Periodontal Disease in Dogs: Important Information You Need to Know

Your dentist may have advised you to avoid gingivitis, a gum infection, or inflammation. Gingivitis in dogs is caused by a buildup of bacteria known as plaque, which forms a biofilm across their teeth, according to veterinarians. Plaque “thickens and mineralizes, resulting in tartar” if not removed. Tartar, also known as calculus, attracts additional plaque. This is the first stage of gum disease in dogs, in which toxins infect the gingiva tissue at and below the gumline.

What is periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease is caused by plaque bacteria. Dental plaque accumulates and hardens into tartar, which firmly adheres to the teeth without regular cleaning. When tartar and bacteria become trapped beneath the gum line, where pet owners cannot see them, a vicious cycle of damage and infection to the tooth and supporting tissue begins.

What are the symptoms of periodontal disease?

Bad breath, tartar on the teeth, and a line of red inflammation along the gum line are all early signs of gum disease in dogs. Unfortunately, pet parents rarely notice their dogs’ first signs of periodontal disease. Gum disease is usually advanced and painful for a pet when symptoms appear.

How is periodontal disease diagnosed?

A veterinarian can detect any signs of periodontal disease during an oral exam, such as red gums, plaque and tartar buildup, and tooth loss or mobility. Suppose your veterinary dentistry specialist suspects the periodontal disease is at work. In that case, they recommend that your dog have a dental cleaning and an X-ray under general anesthesia to fully assess their oral health.


It’s a good idea to have your dog checked for periodontal disease by a vet once or twice a year, as early treatment may be able to save your pet’s teeth. If your veterinarian recommends dental care, even if your dog is acting normally, follow their advice.


Is periodontal disease preventable in dogs?

Following a few vet-recommended strategies can help protect your dog from gum disease. Dogs, like humans, can benefit from having their teeth brushed twice daily. Brushing aids in the removal of plaque and bacteria. Most dogs can be easily trained to enjoy having their teeth brushed. Some pets even enjoy it, as long as it is done gently.


Play with tooth-friendly chew toys with your dog. Thin, bendy chew strips and soft rubber chews are both excellent options. Antlers, hooves, bleached bones, and tennis balls are bad chew toys. When in doubt, consult your veterinarian from sites like to see if a toy is a good option.

What Is the Treatment for Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease in dogs is treated similarly to gum disease in humans, with a thorough cleaning and removal of all plaque and tartar from the teeth. Cleaning above and below the gumline with your dog under anesthesia is the safest and least stressful method. 


This also enables the veterinarian to thoroughly examine the mouth, extract loose, broken, or infected teeth, and take dental X-rays. If they discover an infection in your dog’s gums, they may prescribe antibiotics and pain relievers or even the best veterinary surgery San Jose has to available


There is only one way to be proactive in the early detection of periodontal diseases: have your pet’s teeth professionally cleaned, along with full-mouth dental x-rays. At 1–2 years old, pets should have their teeth cleaned for the first time. Feeding your dog food that reduces plaque and tartar accumulation reduces the chances of periodontal diseases.