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How to Identify Dog Dental Health Problems?

How to Identify Dog Dental Health Problems

Some signs to identify dog dental health problems are bad breath, visible tartar, difficulty with eating, excessive drooling, and noticeably red gums. 

The oral health of dogs is closely related to their overall health and well-being. The oral structures of a dog can stop functioning properly if they become damaged or diseased. Their ability to eat and communicate properly is severely impacted because of this issue. 

Dental issues in dogs should be taken more seriously as they can lead to more serious health issues. Bacteria and infections will not just be confined to their mouth but may start to circulate in the whole body, damaging organs such as the liver, kidneys, and heart.

Gingivitis is a gum disease, gums get inflamed because of bacterial plaque in this case but ligaments and bones are not yet affected. Bad breath is common in this case and since it is one of the mild dog dental issues, it can be reversed with proper teeth cleaning. 

If unchecked, gingivitis can lead to an even more severe problem known as periodontitis. It is one of the small dog teeth problems, especially those with crowded or misaligned teeth.Gums, ligaments, and bones are severely affected due to this disease.

Endodontic disease is one of the far more severe dog dental problems. It can be caused due to enamel abnormalities, tooth fractures, or tooth decay. 

What are the Signs of Tooth Infection in Dogs?

Here are some of the signs of tooth infection in dogs:

Plaque and Tartar Buildup

It is a whitish substance, a biofilm that develops on teeth. It is the main reason behind foul breathing and is caused because of irregular cleaning of teeth. Plaque may harden and form into tartar, a yellow or brown coloured substance that may remain attached to the surfaces of teeth and can’t be scraped off with a dental scaler. It is one of the most common signs of tooth infection in dogs, even one of the more common small dog teeth problems as smaller ones are more prone to it. 

Bad Breath (Halitosis) 

One of the most common signs of tooth infection in dogs is persistent bad breath. This odor is often noticeably foul and doesn't improve with regular brushing or dental care. It is one of the earlier signs of dog dental health problems.


Excessive drooling or saliva production can indicate discomfort in the mouth, which may be caused by a tooth infection. Dogs may paw at their mouth or shake their head due to the discomfort. It may indicate the beginning of dog dental problems. 

Swelling or Discoloration 

Swelling around the affected tooth or gums, along with redness or discoloration, is a visible sign of inflammation and potential infection. This may be accompanied by tenderness or pain when touching the area.

Difficulty Eating 

Dogs with tooth infections may have difficulty eating, particularly if the infection has progressed and caused significant pain. They may chew on one side of the mouth or avoid hard food altogether. 

Changes in Eating Habits

A sudden change in eating habits, such as refusing favorite treats or showing disinterest in mealtime, can indicate oral discomfort. Dogs may also drop food from their mouth or chew more slowly than usual.

Pawing at the Mouth

Dogs experiencing dental pain may paw at their mouth in an attempt to relieve discomfort. They may rub their face against surfaces or scratch at their gums in response to the pain. It may be one of the signs of dog dental issues.

Blood in Saliva

Blood in the saliva or on chew toys can indicate gum disease or a tooth infection. It's important to inspect your dog's mouth regularly for any signs of bleeding or inflammation as it can mark the start of one of the dog dental health problems. 

Lethargy or Irritability

Chronic dental pain can lead to general discomfort and a decrease in energy levels. Dogs may become more lethargic, withdrawn, or exhibit signs of irritability due to persistent pain. 

What to Feed a Dog With Tooth Pain?

Your dog may be having a hard time eating with the dental problems. In a situation like this, a question may arise, what to feed dog with tooth pain? 

If your dog is experiencing tooth pain, it's essential to provide soft, easy-to-chew foods that won't exacerbate their discomfort. Here are some options:

Wet or Moistened Food

Wet or canned dog food is easier for dogs with tooth pain to eat because it requires less chewing compared to dry kibble. You can also moisten dry kibble with water or low-sodium broth to make it softer. 

Boiled or Steamed Vegetables

Vegetables like carrots, sweet potatoes, or green beans can be boiled or steamed until they are soft and easily mashable. These can provide essential nutrients and fiber while being gentle on your dog's teeth.

Cooked Proteins

Cooked meats such as chicken, turkey, or lean beef can be shredded or chopped into small, bite-sized pieces. Avoid giving bones or tough cuts of meat that may be difficult for your dog to chew.

Canned Fish

Canned fish such as tuna or salmon (in water, not oil or brine) can be a soft and palatable option for dogs with tooth pain. Make sure to choose varieties that are low in sodium and don't contain any added seasonings. It is very helpful with dog dental health problems. 

Soft Dog Treats

Look for soft, chewy dog treats specifically designed for dental health. These treats are often gentler on your dog's teeth and can help promote oral hygiene while providing a tasty snack. It is helpful to eat during dog dental issues. 

Yogurt or Cottage Cheese

Plain, unsweetened yogurt or cottage cheese can be a soothing and easy-to-eat option for dogs with tooth pain. These dairy products are soft and may also contain beneficial probiotics.

Baby Food

Plain, pureed baby food without any added spices or ingredients can be a convenient option for dogs with dental issues. Look for varieties that are free from onion, garlic, and other potentially harmful ingredients.

Softened Dry Food

If your dog prefers dry kibble, you can soften it by soaking it in warm water or low-sodium broth until it becomes mushy and easier to chew.

You don’t need to worry much about what to feed dog with tooth pain and how to get that particular food item as all sorts of pet food are available on PetYupp.

Dog Dental Health Problems Treatment

Dog dental health problems treatment varies depending on the specific condition but often includes a combination of professional veterinary care, at-home dental hygiene practices, and dietary adjustments. Here's an overview of common dental health problems in dogs and their treatments:

Dental Cleaning (Professional Scaling and Polishing)

Dental issues in dogs can sometimes be fixed with dental cleaning. For dogs with tartar buildup and gingivitis, a professional dental cleaning performed by a veterinarian is necessary. This procedure involves scaling away plaque and tartar from the teeth and polishing to smooth the tooth surfaces, reducing the risk of further plaque accumulation. It is a dog dental disease treatment for earlier stages. 

Extraction of Diseased Teeth

In cases of severe dental disease, where teeth are decayed, infected, or damaged beyond repair, extraction may be necessary to prevent further pain and infection. Veterinarians may perform tooth extractions under general anesthesia. It is a little advanced dog dental disease treatment for severe infections.


Dental issues in dogs are majorly due to infection. If there's evidence of infection, such as an abscess or gum disease, your veterinarian may prescribe antibiotics to help clear the infection. Antibiotics may be administered orally or through local application, such as in the form of a gel applied directly to the affected area.

Pain Management

Your veterinarian may prescribe pain medication to alleviate your dog's discomfort, especially after dental procedures or in cases of severe dental disease.

Dietary Modifications

Switching to a dental-specific diet or softening your dog's food can help alleviate discomfort during mealtime, especially if your dog has tooth pain or difficulty chewing due to dental issues. It is a dog dental disease treatment that can go on for quite a little time but results are also long lasting. 

Home Dental Care

Implementing a regular dental hygiene routine at home is essential for maintaining your dog's oral health. This includes daily tooth brushing using a pet-safe toothpaste and toothbrush, dental chews or treats designed to reduce plaque and tartar buildup, and regular inspection of your dog's mouth for signs of dog dental health problems.

It's crucial to get dog dental health problems treatment promptly to prevent complications and maintain your dog's overall health and well-being. If you suspect your dog is experiencing dental issues, consult with your veterinarian for a comprehensive evaluation and personalized treatment plan. PetYupp will come up with more informative blogs regarding how to identify dog dental health problems. 

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