Our Locations

Stave Lake Veterinary Hospital

7871 Stave Lake St E130

Mission, BC V2V 0B5

(604) 286-0160

Gum Disease

Gum Disease: What Pet Owners Should Know

Cats, dogs, and other pets typically don’t need to have their teeth brushed every day like us humans. That said, proper pet dental care is still essential. Without such care, pets could be exposed to serious oral health conditions like gum disease. Fortunately, a veterinarian can provide assistance. Looking for a vet who serves Maple Ridge and Mission, BC? Come see our staff at Stave Lake Veterinary Hospital. 

gum check

Gum Disease in Pets Explained

Periodontal disease, or gum disease, as it’s often called, is a common dental condition in dogs and other pets too. Fortunately, this disease is often highly treatable with the right care and approach, and a vet can provide pet dental care when needed.

Gum disease is caused by bacteria, especially those bacteria that create plaque, which hardens into tartar. Typically, tartar will start to form in dogs who are two to three years old or older. Younger dogs usually don’t suffer from high tartar buildup, although it may occur on a case-by-case basis. With other pets, the timeline can vary.

The plaque, tartar, and bacteria all have a detrimental effect on the tooth, jawbone, and gums. Buildups can lead to inflammation and bleeding of the gums, among other things, thus resulting in periodontal disease. Some pets will be more susceptible to gum disease than others. For example, many smaller pets, including smaller breeds of dogs, may be more susceptible to gum disease, and especially severe complications, simply because they lack as much bone and tissue mass as larger pets. Still, no matter your pet, it’s wise to take him or her in to see a veterinarian and to undergo pet dental care.

Diagnosing and Treating Periodontal Disease in Pets

A veterinarian should give your companion and their mouth a look over during regular checkups, which are a must for most pets. A vet will look for signs of inflammation of the gums, loose teeth, and bleeding, among other warning signs. Excessive tartar buildup is also a symptom, and x-rays may be used to look for bone loss.

Many pets will also struggle to eat if they are suffering from gum disease or other dental problems. Some pets may be more irritable than usual. Weight loss can occur as well. If your pet is acting strangely, it’s smart to make an appointment with a veterinarian.

Gum disease can be treated with pet dental care cleanings, using fluoride, polishing the teeth, and other methods. For advanced and severe cases, surgery may be required. Early treatment could not only prevent pain and suffering but also make it less likely that invasive forms of treatment are needed.

Contact Our Veterinarians at Stave Lake Veterinary Hospital

Need help with oral pet health and live near Maple Ridge and Mission, BC? Stop by Stave Lake Veterinary Hospital. Our team of experienced veterinarians is here to provide the best care for your beloved pets. Schedule an appointment today to keep your pets' smiles healthy and bright!