Dog tooth problems are common in dogs, and they can occur in pets that are as young as two years old. In fact, most vets agree that the majority of dogs will experience some sort of dog tooth problem by the time they reach three. Fortunately, many of these issues can be easily prevented with regular checkups and cleanings.
Common Dog Dental Problems
While there is a vast array of tooth problems your dog may develop, listed below are some of the most common:
Broken or Cracked Dog Teeth
Perhaps some of the most common dog tooth problems are broken and cracked teeth. Dogs love to chew on most anything. From stuffed animals and squeaky toys to rawhide chews and bones, chewing is a dog’s favorite pastime. Unfortunately, this can present serious problems when it comes to their teeth.
Hard, solid objects such as hooves or rocks can crack, chip or even break your dog’s teeth. Damaged teeth can also result from an impact due to various accidents or rough play. When this occurs, the nerve of the tooth often becomes exposed, which can cause an infection, an abscess and mild to severe pain.
Retained Juvenile Dog Teeth
Just like human children, puppies lose their “baby” teeth to make room for their permanent adult teeth. This typically occurs when your puppy is around four to six months old. While you may find these juvenile teeth scattered around your house, it is also quite common for puppies to simply eat them after they fall out.
Most adult canines should have a total of 42 adult teeth by the time they are seven to eight months old. However, there are times when the juvenile teeth do not fall out as they should. This typically occurs more often with fangs and is characterized by two teeth occupying the same spot. If this occurs, it can result in overcrowding, misaligned teeth, infections, abscesses and/or pain.
Abscesses and Infections
Some of the most painful tooth problems that your dog may experience are abscesses and infections. These conditions can occur if the root becomes exposed to bacteria due to such things as breaks, cracks or periodontal disease. If your dog develops an infection or abscess, it may exhibit the following symptoms:
- Difficulty Eating or Refusal to Eat
- Tipping the Head to One Side
- Facial Swelling
- Swollen, Runny and/or Inflamed Eyes
- Inflamed, Sore Gums
- Loose Teeth
- Bad Breath
Typical Treatments of Dog Dental Problems
For your veterinarian to determine the proper treatment for a dog tooth problem, a thorough oral examination will be necessary. X-rays are often required as well. While the exact treatment your pet will need depends on the vet’s diagnosis, treatment may include one or more of the following medications and procedures:
- Capping Problematic Teeth
- Tarter Removal and Dog Teeth Cleaning
- Root Canals
- Vital Pulpotomy
- Antibiotics and Pain Medication
Dog tooth problems are quite common and can range from minor issues to serious conditions. In fact, some conditions such as periodontal disease can lead to heart problems. However, it is fortunate that all of these conditions can be easily treated when you seek veterinary attention for your pet right away. Follow these steps in How to Brush Your Dog’s Teeth Properly.