brush your bud’s teeth two times a day. But if you can’t follow this routine every day, try your best to be as regular as possible.
· Dental appointments and cleaning
Semiannual wellness checkups and periodic dental visits are a great way to address dental concerns right away. Plus, it would be great if you could discuss canine dental chat with your vet to keep oral health concerns at bay.
Bear in mind that if you regularly take your doggo to a vet to have his choppers checked, then the possibility of having a severe oral disease is extremely low. This is also how you can avoid dog tooth infections and tooth decay.
· Follow a healthy diet
Well, this is more on dog parents as canines eat anything their parents offer them. Thereby try to resist your canine’s adorable puppy eyes and keep a check on sugary treats as such treats are a major reason for bacteria build-up.
Have a chat with professionals and let them prepare a canine dental chart for your fido.
· Treats and chew toys
There is nothing wrong with rewarding your fur babies with some delicious treats in moderation. However, always incorporate tooth-friendly treats in your canine’s routine. You can also opt for dog chew toys to keep your dog happy and healthy. Such treats and toys satisfy your canine’s natural desire to nibble on something while fortifying their gums and teeth. Most dog chews are enzyme enriched, and munching on them removes tartar and plaque from the teeth and gums of your lovely pup.
What consequences can be expected if periodontal disease is left untreated?
If left untreated, periodontal disease can cause irreparable damage and make a dog lose teeth. This disease can even make your dog’s teeth detach from gums and sockets.
In addition, periodontal disease can lead to tooth abscess, another excruciating dilemma for your sensitive pooch. Your vet may prescribe some antibiotics to cure these conditions, but the affected teeth will require surgery to be removed.
Apart from heart and kidney failure, periodontal disease can also worsen pre-existing diabetes in canines.
Dogs diagnosed with diabetes have a higher chance of getting periodontal disease. Sadly, both of these diseases go hand in hand. The more periodontal disease escalates, the worse diabetes gets.
Commonly asked questions
1. How many teeth do dogs have?
A fully grown adult and healthy canine should have a total of 42 teeth in his mouth. That’s 22 on the bottom of his jaws and 20 on the top of it. Puppies, however, possess 28 baby teeth. Most canines have a similar number of teeth, but in comparison with puppies, adult dogs have more teeth.
2. Can hard kibble help my pup’s gum problem?
Though there is no scientific evidence whether the overall feel of food can further affect your canine’s gum problem or not, if your pup has a pre-existing gum problem, it would be difficult for the fellow to munch on hard kibble.
3. What are dog periodontal disease stages?
There are 4 stages of periodontal diseases.
Stage 1: Gingivitis
Stage 2: Illness is in the initial stages with less than 25% recession.
Stage 3: the disease is in an established state, and there is a 25 to 50% attachment loss.
Stage 4: The disease is in an advanced state, and there is more than 50% recession.
Can Periodontal Disease Kill My Dog? Final words
Canines with healthier teeth tend to live longer. Plaque and tartar may seem a simple problem at first, but if ignored, they can lead to periodontal disease, which in severe cases can be fatal. So brush those puppy teeth regularly and follow a healthy dental diet to save your pup from this painful experience.