Stomatitis in Dogs
Stomatitis is the condition where the soft tissues in an animal's mouth, such as the gums and tongue, become irritated and inflamed. It can become a major issue if bacteria or an infection enters the dog's blood stream. Treatment options are available, and the prognosis is positive for animals suffering from this medical condition.
Stomatitis can affect both dogs and cats. If you would like to learn more about how this disease affects cats, please visit this page in the PetMD health library.
Symptoms and Types
Common symptoms or signs of Stomatitis can include:
- Bad breath
- Ulcerated tissues
- Extensive teeth plaque
- Excessive drooling or saliva
- Fluid buildup in the gums
The primary types of inflammation are:
- Ulcerative Stomatitis: This condition occurs when a significant amount of gum tissue is lost in a dog's mouth, and is frequently accompanied by inflammation of the oral tissues.
- Oral Eosinophilic Granuloma: This condition occurs when there is a mass or growth in the dog's mouth.
- Gingival Hyperplasia: This condition occurs when gum tissue increases in size.
- Lypohocytic Plasmocytic: This condition is characterized by the presence of plasma cells and lymphocytes in the mouth -- each are types of white blood cells.
In puppies, inflammation can occur as teeth become overcrowded in the mouth. Several metabolic disorders are also known to cause this inflammation, including an abnormal amount of waste products in the blood stream, inflammation of blood vessels in the mouth (common with diabetes), inadequate levels of the hormone (called parathyroid) and lymphoma. Infectious diseases and injuries to the mouth can also cause the inflammation.
A veterinarian will examine the dog's mouth for lesions, teeth decay, plaque and other noticeable signs that may be causing the inflammation. In addition, laboratory blood work will typically be done to rule out any other underlying medical condition for the inflammation.
Antibiotics have been proven effective in reducing inflammation of a dog's oral cavity. In some cases, teeth will need to be surgically removed to reduce the inflammation. Teeth cleaning and proper dental and oral health should also ensure a quick recovery and good health for the dog.
To prevent inflammation, your veterinarian may recommend that you rinse or brush your dog's mouth. There are also some topical ointments that can be used to reduce or prevent inflammation of the dog's gums.