Periodontal disease is the number 1 health issue among dogs, affecting around 80% of the adult dog population. Plaque and tartar buildup are a sign of improper diet, bacterial imbalance and chronic disease. Once it appears, dental disease is usually progressive, having several stages.
Gingivitis is the first stage of dental disease and consists of the inflammation of the gums. The main sign of gingivitis is a thin red line on the gums. This is due to the accumulation of plaque – a film made up of bacteria, with special proteins from the saliva, sugars and immune cells. Bacteria are living creatures and some of them excrete by-products that can trigger an immune system response. These by-products damage the gums and will cause inflammation.
In the second stage, you’ll see more irritated gums that will be red and irritated and, possibly, you’ll smell a bad breath from your dog’s mouth. With the progression of the inflammation, the gum tissue will be damaged and the sulcus around teeth will become wider and deeper, allowing even more bacteria to live there. The plaque will move below the gum surface and will continue to cause inflammation.
If this process continues, the gums will bleed easily and pockets will form in the gums and the bad breath will increase. If untreated, this will lead to bone loss and your dog may have loose or missing teeth.
Buy You have some alternatives to fight this problem. A poor diet, high in starch or sugar, can fuel unfriendly bacterial colonies. Genetically modified food or foods with pesticides can also kill “good” bacteria. Then, you can consider switching your pet’s diet to a raw one. Raw foods contain enzymes that help to protect the teeth and gums and, at the same time, don’t add unnatural and damaging starches or sugars that promote unhealthy bacterial growth in the mouth. Another possibilities are to make regular cleaning procedures and even add probiotics to your furry friend’s diet. We will address these last two possibilities in future blogs.
Remember: is always beneficial to act in a preventive way. Let’s help You to find a better diet to improve your dog’s smile!