If you've ever had a tooth ache, you can probably to the pain this can cause, but did you know that dogs can also have toothaches? Dogs can get toothaches for a number of reasons, and you will need to know what to watch for in order to know if your dog has tooth problems. Here are three things you should realize about dogs and the dental problems they can have.
What Dental Problems Can Dogs Have?
One of the most common dental problems dogs have is gum disease. Gum disease in dogs generally forms from plaque that remains on the teeth for a long period of time. Because dogs do not brush their teeth daily, they have a high chance of developing gum disease.
Dogs can also experience decay on their teeth, and decay also forms from plaque. Gum disease and cavities can lead to tooth sensitivity, receding gums, and tooth pain.
While it can be hard to know if your dog is suffering from dental problems, there are signs that can alert you to take action.
What Signs Should You Watch For?
As a dog owner, you probably know your dog better than anyone else. Because of this, you might be able to sense a problem if the dog starts acting abnormally. Any type of personality change in a dog can reveal an issue, but when the problems are teeth-related, you may notice some or all of these things:
- It is not interested in eating – If the dog's teeth hurt or feel sensitive, it may no longer eat its food. It may eat soft foods, but it may not want its hard, crunchy dog food.
- Blood coming from mouth – If you see any blood coming from the dog's mouth, it could indicate a tooth problem, including gum disease.
- Acting in different ways – If your dog does not want you to pet its head, or if it is acting tired or strange, it could indicate a dental problem.
- Bad breath – Another sign that your dog has dental problems is chronic bad breath.
If your dog is doing any of these things, you may want to open its mouth and take a look at its teeth. While the teeth of dogs look different than human teeth, you can still spot problems. As you examine its mouth, look to see if its gums are receding, red, or bloody. You can also look for signs of decay on the teeth. If anything looks abnormal, take your dog to the vet as soon as possible.
What Can Vets Do For Dental Problems?
When you take your dog to the vet for a dental problem, the vet will begin by examining its teeth. A visual examination is typically enough to tell whether there is a dental problem or not. From there, the vet will determine how to treat the problem.
If the problem is decay on its teeth, the vet may recommend extracting the infected teeth. This is only done when it is absolutely necessary, and it is done because vets typically do not put fillings in dogs' teeth.
If the vet diagnoses the problem as gum disease, he or she will determine how severe the condition is. This will determine how it is treated. For minor cases of gum disease, vets may treat the problem by performing teeth cleaning on the dog. For major cases of gum disease, a vet may want to perform a bone replacement procedure or another type of surgical treatment option.
Dogs cannot talk, but they can act in unusual ways. If your dog is acting unusual and you suspect it might be due to a tooth problem, contact an emergency vet clinic as soon as you can to find out what you should do.