Most dogs love food, so when your best buddy starts becoming apprehensive at dinner or starts eating strangely, it can be a sign of mouth pain from periodontal disease. By the age of three, about 80 percent of all dogs have developed some degree of this entirely preventable condition. Without treatment, periodontal disease worsens, potentially causing tooth loss, extreme discomfort and bone deterioration, but it doesn’t have to. Learn how daily hygiene practices and natural health products like CBD Oil can help ease the symptoms and progression of periodontal disease in dogs.
Periodontal disease is the inflammation or infection of the tissue surrounding the teeth, and it can affect both humans and animals. When your pet eats, bacteria, food and saliva combine and form plaque on her teeth. Over time, the enzymes in saliva harden plaque and form tartar or dental calculus. Tartar spreads into the gum line and creates a gap between the tooth and the gum tissue called a periodontal pocket. The immune system recognizes the bacteria from plaque as a “foreign invader” and signals a response. The white blood cells that flood to the periodontal pocket release enzymes that break down gum tissue and surrounding tooth structures and accelerate the condition.
Severe periodontal disease happens in gradual stages that mark the progression of the disease and influence available treatment options.
The early stages of periodontal disease are marked by gingivitis, or mild redness and inflammation of the gums. Periodontal pockets have not yet formed, so professional cleanings above and below the gum line can slow the progression and treat the problem.
At this stage, a pocket starts to form between the tooth and the gum, accounting for about 25 percent of lost connection. However, there is no bone involvement yet. The gum and the tooth root are cleaned, and a gel is applied that helps close the gap between the tooth and the gum.
As the condition progresses, periodontal pockets form deeper than five millimeters, which signals bone loss and up to 30 percent of lost connection between the tooth and gum. Treatment involves opening the gum flap, cleaning the diseased tissue and implementing special therapy that stimulates the growth of new tissue and bone.
In this stage, attachment loss has reached at least 50 percent, and tooth extraction is the only viable treatment option.
Catching periodontal disease in the early stages can be difficult because the signs aren’t always obvious. However, during the later stages, there are clear signs your pup may be suffering from periodontal disease including:
Dogs are more susceptible to periodontal disease than humans because their teeth are usually not brushed as frequently. When your dog gets adult teeth, which usually happens around 3 to 6 months old, she becomes more likely to get this disease, especially without frequent brushing. Good oral hygiene practices can prevent the development of this condition by reducing the formation of plaque. You may want to brush your dog’s teeth once a day or at least a few times a week to control the buildup. Some dog foods are specifically designed to scrape away plaque as your dog chews and protect against gum disease.
Although brushing at home is a good practice, make sure you are using the right products. Brushes and paste made for dogs are gentler on your pet’s teeth and non-toxic. Bi-yearly professional cleanings are important for keeping your pet’s teeth intact. The hygienist will put your pup under anesthesia and do a thorough cleaning above and below the gum line.
Periodontal disease makes eating uncomfortable and painful for your pet, and it also weakens the bones. Small amounts of pressure can cause a broken jaw – even more so in small dogs. There are a couple of steps you can take to reduce your dog’s pain and make life more comfortable for her.
The crunch of regular dog food can lead to broken teeth and even more pain. Wet or soft dog food makes it easier for your pet to eat without the intensity of chewing. Steer clear of hard treats, rawhides, bones and toys that can potentially cause more damage. Instead, use fresh ingredients and soft toys and chews that may feel better on his gums.
Natural health supplements like CBD are antibacterial and have pain-relieving properties that can help your pet feel better. The anti-bacterial properties of CBD, or Cannabidiol, help decrease the damage done by bacteria - the primary cause of periodontal disease - while the pain-relieving properties make it easier for your dog to eat and live normally.
If your dog has periodontal disease, there are many options for treatment depending on the severity of his condition. Make sure to consult your veterinarian to find the best route for you. If your dog doesn’t have this condition but you are worried about her developing it, then be sure to implement a hygiene regimen to remove plaque before it has a chance to form. Regular brushing and dental products can decrease the risk of periodontal disease and keep your pet’s breath smelling fresh. Shop our selection of CBD Oil to reduce pain and increase the appetite of your furry friend.
VCA Hospitals – Dental Disease in Dogs
PetMD – Gum Disease in Dogs
Merck Veterinary Manual – Periodontal Disease in Small Animals
National Center for Biotechnology Information – Antibacterial cannabinoids from Cannabis sativa: a structure-activity study