Prevention of Gum Disease

Unhealthy canine gums and teeth

Unhealthy canine gums and teeth with plaque

 

Bacterial infection of the gums and surrounding tissue is most commonly the cause of halitosis in dogs. There is a rare possibility that
an underlying disease in the absence of, or in addition to tooth/gum disease, such as kidney failure, diabetes, nasal or facial skin infections & cancers can contribute to bad breath. Also make sure your dog is not ingesting faecal matter or other undesirable substances.

 

Plaque is basically a colony of bacteria. Tartar occurs once the plaque becomes mineralized (hard) firmly adhering to the tooth enamel, which will then erode the tissue around the tooth. This will cause swelling, redness and pain. The gums finally separate from the
tooth leaving air pockets which ultimately trap more bacteria. This vicious cycle results in bone and tooth loss.

 

Effects on the whole body:  Bacteria can enter the blood stream, most commonly affecting liver, kidneys, heart and lungs. Once treatment for the gum disease is sought, it will be necessary to give the dog antibiotics prior to and after veterinary treatment to prevent the spread of bacteria through the blood stream.

 

Prevention is easy:  Managing your dog’s oral health is as simple as brushing, providing uncooked bones and daily use of products awarded the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) seal of approval logo.

There are many products available from vets, pet food suppliers and super markets that can maintain oral health. The VOHC website will provide you with a list of recommended and endorsed products to take on your next shopping trip for dog food. Keeping the surface of the tooth clean will ensure healthy gums and daily chewing will maintain oral health.

 

References:  www.vetmedicine.about.com  and The Veterinary Oral Health Council website.