Vet Blog

Is Periodontal Disease in Dogs Reversible?

May 13, 2021

Did you know that 8 out of 10 adult dogs suffer from dental problems such as periodontal disease?

Sadly, most dogs suffer from periodontal disease, even though it is a completely preventable issue. The friendly vets at Animal Care Center of Castle Pines would like to remind you about the importance of dental care for your dogs.

What Is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease is a gum infection caused by poor oral hygiene. Allowing plaque to build up and harden on your dog's teeth leads to bacterial infections and gum diseases. When left untreated for long periods of time, plaque buildup causes gingivitis and eventually leads to tooth decay, bone loss, and deterioration of the jawbone.

The symptoms of periodontal disease in dogs include:

There are a number of factors that can contribute to periodontal disease in dogs. Some factors make dogs more susceptible to periodontal diseases, such as poor dental hygiene, genetic predisposition, or having an underbite or overbite. Because their mouths and teeth are much smaller, small breeds and toy breeds are more prone to gum disease.

Is Periodontal Disease Reversible?

Periodontal Disease has four stages, but it is only reversible when it's detected during the first stage, gingivitis. In any of the more progressed stages, your dog will likely already be facing bone loss and may need extractions to minimize the chance of further infection and jawbone deterioration.

What Is Gingivitis?

Gingivitis is the first stage of periodontal disease. In this stage, the periodontal disease has a chance of being reversed because the infection has not yet attacked the bone. The most common sign that your dog has gingivitis is bleeding gums when he or she is eating or playing with chew toys, or when you brush your dog's teeth.

Other signs of gingivitis in dogs include:

  • Persistent bad breath
  • Red or puffy gums

The prognosis for any dog with Stage 1 periodontal disease is usually very good. Gingivitis is reversible, because it is only inflammation, and no damage to the supporting bone structures or tooth sockets has occurred. If your dog has Stage 2 or Stage 3 periodontal disease, it won't be reversible, but there are steps you can take to prevent its progression.

Treating Gingivitis to Reverse Periodontal Disease

If your dog shows any signs of periodontal disease, take them to a veterinary dentist for a professional dental cleaning. A professional dental cleaning will include scaling the teeth above and below the gum line to remove plaque and tartar, polishing the teeth, taking full mouth x-rays, and checking around each tooth for abnormal pocketing. This procedure will be done under general anesthesia.

After a professional dental cleaning for Stage 1 periodontal disease, no further clinical treatment will be necessary. However, you will need to brush your dog's teeth daily. Your dog's dental health should not be taken lightly! Without daily oral hygiene care, your dog's Stage 1 periodontal disease could easily progress into a later stage, causing tooth decay and tooth loss.

Professional Periodontal Disease Treatment in Castle Pines, CO

If you suspect that your dog has periodontal disease, we can help. Animal Care Center of Castle Pines offers Comprehensive Oral Health Assessment and Treatments (COHAT). Our caring vets will perform a professional dental cleaning and in-depth examination of your dog's oral health. Please don't wait-call us today to schedule an appointment.