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Tooth loss (periodontitis) in dogs

Tooth loss (periodontitis) in dogs is an inflammation of the tissue around the teeth that can lead to tooth loss. It is usually caused by plaque.
Tooth loss (periodontitis) in dogs

Symptoms of tooth loss (periodontitis)

  • Bad breath
  • Irritated gums
  • Loose teeth
  • The dog scratches his mouth
  • Decreased appetite
  • Problems with chewing
  • Aggression, irritability and depression

What is periodontitis?

Periodontitis, known as tooth loss, is a chronic inflammation of the supporting tissue of the tooth that first destroys the soft tissue around the tooth and, at a later stage, the jawbone, leading to loose teeth.

Periodontitis can be local in the oral cavity or general. Plaque formation is what leads to periodontitis and calculus (tartar) is seen in varying degrees.

Caused by inflammation

The tooth loss disease periodontitis starts with inflammation of the gums (gingivitis). The gums become irritated, pockets form under the gums and eventually the tooth may become loose. The tooth can come off (fracture) more easily or fall out altogether. The gums can also recede, exposing the root of the tooth.

If your dog's teeth are attacked by periodontitis, they can never regain normal bone support again. The only way to avoid further development of tooth loss is to thoroughly brush your dog's teeth  daily.

Periodontitis can lead to root tip abscess

If the infection spreads to the tooth root, it can eventually lead to infection in the jawbone and give rise to root tip abscesses. The damage caused by the disease is irreversible.

How tooth loss is treated

In an early stage of tooth loss, calculus and plaque are removed under anaesthesia. Any gum pockets are cleaned and they are measured in mm. Dental x-rays are performed when a large part of a tooth is under the gums.

If tooth loss is already in a later stage, teeth may need to be extracted and sometimes it may need to be supplemented with gum surgery. After that, the pet owner should regularly (daily) brush their dog's teeth to try to prevent further development of the disease.

Brush the dog's teeth

Tartar, tooth loss and other dental diseases can often be prevented by regular tooth brushing. Daily brushing can also help with detecting disease in your dog's mouth at an early stage.

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