How Periodontal Disease Affects Dogs
Dogs with periodontal disease tend to have bad breath and obvious inflammation, swelling, soreness and redness of the gums. As the disease progresses, their gums may appear to recede, owners may notice teeth staining and the gums may bleed or become ulcerated. Teeth also commonly become loose and fall out. The condition is quite painful; affected dogs may resist close inspection of their oral cavity. Small and toy breed dogs with crowded teeth tend to be prone to periodontal disease.
Symptoms of Periodontal Disease
- Bad breath (halitosis)
- Reluctance to eat, despite obvious hunger
- Stained teeth
- Inflamed, swollen gums
- Red gums
- Bleeding gums
- Ulcerated gums
- Excessive drooling
- Nasal discharge (purulent [with pus]; usually unilateral [out of one nostril])
- Swelling below an eye (usually unilateral)
- Abscessed tooth root
- Tooth loss
- Tooth loosening
- Missing teeth
As periodontal disease progresses, the dog’s gums may appear to recede. This condition is quite painful. Affected dogs may resist close inspection of their oral cavities.
Dogs at Increased Risk
Miniature and Toy Poodles, and other small breeds, are predisposed to periodontal disease. These dogs tend to develop severe forms of the illness due to the extreme crowding of teeth in their tiny jaws. Poor nutrition can contribute to oral disease as well. Dogs that chew on bones, are given hard dog biscuits and/or eat primarily high-quality dry kibble seem to be less prone to developing periodontal disease.