Understanding and Addressing Periodontal Disease in Dogs


Gum disease become a major health issue in pets, especially in dogs. More than 80% of dogs suffer from early stage of gum infection which increases the risk of chronic dental disease (Bringel et al. 2020). Gum diseases occurs due to bacterial colonization in which bacteria are formed on the gum and cause erosion of gum, tooth and dental bones. In case of pets, they suffer from different dental illness such as periodontal disease, gingivitis, advanced stage of periodontal disease and root carries (Brunius Enlund et al. 2019).

I am working as the veterinary care assistant, who work on determining dental issues of pets and provide them with the best possible remedy to improve their dental condition. During my practice I have determined four stages of periodontal disease in dogs such as the 1st stages of gum disease which is called gingivitis (Cunha et al. 2021). The stage 2 and stage 3 gum diseases are called easily periodontal diseases and moderate periodontal disease (Enlund et al. 2020.). The stage 4 gum diseases is called the advanced stages of periodontal disease (Tanhuanpää, E., 2021).


Periodontal disease or gum disease in dogs occurs due to bacterial infection on gum line. In case of pets, the regular eating of unhealthy foods and poor maintaining of oral hygiene leads to combining of the saliva, food particles and bacteria which then form plaque on the teeth (van Veggel and Armstrong, 2017). After formation of the coating of plaque on the teeth body’s immune system work against the bacteria in these plaques thereby forming inflammation and redness of teeth which makes the plaque hardens to form tarter (Tanhuanpää, 2021). Targer then causes the decay and erosion of gum and dental bones thereby weakening the dental structure.

I have determined different changes that occur during the four stages of the periodontal diseases in dogs:

Stage 1: in this stage pets have redness as well as inflammation of their teeth, which is called gingivitis (Brunius Enlund et al. 2019).

Stage 2: gingivitis pockets are formed between teach and gum. These periodontal pockets are the place in which bacteria multiply (Cunha et al. 2021). With bacterial colonization on the teeth, these pockets get deeper and cause severe decay of gum and teach.

Stage 3: in this stage I determine whether the periodontal pockets are deeper than 5 mm (which was 3mm in stage 2). In this stage I observe bone loss in dogs (Enlund et al. 2020).

Stage 4: at this stage, I find out that there is more than 45-50% bone loss which causes severe tartar building up as well as gum recession in dogs (Goldschmidt and Hoyer, 2022).


While assessing the possible causes of gum diseases in pets I find out many factors that contribute to develop these dental health conditions. These factors are:


Unhealthy diet

Poor chewing behavior of dogs

Geometrical behavior

Wrong tooth alignment

Poor dementia ad oral hygiene

Grooming habits

How I diagnose the dental issue in dogs:

While determining these dental diseases, I have done the following examinations of pets

Dental screening:

In this process the dental-prophy is done under anesthesia of pet. In this process, I have scaled cleaned and polished the gum and teeth of dogs (Brunius Enlund et al. 2019). Here I have inserted a calibrated periodontal probe between tooth and gum line to make proper measurement of the periodontal pockets. If these is more than 3 mm depth of the pockets than there is high risk of dental abnormality in dogs.

Dental X-ray:

I have used this process in terms of obtaining the electromagnetic 3D images of dental structure such as gum line, tooth bones, cavity (Mateo et al. 2020). This process enables me to determine how much decay or erosion had been occurred inside tooth bone.

What material I have used:

Ultrasound brush:
Ultrasound brush

I have used this brush to remove the tartar from teeth. The usefulness of this brush is that it deep-cleanses the areas between the gum lines and tooth where normal brush cannot reach (Brunius Enlund et al. 2019)

By using this brush I do not use any anesthesia which reduce the health risk of pet

This brush cleanses the teeth without vibrating, moving and creating noise.

It enable vets to maintain high level of oral hygiene inside mouth which reduces the risk of further bacterial colonization on teeth

Tartar remover:

Tartar remover

I have used the tartar remover for not only removing tartar from the surface of teeth of vets but also the tartar that is formed inside the gum line. By using this tartar, I also remove tartars that are formed between the tooth and gum line (Bringel et al. 2020). While using the tartar remover, I ensure that it would not cause any cuts on gum line. Therefore while using the tartar remover, I make ensure that the pet is hold properly and the tarter is placed properly on the gum lines and teeth.

Universal scalar:

Universal scalar

I also have used this veterinary dental scalar for removing the dental deposits from teeth surface of pets (Tanhuanpää, 2021). The scalar had only one cutting edge which is used as the calculus for measuring the depth of periodontal pockets, gingivitis and root carries.

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Reference list:

Enlund, K.B., Brunius, C., Hanson, J., Hagman, R., Höglund, O.V., Gustås, P. and Pettersson, A., 2020. Dental home care in dogs-a questionnaire study among Swedish dog owners, veterinarians and veterinary nurses. BMC veterinary research, 16(1), pp.1-13.

van Veggel, N. and Armstrong, M., 2017. In Dogs with Periodontal Disease Is Feeding a Complete Raw Meat Diet More Effective Than a Complete Kibble'Dental'Diet at Reducing Periodontal Disease?. Veterinary Evidence, 2(2).

Goldschmidt, S. and Hoyer, N., 2022. Management of Dental and Oral Developmental Conditions in Dogs and Cats. Veterinary Clinics: Small Animal Practice, 52(1), pp.139-158.

Bringel, M., Jorge, P.K., Francisco, P.A., Lowe, C., Sabino-Silva, R., Colombini-Ishikiriama, B.L., Machado, M.A.D.A.M. and Siqueira, W.L., 2020. Salivary proteomic profile of dogs with and without dental calculus. BMC Veterinary Research, 16(1), pp.1-12.

Mateo, A., Torre, C., Crusafont, J., Sallas, A. and Jeusette, I.C., 2020. Evaluation of efficacy of a dental chew to reduce gingivitis, dental plaque, calculus, and halitosis in toy breed dogs. Journal of Veterinary Dentistry, 37(1), pp.22-28.

Tanhuanpää, E., 2021. Periodontal disease in dogs and cats; Diagnosing, treatment, homecare and preventive methods; Owner awareness, attitudes and beliefs (Master's thesis, Eesti Maaülikool).

Brunius Enlund, K., Brunius, C., Hanson, J., Hagman, R., Höglund, O.V., Gustås, P. and Pettersson, A., 2019. Development and validation of two questionnaires: dental home care and dental health in Swedish dogs. PloS one, 14(1), p.e0204581.

Cunha, E., Valente, S., Nascimento, M., Pereira, M., Tavares, L., Dias, R. and Oliveira, M., 2021. Influence of the dental topical application of a nisin-biogel in the oral microbiome of dogs: a pilot study. PeerJ, 9, p.e11626.

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