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Gingivitis is a common pet health disease among both cats and dogs today. This is due mainly to the fact that most people simply do not provide proper oral care for their pets. To add to this problem, many pets today are fed poor diets and/or too many treats.

How Gingivitis Affects Your Pet

When pet owners fail to take care of their pet's oral hygiene properly, bacteria can accumulate in their mouths. While a small amount of bacteria in your pet's mouth is normal and will do no harm, when there are large amounts, it can lead to inflammation and gingivitis. When left uncontrolled, this bacteria will combine with food particles in the mouth and create plaque. If plaque is not removed right away, it can turn into tarter, which can create serious problems for your dog or cat. Tartar can lead to periodontitis, which can cause extreme oral pain, bleeding gums, tooth loss and even heart problems.

Common Symptoms of Gingivitis

When caught early, gingivitis can be easily treated and cured. However, it is unfortunate that periodontitis is irreversible. With that said, it is essential that you recognize the symptoms of gingivitis so that you can treat it before it progresses to periodontitis. If you notice any of these symptoms, you need to have your pet's teeth checked right away. Symptoms of Gingivitis in Pets: Inflamed and/or Swollen Gums, Bleeding Gums, Oral Pain/Discomfort, Difficulty Eating, Chewing and/or Drinking, Refusing Food and/or Water, Excessive Salivation, Buildup of Plaque or Tarter and Bad Breath.

Treatments for Gingivitis

The first thing your veterinarian will do to treat your dog or cat's gingivitis is to remove any plaque or tartar buildup on your pet's teeth. You will also be taught how to provide proper oral care for your pet. If there are any bacterial infections present, antibiotics will be prescribed. Typically, your veterinarian will choose to use antibiotic ointments or creams for these infections rather than pills. In this way, the medication can be applied directly to the affected areas. If your pet's gingivitis has progressed into periodontitis, surgery may be necessary.

Breeds Affected

Any animal whose oral hygiene is neglected can develop gingivitis. This includes both cats and dogs of any age or gender. However, breeds with small or short snouts seem to be more predisposed to the disease due to the the fact that they are more prone to tooth overcrowding. Some breeds that seem to be the most vulnerable to this condition are as follows. Breeds most vulnerable to Gingivitis: Burmese, Maine Coons, Persians, Siamese, Himalayans, Maltese, Pomeranians, Chihuahuas, Pugs, Pekingese, Shih Tzus, Yorkshire Terriers, other toy breed dogs and other pets with short snouts.

Pet Insurance

When adding a dog or cat to your family you want to make sure your pet is happy, healthy and protected. During its lifetime your pet is exposed to many illnesses and diseases and some breeds are affected by a congenital disease which is a condition existing at birth. At these moments when your pet is ill or maybe needs surgery, you want to be protected for the unexpected and high veterinarian costs.

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