Swollen Gums in Dogs | PetMD

gingivitis in dogs

Gingivitis is a reversible inflammation of the gums and is considered the earliest stage of periodontal disease. In the early stages of gingivitis, there is some plaque and slight redness of the gums, but the gingival surfaces are smooth.

The gingival sulcus, or gum pocket, is the narrow space between the inner wall of the gum and the tooth. As gingivitis develops, the bacteria present in these pockets worsen and the accumulation of more bacteria, which release toxins, destroys the gums.

Reading: Inflamed gums in dogs

In advanced gingivitis there is plaque and calculus under the gums, moderate to severe redness of the gums, and uneven gum surfaces. Dental calculus is phosphate and calcium carbonate mixed with organic matter, while plaque is a collection of food, debris, bacteria, dead skin cells, and mucus that forms within 24 hours on clean tooth surfaces. the gum responds to plaque with inflammation of the blood vessels, swelling, and loss of collagen.

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More than 80% of pets three years and older have gingivitis. it develops earlier in toy breeds and generally affects dogs before cats.

symptoms and types

  • red or swollen gums, especially on the inward-facing side of the gums of the cheeks
  • bad breath (halitosis)
  • variable amounts of plaque and calculation


Plaque buildup is one of the main causes leading to gingivitis in dogs. predisposing factors include:

  • old age
  • crowded teeth
  • soft food
  • open-mouth breathing
  • poor chewing habits
  • lack of oral health care
  • uremia and diabetes mellitus
  • autoimmune diseases


Your veterinarian will perform a complete physical exam on your dog, taking into account the history of the symptoms and possible conditions that could have caused them. You will need to provide a full history of your dog’s health and onset of symptoms, such as when the bad breath started, what your dog normally eats, if your dog has had any problems eating/chewing, and if your dog has had any health problems previous. conditions. The routine you’ve been using to keep your dog’s teeth clean, if you’ve been using one, should also be shared with your vet, including the products you use.

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Part of the physical exam involves taking a close look at your dog’s mouth to identify the condition. then your vet will make an appointment with you to take your dog in for a dental exam. During the dental exam, your dog will be anesthetized. Your vet will check the depth of the gum pockets, the amount of plaque and bacteria on the surface of the teeth, and remove any teeth that are rotten or overly crowded. All plaque and calculus will be removed by a scaling process that is done with special dental equipment and, if necessary, root planing. tooth surfaces will be polished and teeth will be re-examined after cleaning.

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If teeth are crowded or there are baby teeth in an adult dog, your veterinarian may remove some of the teeth. special dental instruments will be used to remove all plaque and calculus, polish the teeth and rinse them. he or she will then teach you how to clean your pet’s teeth, and appointments should be scheduled for follow-up exams.

housing and administration

You can help maintain your dog’s oral health care by brushing or rubbing (with a special toe pad) his teeth once a day or at least twice a week with veterinary toothpaste. Your veterinarian may also give you a veterinary antibacterial solution to spray on your pet’s teeth to decrease plaque buildup. rawhide chews and specialty foods recommended by your veterinarian can reduce tartar and also improve your dog’s oral health.

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