Chronic Gingivostomatitis in Dogs


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What are Chronic Gingivostomatitis?

Chronic gingivostomatitis is a moderate to severe infection of the gums, and also affects other tissues of the mouth beyond the gums. This condition is one stage away from periodontal disease and is very painful. 

Stomatitis is inflammation of the mouth, and can cause the canine to have difficulty eating, drinking, and even sleeping due to the intense pain it can cause. Although stomatitis can be found anywhere in the mouth, gingivostomatitis is limited to the gums and tissues surrounding the teeth of the canine. 

Gingivitis, the inflammation of the tissues of the gums, begins with the plaque and tarter that is deposited on the teeth without being cleaned off. The bacteria from this accumulate, thus causing infection to spread into the gums and tissues. 

When a canine is taken to the veterinarian for a check-up, the medical professional checks the teeth for signs of buildup of plaque and tarter, before they become too calcified.  A dental examination is a part of a regular physical examination and should be routine in order to prevent this condition. Once the condition does occur, the care of a veterinarian and medical treatment is the only way to ensure your canine can recover.

Chronic gingivostomatitis in canines is a chronic condition in which canines are affected by the buildup of plaque and tartar on the teeth. This chronic build-up causes inflammation and infection, and must be treated by a veterinarian.

Symptoms of Chronic Gingivostomatitis in Dogs

If your canine has chronic gingivostomatitis, he will be in a lot of pain. Symptoms can also include:

  • Bad breath, or halitosis
  • Inflamed and swollen gums
  • Bleeding gums
  • Difficulty eating and drinking
  • Signs of pain, such as whimpering and crying 
  • Agitation
  • Depression

Types

Inflammation of the mouth due to oral health issues can be a serious condition if not treated by a veterinarian. Other types of teeth, gum, and mouth conditions include:

  • Periodontitis
  • Alveolar mucositis
  • Sublingual mucositis
  • Mucosa of the lip and cheek
  • Glossitis
  • Caudal mucositis
  • Faucitis
  • Palatitis
  • Tonsillitis
  • Pharyngitis

Causes of Chronic Gingivostomatitis in Dogs

Chronic gingivostomatitis in canines may be caused by several different factors. Causes of this condition include:

  • Bacterial
  • Viral
  • Plaque protein hypersensitivity
  • Immune-mediated response
  • Severe accumulation of plaque upon the teeth

Diagnosis of Chronic Gingivostomatitis in Dogs

If you suspect your canine has chronic gingivostomatitis or any other mouth condition, make an appointment with your veterinarian. To begin, your veterinarian will conduct a physical examination of your canine, which will include an examination of his teeth and mouth. He will gather more information about his symptoms by asking you when they began and what you have witnessed.

Your veterinarian may then choose to perform laboratory testing to rule out any other underlying health issues. He may conduct blood work, a biochemistry profile, and urinalysis. He will then look more closely at his mouth, namely the teeth and gums.

If your canine is diagnosed with chronic gingivostomatitis, your veterinarian will share with you the treatment options he suggests.

Treatment of Chronic Gingivostomatitis in Dogs

Upon diagnosis, and depending on the severity of your canine’s condition, your veterinarian discuss a treatment plan. Treatment methods may include:

Cleaning and Scaling

To begin with treatment, the first action your veterinarian will want to take is to professionally clean and scale your canine’s teeth. The reason for this is so the calcified deposit can be removed to ward off any more bacteria from forming. For this, your canine will need to be put under anesthesia.

Gingivectomy

Your medical professional may recommend that a section of his affected gum tissue is removed. Once this is accomplished, your canine will be put on antibiotic treatment to prevent any infection.

Teeth Extraction

A full or partial extraction of the canine’s teeth may be recommended if the condition is severe. Once the teeth are extracted, which is a type of surgery, your canine will be placed on antibiotics to prevent any infection.

Recovery of Chronic Gingivostomatitis in Dogs

Depending on the method of treatment for your canine, recovery may differ. Once you are home with your canine, it will be very important follow your veterinarian’s instructions for aftercare. He will explain to you the procedure of administering any antibiotics to your canine. It will be very important for your canine to take each dosage until the pills are gone.

Your veterinarian may also recommend specific mouth rinses and will show you how to perform these rinses on your canine in order for them to be effective. He will also recommend a specific diet for your canine, such as a very soft food diet until he begins to heal and show signs of less pain.

In order to prevent any gingivitis from forming in the future, you can brush his teeth each day and give him chew toys that naturally clean the teeth. Your veterinarian will also recommend regular dental visits for your canine.

When at home and during recovery time, especially if your canine had any teeth extracted, closely monitor your canine and check his mouth often for any signs of infection or other symptoms. If any new symptoms occur, please contact your veterinarian.


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