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Recognizing The Four Stages Of Periodontal Disease In Dogs

by | Mar 13, 2023 | Blog

Over time, and with research and education, pet owners and veterinarians have become more focused on preventative care for pets of all types. This includes regular vet visits, vaccinations, and flea, tick, and heartworm prevention, to name just a few.

In addition, oral health and routine dental care for dogs are important parts of keeping your pet healthy. At Holistic Veterinary Healing vet clinic, we work with our pet owners to develop effective strategies for maintaining top dental hygiene in puppies and dogs of all ages.

When dogs do not have regular dental cleanings and brushing, they can develop gingivitis, plaque, and calculus, which is also known as tartar. These conditions develop in stages that are easy for veterinarians to see and identify. The four stages of periodontal disease in dogs include:

  • Stage 1- mild gingivitis and some irritation at the gums. The dog may have bad breath, and there may or may not be visible tartar on the teeth. With cleaning and ongoing oral hygiene, this can be treated and prevented from becoming worse.
  • Stage 2 – bad breath is noticeable, as are inflamed and swollen areas of the gums. There may be some buildup of calculus and plaque. Professional cleaning by veterinarians is required to correct the issue and prevent further escalation of the disease.
  • Stage 3 – this is the first stage where periodontitis is present. The gums bleed and are swollen and irritated. There is typically significant bad breath with bone loss in the jaw and pockets in the gums that cause pain. The bacteria in the mouth can spread to other organs and create serious health issues. Professional treatment at a vet clinic is required.
  • Stage 4 – chronic periodontal disease is evident. The gums are inflamed, and there is frequent bleeding of the gums and significant pockets in the gums, with associated tooth loss or tooth mobility. Teeth may need to be removed and extensive reparative treatment to prevent further tooth and gum loss.

Periodontal disease can be very serious and even life-threatening for your dog. Contact us at Holistic Veterinary Healing by calling 240-715-6570 for a dental appointment for your dog today.