Recognizing Problems With Your Dog’s Teeth And Fostering Good Oral Habits

Your dog can’t tell you when it is experiencing a dental issue, which makes it important to regularly check out your pet’s mouth, teeth, and gums. Some pets may cooperate, while others may become anxious or aggressive, particularly if they are experiencing dental pain. Talk with your veterinarian or pet dentist about the best way to ease dogs into the habits that will keep their teeth healthy. Read on to learn more about common problems and how to foster good habits.

Your dog’s teeth.

It can be tough to know when the condition of your pet’s teeth–though their breath can often give some indication of a problem. Periodontal disease is common among dogs, just as it is for people, and the signs are quite similar. For instance, discoloration of teeth, swollen gums, and bad breath can be a sign of advanced tartar, plaque, and subsequent periodontal disease.

Signs of tooth pain.

Dogs will often suffer in silence, and you may not realize that they are experiencing dental pain or discomfort. Some signs of an issue may include behavioral changes, such as in appetite, or being reluctant to let you pet their head. Some other signs of a painful condition include:

  • Attempts to bury their head in blankets, bedding, etc.

  • Blood on the dog’s chew toy.

  • Difficulty picking up their food.

  • Whining or crying when they yawn or eat.

Signs of dental infection

An infection may be due to an abscess in your dog’s mouth, and you might be able to see a bump or swollen, inflamed area on your pet’s gum. An abscess may result in difficulty eating, and some dogs may tilt their head to the side more than usual. Also, watch your dog’s face for swelling, which could also be a symptom of an infection.

Preventative options.

Don’t ever use a regular toothbrush on your dog’s teeth; there are special toothbrushes for dogs that are a different size and shape. Don’t use regular toothpaste either, as fluoride can be toxic and dangerous for your pet. Typically, it is easy to find toothpaste for your dog in most pet retail venues, often in flavors such as poultry or peanut butter.

Professional dental care.

Veterinarians will typically clean your pet’s teeth for you during visits, though they may suggest that dogs have surgical cleanings, involving anesthesia and extended stays. Some groomers may also offer to clean your pet’s teeth for you. Invest in a pet toothbrush and toothpaste and start trying to foster cooperation with your dog when you brush his teeth.

Don’t let your pet suffer with a dental problem. Have the vet periodically check your pet’s teeth during visits and begin brushing your dog’s teeth. This will take patience and diligence, but will reduce anxiety that may be associated with providing good oral hygiene.