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Gingivitis or gum inflammation

Gingival Hyperplasia or gum overgrowth


Gingivitis or Gum Inflammation


More than 85% of dogs older than four years have teeth problems. There are four periodontal types of tissue: the gingiva (gum), cementum, periodontal ligament and alveolar supporting bone.

Periodontal disease starts when plaque forms. Plaque is a transparent adhesive fluid composed of mucin, sloughed epithelial cells and bacteria.

Plaque starts forming two days after dental cleaning. If the plaque is not removed, mineral salts in the food can precipitate to form hard dental calculus.

The calculus is irritating to the gum tissue or gingiva, changing the pH of the mouth and allowing bacteria to survive under the gum line. By-products of these bacteria "eat away" at the tooth's support structures, eventually causing the tooth to be lost in some cases.

When periodontal disease and gum disease is not treated, bacteria can continue to reproduce, creating deeper periodontal pockets through bone destruction.
Eventually, this progression can cause tooth loss and other internal medicine problems as the bacteria may enter the bloodstream.

This is the biggest concern as your dog may develop kidney or heart infection from periodontal disease and gingivitis. Good dental hygiene in your dog is vital as well as regular check ups at your vet to decide whether a full dental descale is necessary under anaesthetic.

Gingival Hyperplasia or Gum Overgrowth

Gingival hyperplasia or gum overgrowth occurs very commonly in certain breeds such as Boxers. It rarely causes problems but a larger growth of the gum called an epulis may be a concern as food and bacteria may become caught behind the epulis against the gum. This would then require surgical removal.

Gum overgrowth or gingival hyperplasia can also be the result of taking the drug cyclosporine to treat atopy. No treatment is needed. Stopping the cyclosporine results in the gum overgrowth receding.