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12/26/12

Is Your Dog a Victim of Canine Gum Disease

Are you a dog owner? If so, you probably want the best for your dog which means giving him preventive health care to prolong life and improve health. Unfortunately, one area of health care that many pet owners neglect is care of their dog's teeth and gums. Canine gum disease is more prevalent than many pet owners believe. The startling statistics are that 85% of dogs suffer from some degree of canine gum disease. This is sobering indeed when you consider the consequences of untreated gum disease. Sadly enough, canine gum disease can not only lead to tooth loss, but can also give rise to an inflammatory process that can have unfavorable consequences for the entire body. In extreme cases, untreated gum disease can lead to chronic inflammation and death.

What are the symptoms of canine gum disease? Symptoms of gum disease in a dog can range from difficulty chewing or eating to persistent bad breath. Other signs include loose teeth, visible plaque at the roots of the teeth, bleeding gums, and pawing at the mouth. If left untreated, gum disease can progress to the point where your dog is unable to chew bones or even dry food. This can be quite distressing to a dog who loves to chew as a form of entertainment.


Fortunately, canine gum disease can be prevented with routine tooth brushing and regular dental care. It helps to avoid feeding your dog soft, canned food, instead opting for dry dog food which has more of a stimulatory effect on the gum tissue. Of course, dogs shouldn't be given table food, especially foods that are high in sugar content. Giving your dog bones designed specifically for cleaning teeth can also help to reduce the incidence of canine gum disease.

How often should you brush your dog's teeth to avoid canine gum disease? The simple answer is as often as possible. Although it's not always practical, a daily brushing is ideal to remove plaque that may have accumulated throughout the day.  Your dog should undergo a professional cleaning by your veterinarian about every six months.

What should you do if you believe your dog has the signs of canine gum disease? Your dog should be assessed by your dog's veterinarian who can schedule a deep cleaning for your dog along with scaling to remove inflamed, diseased tissue located along the gum line. With proper treatment, canine gum disease can be successfully controlled and your dog can enjoy his favorite bones and rawhides without pain and discomfort.

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