For our pets’ health, proper dental care is crucial. However, the majority of pet owners do not routinely take care of their pets’ teeth and gums. 80% of pets have periodontal disease, with the majority displaying symptoms by the time they are two to three years old, according to data from a scientific study that was published in The Journal of Veterinary Medical Science. Only 4% of dog owners regularly brush their dog’s teeth. Untrained eyes might think white teeth with little tartar are typical, yet 75% of dental disease is found below the gum line.
What Exactly is Periodontal Disease
A condition known as periodontal disease causes the tissues that support the teeth to become inflamed. Periodontal diseases are specifically infections of the alveolar bone around the teeth, gum disease, and/or the periodontal ligaments that hold the teeth in place. The condition can be cured and even reversed if caught early enough – otherwise the teeth may need to be extracted if not caught early enough. Periodontal disease in pets has four stages.
Stage 1: A buildup of plaque on the teeth is what causes gingivitis. As bacteria gather to form a biofilm on the tooth’s surface, plaque develops. The biofilm will mineralize and create a hardened calculus if untreated. Red and bleeding gums are the result of trapped germs under the gum line.
Stage 2: Early periodontal disease is characterized by a loss of attachment of at least 25% between the gums and teeth. Early symptoms of the disease might be seen on X-rays.
Stage 3: There is substantial bone loss behind the gum line due to mild periodontal disease. At this level, tooth removal might be required, but with the right treatment, development to Stage 4 can still be avoided.
Stage 4: More than 50% of cases of severe periodontal disease show the gums pulling away from the bone. It is frequently required to pull teeth, and this is followed by a comprehensive cleaning that includes scaling and root planing.
Indications of Periodontal Disease in Pets
Periodontal disease symptoms might vary in subtlety, but they must be recognized:
- It’s not typical for dogs or cats to have offensive breath.
- Tartar accumulation
- Bruising, bleeding, or swollen gums
- Having trouble eating
- Reduced appetite
- Weight loss
- Pain – Your pet may be in pain if they resist having you touch their mouth, either inside or out. When food and tartar become stuck below the gum line, pain develops. Keep in mind that your pet may be quite adept at masking their discomfort.