Gingivitis Treatment for Dogs

Gingivitis treatment involves a through professional cleaning, but there are some home remedies that may be applied as well. Gingivitis is the inflammation of the gums and can be reversed, but if left untreated, it can evolve into advanced periodontal disease, which will eventually lead to loss of teeth.

Gingivitis in Dogs

Gingivitis is the initial stage of periodontal disease and involves the inflammation of the gum tissues. This is due to the accumulation of bacteria, which is facilitated by the plaque and tartar deposits. Plaque appears in the dog’s mouth after meals and will form a thin film on the dog’s teeth. This film can be removed if you brush your dog’s teeth, but if plaque is not removed in 2 or 3 days, it will calcify and can only be cleaned by a dentist. Tartar makes the tooth surface rougher and more bacteria will gather. The bacteria can easily infect the gum tissue. Dogs over the age of 2 are more likely to have gum disease, which is mostly visible on the molars and premolars. If the dog doesn’t receive treatment, the bacteria can affect the roots and the neighboring structures of the teeth and will cause teeth loss.

Diagnosing Dog Gingivitis

Gingivitis can be detected by examining the dog’s mouth. The vet will also establish the stage of the disease. Periodontitis may be rated in 4 stages. The first stage is gingivitis and is treatable in most cases.

Gingivitis Treatment for Dogs

The vet will recommend a professional cleaning and scaling of the teeth affected by gingivitis. The cleaning will remove all deposits of calculus and will also polish the teeth, so these will be less likely to attract additional bacteria. The dog will be under anesthesia during the entire treatment. Gingivectomy, or removal of a part of the gum tissue is recommended only if the gums are severely affected by the disease. Fluoride will also be applied on the teeth. If there is a gum infection, the vet will recommend an antibiotic treatment, which will reduce the inflammation and eliminate the infectious agents. If the vet establishes that your dog has stage 3 or 4 periodontal disease, he will require surgery or tooth removal.

Home Care for Gingivitis

At home, after the treatment, you can administer some mouth rinses that contain 2% chlorhexidine, but make sure your pet doesn’t swallow the solution. To prevent the swallowing, you can use a cotton ball dipped in the mouth rinse and tub it against the dog’s teeth and gums once or twice per day. You should also remember to wash your dog’s teeth at least once every 2 days.

Preventing Canine Gingivitis

Gingivitis can be prevented if you brush your dog’s teeth daily and administer chew treats or chew toys, which are ideal to remove plaque. A yearly dental check and professional cleaning is necessary for your pet.

Studies have shown that dogs that eat kibble food are less likely to develop gingivitis than dogs that eat soft food.