Gum health is important. This is because the gums protect the underlying jawbone. It is the jawbone that helps anchor and support the teeth in your pet's mouth.
Gum disease is usually caused by a painless infection sometimes called "plaque". This plaque infection leads to calculus (or tartar) build up on the teeth and also occurs under the gum line. This can lead to destruction of the supporting tissues.
Loss of tooth support from gum disease is the main reason that adult animals lose their teeth. In nearly all cases, gum disease is treatable.
If the infection in the gum goes untreated, it can lead to internal organ damage in your pet such as kidney disease.
Owners are often unaware of gum disease in their pets. Some indications of gum disease are as follows:
- Bad breath
- Loose teeth
- Reluctance to chew
- Receding gums
- Pawing at mouth
Treatment has two purposes:
One is to get the gums and bone healthy by bringing infection under control. This is usually done by the vet performing a thorough scaling of the teeth both above and below the gum line. Other procedures may also be necessary. The sequence of treatments will be explained to you.
The other purpose of treatment it to attempt to maintain gum and jaw bone health over the long term by having regular check ups and by following the vet’s advice for the best method of prevention for your pet. Note that gum disease will recur if it is allowed to.
Remember, gum disease is caused by infection, not food. If you regularly remove the disease causing plaque from your pet’s teeth, you greatly improve the chances of successful therapy and of your pet keeping its teeth.
Most pets will respond well to the inclusion of raw bones to the diet combined with daily brushing of the teeth if applicable. We will be happy to advise you of the best approach for your pet.