The Indicators of Gum Disease in Canines

by Elizabeth Muirhead
    Gum disease has many signs. You may notice halitosis first.

    Gum disease has many signs. You may notice halitosis first.

    Kane Skennar/Photodisc/Getty Images

    Stinky breath, loose teeth and red gums are signs that your dog has gum disease. Periodontal disease -- one of the most common diseases in dogs -- is a combination of gingival and periodontal inflammation. Your veterinarian can help determine your dog's level of gum disease.

    Gingivitis

    Are you noticing that Fido has rather pungent halitosis lately? Bacteria in his mouth contribute to this odor, and the bacteria create a plaque film around the teeth. Eventually tartar and dental calculus may form. The bacteria inflame Fido’s gums, turning them red. As the gingivitis worsens, his gums may bleed. You may notice bloody saliva. Tartar buildup leads to gingival recession. Fido’s teeth may become loose and fall out, or he may have trouble chewing or playing because of the pain from his teeth.

    Periodontitis

    Periodontal structures include the ligaments that hold teeth to bone. As Fido’s gingivitis progresses, the ligaments may become weaker. You may have more trouble noticing signs of periodontitis than noticing gingivitis. Fido should be evaluated by a veterinarian to determine the progression of this disease.

    Photo Credits

    • Kane Skennar/Photodisc/Getty Images

    About the Author

    Elizabeth Muirhead is a practicing veterinarian with an undergraduate degree in biological sciences. She has real-world experience with the husbandry, grooming, training and feeding a variety of household pets.

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