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Signs Of Doggy Dental Woes
November 14, 2022

Did you know that dogs can develop many of the same dental issues as we can? Issues such as abscesses, misalignments, and overcrowding can be both painful and dangerous for your furry buddy. Fido can’t make his own appointments, so you ‘ll need to keep an eye out for warning signs. A Germantown, MD vet lists some of them in this article.


To be fair, some of our canine buddies are, well, a bit slobbery. Certain breeds, such as Saint Bernards and Bloodhounds, are naturally extra drooly. However, if your pooch is drooling more than usual, there may be something going on. Stringy, ropy, or bloody drool are also not good signs.

Bad Breath

Fido’s breath will probably never remind you of an Alpine winter breeze. However, it shouldn’t knock you unconscious, either. If your furry pal’s affectionate kisses could kill plants, you may want to get his teeth checked.

Visible Tartar

Visible tartar goes hand-in-hand—or rather, hand-in-paw—with gum disease. Gum disease is very common in dogs: in fact, about 80 percent of pooches over the age of three are afflicted. In its early stages, the condition is painless. However, as it progresses, the infection can lead to tooth shifting and loss. Even worse, it’s been linked to more serious issues, such as heart disease.


Swelling around the face or mouth is often a sign of dental infection, unless of course Fido has been stung or bitten. Given the proximity to the brain, this can be extremely dangerous.


Toothaches can be extremely painful, both for people and pets. Understandably, they can put a damper on your canine companion’s mood. Fido may seem withdrawn, and he may lose interest in play. He may also shy away if you try to touch his face or mouth.

Changes in Eating Habits

Chewing with a sore tooth is definitely no fun! Your furry friend may take longer eating, dribble food out of the side of his mouth, or start preferring softer foods. In severe cases, dogs may stop eating altogether. This is quite dangerous, as it can lead to malnutrition.

Bleeding Gums

You may notice streaks of blood on Fido’s mouth or gums. This can also manifest as bloody smears on your pup’s toys or dishes.

Our Advice on Signs Of Doggy Dental Woes

What common dental issues can dogs experience that are similar to humans?

Much like humans, dogs can suffer from dental issues such as cavities, gum disease, plaque buildup, and tooth abscesses. They can also experience tooth misalignment, overcrowding, and broken teeth. Regular dental check-ups and proper oral hygiene are crucial for their health.

Why is persistent bad breath in dogs a potential sign of dental issues?

Persistent bad breath in dogs, known as halitosis, often signals underlying dental issues like plaque buildup, gum disease, or tooth decay. These conditions create bacteria-rich environments in the mouth, leading to a foul odor. It’s essential to address veterinary care for overall health.

Why might swelling around a dog’s face or mouth suggest a dental infection?

Swelling around a dog’s face or mouth often suggests a dental infection because abscesses or infected teeth can cause localized inflammation. This swelling is the body’s response to fight infection, indicating that the issue may be severe and requires prompt veterinary attention.

What alterations in eating habits might a dog with dental woes exhibit?

A dog with dental issues may show changes in eating habits, like eating more slowly, dropping food, favoring one side of the mouth, or preferring softer foods. In severe cases, they may lose interest in eating, which can signify significant dental pain or discomfort.

Who can dog owners in Germantown, MD, contact for assistance with their pet’s dental health?

Dog owners in Germantown, MD, can contact local veterinary clinics or animal hospitals to assist in their pets’ dental health. These professionals offer comprehensive care, including check-ups, cleanings, and treatments for dental issues.

Our Advice on Signs Of Doggy Dental Woes in 2024

How often should pet owners take their dogs for professional dental cleanings?

Pet owners should take their dogs for professional dental cleanings annually or more frequently if recommended by a veterinarian based on individual dental health needs. Regular cleanings help prevent dental issues like tartar buildup and gum disease, which can lead to pain and tooth loss if left untreated. Professional cleanings also allow for thorough examination and treatment of any underlying dental problems. Incorporating regular dental care into a dog’s healthcare routine promotes oral health and overall well-being, ensuring a happy and healthy life for canine companions.

What are some specific dental misalignments and overcrowding issues that commonly affect dogs?

Common dental misalignments and overcrowding issues in dogs include malocclusions, where the teeth do not align properly, leading to overbites, underbites, or crooked teeth. Overcrowding occurs when there isn’t enough space in the jaw for all the teeth to fit properly, causing them to overlap or become impacted. These issues can lead to discomfort, difficulty chewing, and increased risk of dental problems such as tartar buildup and gum disease. Regular dental examinations by a veterinarian can help identify and address these issues early to prevent further complications.

Are certain dog breeds more prone to dental problems than others?

Yes, certain dog breeds are more prone to dental problems than others. Breeds with brachycephalic (short-nosed) features, such as Bulldogs and Pugs, may have crowded or misaligned teeth due to their facial structure. Small breeds like Yorkshire Terriers and Chihuahuas are also predisposed to dental issues, including overcrowding and tartar buildup. Additionally, breeds with a genetic predisposition to gum disease, such as Greyhounds and Dachshunds, are at higher risk. However, dental health can vary within breeds, so regular dental care is essential for all dogs, regardless of breed, to maintain oral health and prevent dental problems.

What are the potential complications of untreated dental problems in dogs?

Untreated dental problems in dogs can lead to various complications. These include severe pain and discomfort, difficulty eating, and loss of appetite, which can result in malnutrition and weight loss. Advanced dental issues may lead to infections spreading to other parts of the body, such as the heart, liver, and kidneys, potentially causing serious health problems. Additionally, untreated dental problems can lead to tooth loss, affecting a dog’s ability to chew food properly and impacting their overall quality of life. Regular dental care and prompt treatment of dental issues are crucial to prevent these complications and ensure the well-being of canine companions.

Are there any non-invasive dental treatments or products available for dogs with mild to moderate dental issues?

Yes, there are non-invasive dental treatments and products available for dogs with mild to moderate dental issues. Dental chews and toys designed to promote chewing and reduce tartar buildup can help maintain oral hygiene. Water additives and dental gels formulated to combat plaque and freshen breath may also be beneficial. Additionally, regular brushing with pet-safe toothpaste and toothbrushes can prevent tartar accumulation and gum disease. These non-invasive approaches, when combined with routine veterinary examinations, provide effective dental care for dogs, promoting oral health and preventing dental problems.

Do you know or suspect that your canine friend has dental issues? Contact us, your Germantown, MD animal clinic, today!