5 Signs Your Dog May Be Suffering From Gingivitis

Gingivitis is the medical term for periodontal disease. It refers to inflammation along the gumline, and it's a condition that can affect dogs just as much as humans.

Luckily, gingivitis is the earliest stage of periodontal disease and the only reversible one, so a vet can help treat your dog to ensure they make a recovery. That's vital since more advanced periodontal disease can lead to tooth loss — in some cases, bacteria can even spread to other parts of the body and damage major organs.

As such, it's well worth learning the following five common warning signs of gingivitis in dogs.

1. Red Or Swollen Gums

Gingivitis irritates the gums, so symptoms of irritation are among the most common early signs that something is wrong. You may notice that your dog's gums appear red or swollen just where they contact your dog's teeth. This will often manifest as a long red line that runs along the gumline.

2. Bleeding Gums

As gums become more inflamed, they are likely to start bleeding under pressure, especially when the teeth have just been brushed. You should already be brushing your dog's teeth as part of their regular grooming routine, so make sure you take note of even slight bleeding. You can also press your dog's gums lightly with a fingertip to check if they bleed under pressure.

3. Difficulty Eating

Eating is one thing most dogs love to do, so it should be a cause for concern if your dog suddenly seems reluctant to eat. There are many reasons why this might happen, and gingivitis is one of the most common. Since the condition can cause discomfort while eating, many dogs will avoid food as a result. Even when they do eat, they may appear to do so more slowly or gingerly than before, and it's likely they will avoid dry food or chews.

4. Signs Of Pain

Your dog can't tell you when they are experiencing pain, at least not directly. However, they may show signs of pain that owners can pick up on. If gingivitis is causing discomfort, you may notice them pawing at their mouth, avoiding picking things up in their mouth or becoming reluctant to have their face or head touched.

5. Bad Breath

Your dog's breath is never going to smell like a bed of roses, but it may become noticeably worse when they are suffering from gingivitis. This is down to the bacteria that invades your dog's gums. Since the bacteria produces a foul odour as it thrives, your dog's breath is likely to become especially unpleasant.

Contact a vet for more info.