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Periodontitis in dogs: preventing causes


Periodontitis in dogs is probably the most common dental disease in the four-legged friends. The causes are mostly inadequate dental hygiene, which leads to dangerous plaque. But how can periodontitis be prevented? Your veterinarian will show you how to take care of your dog's teeth and prevent periodontitis - Shutterstock / De Jongh Photography

The best way to prevent periodontitis in dogs is to understand the causes. The importance of dental care in dogs is often underestimated, and the dog's teeth can develop periodontitis and tooth decay or gingivitis as well as human teeth.

Causes: Dental plaque leads to periodontitis in the dog

Dental plaque, also known as plaque or tartar, is a tight layer on the teeth, which is created over time by food residues and various bacteria. The dental plaque will gradually become thicker and firmer if it is not removed regularly, and the bacteria living in it, which can trigger periodontitis in dogs, feel particularly comfortable in this low-oxygen environment. They multiply and begin to decompose the tooth holder.

First, the bacteria attack the gums and dissolve them until the tooth neck is exposed. The periodontitis pathogens gradually penetrate deeper, dissolve more and more gums and even migrate into the tooth root, in the worst case also into the jawbone. The tooth is loosened more and more and finally falls out; if the jawbone is attacked, it also begins to decompose. No one can reverse periodontitis in dogs, so you can only prevent the causes so that they do not develop at all or the decomposition process at least does not continue.

Risk factors for periodontitis

Some dogs develop periodontitis more quickly than others because they provide better conditions for the plaque bacteria. No direct causes, but risk factors, read below:
Malocclusions: If a dog's teeth are crooked or very close together, they sometimes create additional gaps and niches in which food residues, plaque and tartar settle particularly easily and are difficult to remove. Breeds with a narrow muzzle and toy dog ​​breeds are particularly susceptible to misaligned teeth and therefore periodontitis.
Reduced salivation: If your dog produces too little saliva, the self-cleaning mechanism in the oral cavity works less well. Dental plaque develops quickly and the bacteria feel particularly comfortable in this environment.
tooth irritation: Some dogs have strange habits and like to bite on stones, for example. This can cause irritation to the teeth and gums that support the bacteria. Misaligned teeth can also lead to irritation.
Inflammation in the mouth: If your dog already suffers from gum infection or other inflammation in the mouth, this can pass to the tooth holding apparatus and promote periodontitis in the dog.
Calcium deficiency and excess phosphate: If your dog gets too little calcium and vitamin D and too much phosphate due to poor nutrition, this can lead to bone loss in the tooth compartment. This is also a risk factor for periodontitis.
Lack of vitamins A and B: Too little vitamin A and B in dog food causes symptoms of deficiency and promotes gingivitis. But too much vitamin A is not good either; There is a risk of gum proliferation, which can promote periodontitis.
Inferior quality food: If the finished feed contains too many carbohydrates, is mixed with sugar or excessive grain, it can promote tartar and dental problems. The structure and consistency of the feed is also crucial - too soft wet food can more easily deposit on existing plaque, the dog often swallows dry chunks of food without chewing. In the case of dry food, if there is grain in it, a sticky porridge can form, which sticks to the teeth.
Age: With increasing age, the risk of dental problems increases, both in humans and in dogs.
diabetes: Chronic basic diseases such as diabetes weaken the immune system and thus also promote dental problems.

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Prevent periodontitis in dogs with dental care

In order to prevent periodontitis in the dog, you have to remove the dental plaque regularly. Special toothbrushes and finger brushes as well as toothpaste for dogs will help you. It is best to have your vet show you the correct tooth brushing technique. However, you can also find the first tips in our guide "Dental care for dogs: How to keep your teeth healthy". Chewing bones and chew toys can support dental care.

Prevent dental plaque through nutrition?

A species-appropriate diet with a balanced calcium-phosphorus ratio, sufficient vitamins D, A and B can prevent periodontitis in dogs if dental care is also taken into account. When you bark your dog, there is also less plaque on the teeth because the structure and consistency of the raw pieces of meat prevent this. Nevertheless, dogs can get tartar despite Barf, but it usually turns out milder.