Dog Gingivitis Symptoms

Gingivitis symptoms will come about in your dog if your pet is suffering from an inflammation of the gums and the area around the mouth. Gingivitis is oftentimes caused by the buildup of plaque and tartar on and around your pet's teeth. Plaque builds up when bacteria in your dog's mouth mixes with food particles, saliva and other substances, and can eventually harden into tartar. Because of the pain and a number of other symptoms that come about when your pet suffers from gingivitis, it's important to treat your dog carefully and to work to prevent these conditions from arising.

Red Gums

One of the primary ways to determine if your pet may be suffering from gingivitis is through an oral examination. Look at your pet's gums for signs of redness. it's a good idea to get into the habit of checking his gums about once every two weeks or so. Look for subtle redness around his teeth, or for any other discoloration that you might notice as well. If you do notice any discoloration or redness, you should plan to take your pet to the vet as soon as possible to have him examined for potential gingivitis.

Swollen Gums

While your pet's gums may be swollen as he suffers from a bout of gingivitis, they're also likely to be swollen somewhat as well. When this happens, they may be painful to the touch. If your pet expresses great discomfort when you try to examine his gums or to touch them, and if they appear to be swollen or enlarged (particularly in certain areas as opposed to others), this is a good sign that your pet may be suffering from gingivitis.


You may notice some bleeding around the teeth as well. This tends to occur in more advanced cases of gingivitis and is a sign that your pet may need very prompt medical attention. Look for drops of blood around the home or where your dog eats or sleeps.

Difficulty Eating

Another major sign of some type of gum problem, whether it's gingivitis or another issue, is when your pet has some trouble eating his food in a regular manner. If you notice that your dog seems to be reluctant to eat his food, or if he hesitates while eating or eats especially slowly, he may be experiencing some type of pain or discomfort. While this does not directly point to a case of gingivitis, it nonetheless means that your dog is experiencing some type of mouth or oral condition that makes it difficult to eat, and this warrants veterinary attention.

If you notice these or any other symptoms of gingivitis, take your pet in to the vet as soon as you can. To prevent gingivitis, care for your pet's teeth by giving him appropriate food and by brushing his teeth with a special toothbrush and canine toothpaste on a regular bases, per your vet's instructions.