GingivitisGingivitis and periodontitis are two stages of periodontal disease. Gingivitis is defined as an inflammation of the gums. Periodontitis is a more severe form of periodontal disease and usually involves the loss of some tooth support. Untreated gingivitis can progress to a more advanced form of periodontal disease with the eventual loss of teeth.

Symptoms of early periodontal disease include redness of the gums and minimal accumulation of plaque and calculus at the gum line. With advanced gingivitis, plaque and calculus are more evident and some bleeding occurs when the gum line is probed.

During a routine physical examination, your Veterinarian generally inspects your pet’s teeth. If gingivitis is seen, teeth scaling, cleaning and polishing are recommended. This is done at the veterinary hospital and requires general anesthesia. Your Veterinarian may also recommend some follow-up care. Follow-up care usually consists of brushing your pet’s teeth with a soft-bristled nylon toothbrush.

Gingivitis is a reversible and treatable condition. If you suspect that your pet has symptoms of gingivitis or periodontal disease, a veterinary dental exam is strongly recommended. Early treatment can prevent the permanent loss of teeth.