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Signs of Dental Issues In Dogs

March 15, 2020
Did you know that dental problems are one of the most common issues we see in dogs? Our canine pals can be afflicted by some very painful and dangerous issues, such as gum disease, misalignments, and cracked, chipped, or missing teeth. Fido can’t tell you if his teeth hurt, so it’s up to you to watch for red flags. A Jefferson area vet lists some common ones below. 

Bad Breath

Dogs are known for being cute, loyal, playful, loving, and affectionate. Having fresh breath? Not so much. Fido’s affectionate doggy kisses may never smell like peppermint, but they shouldn’t kill houseplants, either.

Excessive Drool

We know, some pooches are just naturally slobbery. However, ropy, bloody, or excessive drool can be a sign of doggy dental woes.

Bloody Gums

Bleeding gums are another red flag. You may also see bloody smears on Fido’s toys or dishes.


Any time you see swelling around your dog’s face or mouth, treat it like a medical emergency. This is often a sign of an abscess or infection. Because of the proximity to the brain, this can be very dangerous!

Tartar Buildup

Tartar buildup often goes hand-in-hand with gum disease. This insidious disease is painless and asymptomatic at first, but can cause tooth movement and/or loss down the road. It’s also been linked to some very serious health problems, such as heart disease and liver and kidney issues. 

Doggy Depression

Having a toothache doesn’t do much for anyone’s mood. This is also true for dogs! Fido may withdraw a bit, and he may not feel very playful. 

Changes in Eating Habits

It’s no fun chewing on a sore tooth. Your pooch may eat more slowly than he used to, chew on one side of his mouth, dribble food, or start preferring softer foods. In severe cases, dogs eat less than they should, or even stop eating entirely. Needless to say, this can be dangerous, as Fido won’t be getting proper nutrition if he isn’t eating enough. 


We recommend having your canine pal’s teeth checked annually, starting around age one. You can also help keep Fido’s teeth healthy at home. Brushing is the best option here. Use doggy toothpaste and a pet toothbrush. Dental-formula treats and chews are also beneficial. Ask your vet for more information. 

Please contact us, your Jefferson area vet clinic, anytime. We’re here to help!