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Gum Disease in Dogs / Gum Disease in Cats

Gum Disease in Dogs / Gum Disease in Cats

Herbal remedies for cats and dogs to help address symptoms related to gum disease and mouth infections in dogs and cats. 

Nutrition plays a critical role in skin and bone health as well as the health of your pet's teeth, gum and related mouth tissues. Healthy teeth and gums are also related to a balanced immune system, which in turn, promotes health to tissues and organs in every body system of your pet. Nutrition works in a coordinated effort with immune health to enable your pet to defend itself against all manners of attacks on the body related to bacterial, virus, fungus, allergens, antigens, pathogens, toxins and microorganisms, bacterial and viral.

Gum disease is one of the most common dental problems affecting dogs and cats. Research shows that most animals over the age of 2 years suffer from gum disease. As important as it is for you as a pet parent to maintain a daily dental care program, it is likewise for your dog and cat. 

Gum disease occurs as a result of a build up of food particles, saliva and bacteria known as plaque on the teeth. Plaque hardens and calcifies into tartar under the gum line and on the teeth and can cause infection. It is very painful and uncomfortable for your pet and they have no way to communicate the pain. 

When an infection develops, it not only damages the gums and bones around the teeth but can also spread into the blood stream. If left untreated, bad breath, tooth loss, abscesses, gingivitis, tooth, root and jawbone infection may develop. More severe cases of gum disease can lead to kidney, liver and heart disease as well as joint disease and even organ failure.

The most common symptoms and signs of gum disease include:

Bad breath

Loose teeth

Discolored teeth

Bloody, inflamed gums

Receding gums

Pawing at the mouth

Salivation

Reluctance to eat or chew food, particularly hard food

Drops food when eating

Behavioral changes such as depression, irritation or aggression

Decaying teeth can cause severe pain, bleeding gums, tooth loss, and dental problems as your pet ages. Short term, decaying teeth can compromise organs, including the heart and kidneys and long term decay can cause serious illness heart and kidney disease.

Dental care is important in preventing problems such as plaque and gingivitis, and should be part of a regular, at home regimen which includes a healthy diet, daily brushing and weekly check ups of your pet’s mouth and teeth.

Healthy teeth are white and shiny from the gum line to the end of the tooth. Any teeth that are yellow or brown display signs of plaque and calculus build up.

A healthy diet should include hard foods to scrape the teeth as well as holistic dental bones and treats that help remove plague and tartar from the mouth. Also, adding in healthy vegetables such as carrots will provide antioxidant support and an extra layer of protection in delaying dental problems.  

Bad breath is the number one indication that tooth decay is present. Rotting food trapped in teeth combined with saliva create the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and the build up of plaque and calculus. Once these conditions develop, your pet is at risk for dental problems.

Plaque

Plaque is formed when food or other debris is not removed and becomes trapped along the gum line. Plaque hardens and becomes tartar just a few days. To prevent this process, brush your pet’s teeth daily or use holistic dental treats.  

Tartar

Tartar forms when plaque combines with minerals found naturally in your pet’s saliva that hardens along the gum line. The gum line becomes irritates and inflamed and puts your pet at risk of developing gum disease, or gingivitis. Once gingivitis develops, tartar must be removed by a veterinarian.

Periodontal Disease

If the tartar is not removed, it will continue to accumulate under and along the gum line. The gums eventually recede, pulling away from the teeth, creating an opening between the teeth and gums, where food is caught, allowing bacteria to grow. As your pet’s gums deteriorate, periodontal disease presents and the damage to the gums and teeth cannot be reversed. Your pet’s teeth will loosen, fall out and your pet will be at risk for developing an abscess.

Some breeds are more susceptible to developing periodontal disease, particularly small breed dogs such as Chihuahuas, Toy poodles and Pomeranians, due to the small size of their mouth. Even when pet owners are vigilant, their teeth are closely spaced to remain clean, debris free, and as a result, plague and tartar can easily develop. 

There are several factors that may contribute to gum disease and these include poor nutrition and dental hygiene, eating hard objects such as sticks or even treats. Other factors include age, genetics, environment, breed, and arrangement of teeth, as well as grooming habits, bacterial infections and overall health and wellness of both the pet parent and pet. 

An annual vet visit can help track and inform the health of your pet's gums and teeth, allowing you as a pet parent to develop a preventative health program, and for your pet to enjoy a better quality of life. 

Helpful suggestions for preventing gum disease: 

Feed your pet holistic, high quality, commercial food free of corn, wheat, soy and without preservatives, additives or colorants. 

Brush and clean your pet’s teeth and gums daily to prevent gum disease.

Use a toothbrush with a small head to brush your pet’s teeth. 

Check your pet’s mouth, teeth and gums regularly for bleeding, bad breath, inflamed gums, and tartar buildup.

Cats generally do like their mouths opened, therefore start handling your pet's mouth when he/she is still a kitten so that he may become accustomed to this experience.

Never use human toothpaste or baking soda to brush your pet’s teeth. ONLY USE PET TOOTHPASTE free of chemicals and preservatives. 

Give your pet dental toys, treats and chews such as natural dental chews which helps support teeth, gum and digestive health by encourage chewing and plaque removal. 

Have your pet's teeth cleaned annually by a vet. 

Herbal Nutrition - (listed in order of relevance and recommendation by holistic vets - human grade meets/exceeds highest safety criteria for pets)

Herbal remedies are used to help maintain healthy, strong teeth and gums and to promote dental care, to help promote healthy teeth, gums, skin and bone and promote overall oral health in dogs and cats; to help address infection related to gum disease and gingivitis; to help support healthy bacteria in the mouth and gut, to help support native gut flora, to help support balanced immune health and to help support of bone health in dogs and cats. 

Seal ‘Em & Heal ‘Em – (learn more) promotes healing for all types of wounds, including hot spots, abscess, abrasions, bites, cuts, scrapes, skin irritations, infections, viruses, bacteria, fungi and germs; for bleeding & hemorrhaging conditions, ulcers, GERD, esophaghitis & other degenerative conditions of the larynx & throat; for DNA and RNA viruses; used holistically to address respiratory viruses A and B (RSV) and influenza virus A (FLU-A) and para-influenza (PIV); inhibits bacterial and microbial skin fungus infections related to Staphylococcus aurous, S. epidermis and other gram negative bacteria such as enterobacteria, citrobacteria, salmonella; helps provide cellular support of tissue, skin & coat; for gastrointestinal distress; as a neurasthenic that blocks the activation of nerve fibers & tissue response to inflammation, supporting the body's tissue repair mechanism to stop mutations (important in the treatment of all types of Lyme disease, including Lyme borealis, burgdorferi, borreliosis & Chronic Lyme disease (CLD); and may help remove plague and tartar upon application to help support healthy teeth and gums.; Strongly anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-microbial, anti-spasmodic, antibiotic, anti-septic, anti-inflammatory, anti-ulcerous, anti-Candidal and reduces nerve pain associated with wounds and injury.

Bionic Body – (learn more) is used holistically for its adaptogenic (read, repair and restore functions) for its immune boosting and anti-inflammatory support; as an antioxidant and for its free radical scavenging (disease preventing) actions; for its nutritive content which may help to nourish the body and strengthen and revitalize bones, eye, teeth, skin and coat; works to stimulate collagen production, a primary building material of bones; may help prevent dental disease; for its plant actions to help strengthen bones, cartilage, joints, muscles, connective tissues & blood vessels & helps to reduce joint inflammation, while activating a cartilage-protective biochemical, potentially helping to preserve healthy cartilage in aging joint; for its anti-allergen natural plant chemicals which may help to fight off allergies and infections; for its prebiotic and probiotic content to help support native gut flora and healthy digestion.

Life’s An Itch - (learn more) is used to promote optimal immune response, reduces all types of allergic (acute and chronic) reactions by stopping histamine response, reduces respiratory disorders, relieves wheezing, chest discomfort and sinus inflammation, soothes smooth muscles and tissues and alleviates respiratory congestion, including asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, laryngitis, esophaghitis (GERD, reflux), rhinitis, sinusitis, bronchitis, COPD; relieves viral and bacterial infections, hot spots, remedies skin allergies and irritations, soothes itchy skin and coat in dogs and cats, and works to cut recovery time and prevent recurring infection. 

Baby Love Bits – (learn more) helps to build, promote and support muscle, joint, bone, cartilage and tendon health, mobility and flexibility; as a powerhouse Probiotic Vitamin B complex; helps prevent against flea and tick infestations; supports the Central Nervous System; stimulates immunity and healthy metabolism; aids digestion and promotes whole body microbial balance; improves liver function and liver health; purifies whole bodily systems; keeps the skin, hair, eyes and mouth healthy; used holistically for gum disease; helps promote strong healthy bones and connective tissues; to help support native gut flora related to Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD); for infectious diarrhea, including rotavirus diarrhea, for nervousness and fatigue.

Conventional Remedies:

The diagnosis of gum disease is based on a thorough dental examination of the mouth, gums and teeth. Certain tests such as radiographic imaging will be performed.

Treatment generally depends on the severity of the gum disease. It involves brushing your dog or cat’s teeth daily with a prescribed toothpaste, cleansing, polishing and fluoride application to control plaque build up and prevent loss of teeth. All procedures are done under general anesthesia so that no pain is experienced.

This is then followed by cleaning the spacing between the teeth and gums to reduce the size of the spacing between teeth. An antibiotic gel is also applied to restore periodontal tissues. More severe cases will require procedures such as periodontal splinting, bone replacement and tissue regeneration. Looking after your pet’s teeth remains your responsibility and includes feeding a healthy and nutritious diet, daily home dental care and regular veterinary check ups.

 

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