Signs of Dental Trouble in Dogs

Did you know that up to 80 percent of adult dogs have some form of gum disease? Gum disease may seem innocent at first, but it’s actually quite dangerous. This is because the infection can spread from Fido’s mouth to his vital organs, and can contribute to some very serious health issues, such as heart disease. Dogs can also suffer from many other dental issues, such as cracked, broken, or missing teeth; infections; and abscesses. Since your pet can’t tell you if his teeth hurt, it’s up to you to watch for signs of trouble. Read on as a Pleasanton, CA vet lists some common symptoms of doggy dental woes.

Bad Breath

Bad breath is one of the most common signs of dental trouble in dogs. Fido isn’t exactly known for having winter-fresh breath, but his doggy kisses shouldn’t kill houseplants, either.


Visible swelling on or around your pet’s mouth is another red flag. You may also notice heat around the affected area. These can be signs of painful and dangerous infections, so contact your vet right away.

Tartar Buildup

Does Fido have icky tartar buildup on his teeth? This gunk isn’t just unsightly: it often goes hand-in-hand with gum disease. Schedule a good deep cleaning for your furry buddy.

Reduced Appetite

Chewing on a sore tooth is not a pleasant experience. Understandably, Fido may change his eating habits if his teeth hurt. He may chew on one side of his mouth, take longer eating, or start preferring softer foods.

Lack of Interest In Play

Our canine pals often use their mouths to play. However, if Fido’s favorite chew toys or rope toys are gathering dust, he may have dental issues.


If you’ve ever had a toothache, you know how painful they are. Dental problems generally aren’t much of a mood booster! Fido may be a bit grumpy if his teeth are bothering him. He may also shy away from you if you try to touch his mouth.


If your four-legged buddy has any of the symptoms listed above, contact your vet immediately for an exam. Dental issues are always handled on a case-by-case basis, so your vet will discuss treatment options with you after a diagnosis has been made.

Do you know or suspect that your dog has dental problems? Contact us, your Pleasanton, CA pet hospital, anytime!

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