Jump to section

What are Swollen Gums?

The condition of your dog’s gums has an important impact on the overall health of your pet. Red, swollen gums can be an indication of gingivitis, which is an inflammation signalling early dental disease. Although your pet may not show signs of discomfort, plaque and tartar on the teeth and at the gum line will cause redness and pain. Gingivitis can lead to complications with organs such as the heart and liver due to toxins and bacteria entering the bloodstream, and will lead to further periodontal tissue damage.

Inflammation and redness in canine gingiva can be clinically diagnosed as gingivitis. Gingivitis is a painful condition which develops when plaque and calculus continually build up on the tooth, leading to bacteria forming on the gum line. Immediate veterinary care is necessary to prevent additional oral damage.

Swollen Gums Average Cost

From 327 quotes ranging from $200 - $800

Average Cost

$500

Symptoms of Swollen Gums in Dogs

Over 80 percent of dogs over the age of three have gingivitis. Toy breeds are especially susceptible due to the closeness and smallness of their teeth, and may begin to suffer from swollen gums at an early age. If your pet has swollen gums, check for redness and the beginning of a recession from the teeth. Bad breath is also an indication of a dental issue.

Types

Early Gingivitis:

  • Plaque and calculus (tartar) are evident on the teeth
  • There is a mild redness of the gums
  • Though swollen, the gums are still providing a seal around the teeth.

Moderate Gingivitis:

  • The plaque and calculus are now evident under the gum surfaces
  • Halitosis (bad breath) is present
  • The gums are more inflamed.

Advanced Gingivitis:

  • The gums are very swollen with evidence of bleeding
  • A recession of the gums has begun, with pockets forming which allow for bacteria to enter under the gum
  • The bad breath will now be more odorous.
arrow-up-icon

Top

Causes of Swollen Gums in Dogs

Swollen gums in a pet can be caused by the following:

  • Bacteria forms when the plaque on a dog’s teeth is not removed regularly with brushing
  • Minerals in the saliva harden the plaque, which then forms as tartar
  • As the plaque and tartar accumulate, the gums begin to recede.
arrow-up-icon

Top

Diagnosis of Swollen Gums in Dogs

Upon scheduling an appointment, the veterinarian will view your dog’s teeth and gums at each check up. If you suspect a dental issue with your pet, do not wait for the annual visit to have the problem looked at. Dental disease can progress rapidly.

When discussing the swollen gums with your veterinarian, you will be asked for a brief history of the time leading up to the problem. Your veterinarian will ask what type of food you feed your pet, and will want to know when you first noticed the bad breath and redness in the gums. If you have noticed any behavioral changes in your dog, be sure to advise the veterinarian.

She will perform a visual exam of your dog’s mouth and will point out to you the problem areas where gum recession may be present. She will check for abscesses of the teeth and will perform a palpitation of the neck and glands to rule out swelling or lumps.

If infection is present, antibiotics will be prescribed to prepare the mouth for a dental cleaning. Blood work will be ordered to confirm that your dog does not have an underlying problem that should be addressed before the dental appointment is made.

arrow-up-icon

Top

Treatment of Swollen Gums in Dogs

Treatment in the form of a thorough teeth and gum cleaning under general anesthesia is the solution for the resolution of this common canine problem.

Your pet will be carefully monitored during the dental procedure. Protocol for oral care under anesthesia includes utilizing machines such as an electrocardiograph to monitor the heart.

Once your pet has been put under the anesthesia, x-rays will be taken to identify specific problem areas not visible to the eye. If your veterinarian has found a tooth that needs to be removed due to fracture, abscess or gum disease, this will be done at this time. Once necessary extractions have been completed, the veterinarian will remove all calculus, and scale and polish the teeth.

The length of time required for the cleaning will depend upon whether there is a need for extractions. Once the cleaning has been completed, your dog will wake up, while being kept warm and comfortable in order to limit stress.

If your dog was experiencing pain as a result of the need for dental care, the pain will be relieved. Your veterinarian will determine if medication should be prescribed for a few days, in order to keep your pet comfortable as the mouth heals. All of the procedures that have taken place, along with the medication prescribed, will be noted in your dog’s medical chart.

arrow-up-icon

Top

Recovery of Swollen Gums in Dogs

Recovery should be straightforward and without complication. Your veterinarian may recommend softening your pet’s food for a day or two due to sensitivity of the gums.

The best way to avoid the recurrence of swollen gums and further dental problems is with daily oral care for your pet. Your veterinarian can instruct you in proper brushing techniques and advise on the best toothbrush and toothpaste to use. A finger brush is also an excellent tool for cleaning your dog’s teeth. While starting a regular brushing routine is easiest when your pet is young, mature dogs will adapt and cooperate if you begin gently and slowly, brushing a few teeth at a time with water, gradually working your way up to the entire mouth being brushed with a veterinary dentifrice.

Good quality dry food is important for your dog’s dental health. Chew treats can be effective in removing plaque; your veterinarian will be able to recommend the best product.

Excellent oral health is possible for your pet. Consistent daily care, along with regular annual check ups, will ensure your pet has a clean, healthy mouth.

arrow-up-icon

Top

Cost of Swollen Gums in Dogs

Proper oral hygiene is important for anyone, including our furry friends. However, swollen gums can be a result of an underlying issue. The first thing the veterinarian may do is give your dog a good teeth and gum cleaning. With the required blood work it can cost $292 on average. The veterinarian will also need to use general anesthesia which can cost around $40-$72. While your dog is under the anesthesia, the veterinarian will take X-rays to get a better look at what is causing the swollen gums. These X-rays should cost around $185. Once the veterinarian is able to access the X-ray scans, it may be determined that the underlying cause is a bad tooth. This means the veterinarian will need to do an extraction that can cost between $110 and $185. Finally, once all is said and done your dog will be taken off the anesthesia and given pain medication, an estimated cost of $85, to ease the healing process. The veterinarian will also prescribe an antibiotic to combat infection. A week supply of antibiotics can cost $30-$72 depending on the brand and amount.

arrow-up-icon

Top

*Wag! may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. Items are sold by the retailer, not Wag!.

Swollen Gums Average Cost

From 327 quotes ranging from $200 - $800

Average Cost

$500

arrow-up-icon

Top

Swollen Gums Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

question-icon-cta

Ask a Vet

dog-name-icon

dog-breed-icon

Golden Retriever

dog-age-icon

Fifteen Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Swollen Gums

I just noticed my dog, Cooper, has swollen gums around his upper right canine tooth and slightly behind around the next two teeth

July 13, 2020

Owner

answer-icon

Dr. Sara O. DVM

recommendation-ribbon

0 Recommendations

Hello, This can be Gingivitis. Your vet can start your dog on medication to help his gums feel much better. Some times your dog may need a dental cleaning to help with this issue. There are also dental treats that you can give your dog to help his teeth. I hope that your dog's gums start to feel better soon.

July 13, 2020

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

Nala

dog-breed-icon

Labrador Retriever

dog-age-icon

6 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Teeth
Teeth Missing

My 6 year old lab wwould Play with a hard toy bone but ended up grinding her teeth close to her gums! Now I checked and one of her front tooth not the K9 ,is missing the gin is swollen but isn’t red or she’s not in pain she still eats and acts normal what should I do?

Aug. 6, 2018

Nala's Owner

answer-icon

Dr. Michele K. DVM

recommendation-ribbon

1611 Recommendations

It would be best to have Nala seen by a veterinarian to have her teeth and mouth looked at. Many times, if the teeth are worn, they are fine, but if teeth are missing, she may have dental disease that needs attention.

Aug. 6, 2018

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

Alvin

dog-breed-icon

Wiener Dog / Jack Russell

dog-age-icon

9 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

None

My name is Erin Gagne and I’m currently 17 years old. I state my age because I’m unable to financially take care of myself and that goes the same for my wiener/jack Russell dog, Alvin. I’ve been doing more research into his breed and I’m noticing smaller dogs are more affected with bad dental and need regular home brushings. Alvin has been with me his entire life and I’ve always seen bacon flavored toothpaste and have asked to buy it for him but my parents occasionally say no. I finally bought him some a week ago and I’m noticing his back teeth are fully covered by yellow stuff. I think it’s plaque. Also as the color gets closer to the gym it’s a mixture of dark green and grey. The rest of his mouth isn’t as severe as his back teeth but they’re still with a decent amount of yellow plaque. Alvin isn’t showing any signs of pain which I know they may not be obvious since he can’t speak to me but he does eat his food normal, plays normal, drinks water normal, eats carrots, ice. He may not like me brushing his teeth but gets by since he likes the flavor. I guess my concern is how long will he be able to take the severity of his teeth til he MUST go to the vet. I also understand gum disease is a strong possibility and liver issues, etc.. but as long as I keep up with his daily teeth cleaning at home is it possible he’ll be fine in two more years once I can personally pay for his vet visits myself. I strongly suggest to my parents we must take him soon to get his condition checked out but we really don’t have the money to take him anytime soon. I’m hoping after I get my drivers license in a month and a job to take him.. I really need some reassurance but an honestly opinion of what to do because this fear has been keeping me up for a week now..

July 23, 2018

Alvin's Owner

answer-icon

recommendation-ribbon

3320 Recommendations

The older and longer dogs go without good oral hygiene the more difficult it is to reverse the years of non-brushing; plaque can be very difficult to get rid of and a scale and polish is probably the only way to remove the plaque and any calculus (the green looking stuff) that has formed. I honestly wouldn’t recommend leaving this any longer and recommend visiting a charity clinic or low cost clinic for a cleaning (some low cost clinics like the one below offer full dental work for $260). Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.helpinghandsvetva.com/procedures-pricing/dental/

July 23, 2018

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

Diamond

dog-breed-icon

Pit bull

dog-age-icon

11 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

thumbs-up-icon

2 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Gum Swelling

i came home from work one day and found aittle pool of blood with a tooth brokern. when i checked my puppy i saw her upper front tooth missing. a few days later the gum started to swell ans i took her to her veterinian and they prescribed some antibiotics and scheduler her for a deep cleaning. one week later the right upper side gum started to swell more so i took her back to the veterinian and they prescribed some inflammatory tablets. hower about two weeks later i realised it was not getting better and took her to another veterinaian for a second opinion and he recommended to get a biopsy done. the result came out out suspecting squamous cell carcinoma. So my veterinian schedule to see an oncologist. The oncologist did an xtray and found out my dog chest was clean but found her throat glands both sides were swollen and suspected was because of the gum swelling. He then took samples of both glands and sent to lab for s cytologist to look at and hopefully he can decide on what treatment to prescribed. However my dog front upper gum continued to swell and the odour is getting more and the gum is bleeding whenever she hits it. I really need help because I

June 11, 2018

Diamond's Owner


answer-icon

Dr. Michele K. DVM

recommendation-ribbon

1611 Recommendations

If Diamond hasn't been started on any treatment, the inflammation in her gums is not going to improve - the only thing that you can do at this point is to call your oncologist and find out what therapy is recommended for her to try and decrease these signs. I hope that she is okay.

June 11, 2018

Diamonds has to do a Ct scan at the blue pearl pet hospital today costing $1037. This will determine surgery costing $2500 or radiation costing $4000. Do not have the money right now. She is bleeding furiously. Have to get it done. Asking for any help financially payable to blue pearl hospital where all treatments will be done to save her life. Can contact Practice manager R. Wedge at bluepear , sandy springs, GA

June 13, 2018

Diamond's Owner


Dr. King you did give me some peace of mind since I was very upset the day when I went to the oncologist and they told me that I am looking to spend over $5000 without even diagnosing my dog. This is ridiculous since I do not have at money to spend and do not know where I can source that funds at this time since I lost almost everything last May 2017 and now starting all over again but my dog life is more important than anything else at this time in my life. Whatever it takes for me to save her I will. Am hoping I can have some financial help somewhere it it do comes down to $5000 even though the oncologist seems to know exactly what he has to do but just need the verification from the cytologist results. I am keeping my faith strong at this time. You all pray for my Diamond please.

June 12, 2018

Shanta S.

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

Delaney

dog-breed-icon

Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier

dog-age-icon

12 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

thumbs-up-icon

2 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Red Swollen Gums

We had our dogs teeth cleaned, afterwards we noticed the gums were red and swollen. We took her back to the Vet. and she was put on antibiotics. He said he had a couple of cases recently that this had happened. He said if this continued he may have to biopsy. I don't understand, the gums weren't red and swollen before cleaning and now they are. Why would she need a biopsy? Could there be an underling cause. Thank you

May 22, 2018

Delaney's Owner

answer-icon

Dr. Michele K. DVM

recommendation-ribbon

1611 Recommendations

I'm not sure what is going on with Delaney's mouth and gums, but it is possible that she has a bacterial infection that started when the bacteria in her mouth was beign cleaned. I can't see a reason to biopsy if it it something that started after the dental cleaning, but if your veterinarian feels that that is needed, it is reaonsable to ask more details before having the procedure. I hope that all goes well with her.

May 22, 2018

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

Elin

dog-breed-icon

Chihuahua

dog-age-icon

6 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Gum Red, Bad Breath

My dog is 6 years,Her teeth were inflamed last October, especially on the left side of the teeth, and the veterinarian pulled out its bad teeth and cleaned its teeth. But after a month, its left side of the mouth was inflamed, the lymph nodes on the left side of the jaw were swollen, and the veterinarian was given. The veterinarian gave the oral medicine Clavamox, getting better after a week. But after only one and a half months, the dog did not eat again. The lymph nodes in the left jaw were swollen, painful, and the gums were red. So I bought Clavamox again. After taking the medicine for a week, the dog is better now. My problem is: the vet has pulled out its bad teeth, and now I brush it every day, why is it still inflamed? How to do? What caused it?

dog-name-icon

Zia

dog-breed-icon

Japanese Spitz

dog-age-icon

5 Months

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

thumbs-up-icon

1 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Lesion
Blood Gum

I have five months japanese spitz mixed with terrier. She is weak now and she has many lesions in her body and she has blood on her gums. What is his illness? She has no appetite. She is not respond what ever i say to him she is just keep on lying in the corner and She can't stand on her own.

Swollen Gums Average Cost

From 327 quotes ranging from $200 - $800

Average Cost

$500

How can we help your pet?