Diagnosing tooth or mouth pain in dogs
Signs that something is amiss with your dog’s oral health have some crossover with our own dental symptoms, so think:
- bad breath,
- visible bacteria,
- wincing when touched around the mouth,
- chewing on one side of the mouth.
Other symptoms that dogs may display include excess drooling, reluctance to eat, and sneezing or nasal discharge.
Why are dogs susceptible to tooth pain?
It can help to think of your dog’s mouth and nose (their snout) as the equivalent of their hands—it’s their main tool for exploring and understanding the world, picking up objects, and generally navigating their surroundings.
With so much for their mouths to do, it’s not surprising that dogs’ teeth can wear down more quickly than other parts of their body. As a result, it’s estimated that up to 85 percent of pets over three-years-old would benefit from some form of dental routine.
When oral damage is left untreated or monitored, tooth pain begins. The most common underlying reasons behind canine tooth pain are breakages, swollen gums, and a general lack of hygiene (cavities or tartar build-up). If issues continue to go untreated, dogs may develop an infection or other systemic problem.