Dog Dental Problems: Symptoms and How to Detect Them

Optimal dog dental care starts by early detection of symptoms.

Common dental problems for dogs are similar to the ones encountered in humans. However, some of the dental problems found in dogs need more attention and prevention to keep our canine friends in a good oral health. One of the most common dental problems for dogs is gum disease, which is present in almost eighty-five percent of canines who are over four years old. Dogs, like humans, need dental preventive care to avoid frequent problems such as infections, abscesses, and loose teeth. Therefore, pet owners must be able to detect dental problems signs in their dogs.

How to Detect Symptoms for Dental Problems in Dogs

Loss of appetite or unusual eating habits

When dogs have dental problems, we can sometimes tell these problems exist because they may prefer to eat softer foods, chew their food less, or chew on one side of their mouth. Sometimes, this may cause them to vomit undigested food; this is a sign that there might be something wrong with their teeth.

Bad breath or smelly mouth

Halitosis (bad breath) is one of the most common oral problems in dogs, and is also the easiest to detect.  Your furry friend having a smelly mouth is not the normal standard. Periodontal disease (infection of the gums) is the most common cause for halitosis or bad breath in dogs. If you notice that your dog builds up plaque between the tooth surface and the gum line, it may be a case of periodontal disease. Pet owners should have a veterinarian take care of your pet regularly to avoid gingivitis.

Change or loss of the dental gums

Healthy teeth have a bulge between the tooth and the gums. If you detect straight gums and no bulge on each tooth, we recommend that you bring your dog for a dental check-up since inflammation, gum loss, and gingivitis may be present.  Even a minimal amount of gum loss can create the conditions for plaque and tartar to adhere.

It’s common in puppies that the deciduous tooth won’t fall out completely, even while the adult tooth is already coming out. As a result, both teeth occupy the same space in the puppy’s mouth. In order to avoid future dental problems with your dog, it’s important to take your puppy to our veterinary clinic in Kahului so a crooked tooth can be avoided.

In some cases, some periodontal diseases may not be easily visible to even the most experienced pet owner. Therefore, a complete dental examination for your dog is advised for your pet’s dental health. Larger breeds usually require once-a-year dental exams, while smaller breeds even more frequent attention. You can bring your pet to our veterinary dentistry in Maui for a complete periodontal examination, including digital dental X-rays. Call (808) 873-0102 to make an appointment with one of our pet dentists.

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