What Is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease, which includes gingivitis and periodontitis, is an inflammation and/or infection of the gums and bone around your dog’s teeth. It’s caused by bacteria that accumulate in the mouth, forming soft plaque that later hardens into tartar. If untreated, periodontal disease can eventually lead to tooth loss. Periodontal disease is the most common disease among dogs. It affects more than 8 out of 10 dogs over 3 years of age.

How Do I Know If My Dog Has Periodontal Disease?
If you notice that your dog has any of the following symptoms, be sure to tell your veterinarian:
*Bad Breath (one of the first signs of periodontal disease)
*Red or swollen gums
*A yellow-brown crust near the gum line
*Loose or missing teeth
*Discomfort when mouth or gums are touched
*Possible decreased appetite or weight loss due to difficulty chewing

Is There Anything I Can Do?
 Preventing periodontal disease begins at home. By brushing your dog’s teeth on a regular basis, you will help to reduce plaque buildup. Be sure to use a toothbrush and toothpaste specially designed for dogs.

Clean. Take your dog to the veterinarian regularly for dental exams and cleaning. Regular professional cleaning under general anesthesia, including areas under the gum line, will help reduce bacteria’s contribution to periodontitis.

Vaccinate. Now there’s a new vaccine to help the destruction caused by canine periodontitis. The Porphyromonas vaccine by Pfizer Animal Health aids in the prevention of canine periodontal disease as demonstrated by a reduction in bone changes. Periodontitis, the most common bacterial infection in dogs, can lead to long-term effects such as tooth loss if left untreated. When used as part of a complete dental care program, you can be confident knowing you are providing the best care for your dog.

Common Questions About the Porphyromonas Vaccine
1/ How often will my dog need to be vaccinated?
Your dog will initially receive two doses of the Porphyromonas vaccine, given three weeks apart. Your veterinarian will advise you on the number and frequency of future vaccinations your dog may need.
2/ When is it safe to vaccinate my dog?
Safety was demonstrated in dogs 7 weeks of age and older.
3/What if my dog already has periodontal disease?
Periodontal disease can progress to four stages of severity. There can even be different stages of involvement in different teeth within the same mouth. Appropriate periodontal therapy should be administered to restore health to the teeth; however, all teeth can potentially benefit from the Porphyromonas vaccine.
4/If my dog receives the vaccine, are cleaning and brushing still necessary?
The Porphyromonas vaccine should be used as part of a total dental plan that includes at-home care and professional cleanings. Even with the use of the Porphyromonas vaccine, tartar and plaque may still develop.
5/ What else should I do to keep my dog’s mouth healthy?
Your veterinarian will recommend the most appropriate treatment for your dog.
6/What are the possible side effects of the Porphyromonas vaccine?
As with any vaccine, the potential for side effects after vaccination exists. If you notice anything unusual, contact your veterinarian.