How to Recognize Signs of Dental Disease in Your Pet

Like humans, pets need routine dental care to maintain healthy teeth and gums. Unfortunately, dental issues in pets are common and untreated cases often lead to serious health concerns. This is why pet owners need to recognize signs of dental disease in their pets so they can seek professional assistance proactively.

Understanding Dental Disease in Dogs

Dental disease refers to any oral health issue in pets. From mild gingivitis to more severe conditions like periodontitis, dental disease occurs due to plaque and tartar accumulation on the teeth, which leads to inflammation, decay, or even tooth loss.

Signs of Dental Disease in Pets

Bad breath is one of the most noticeable indicators of dental issues in pets. If your companion has breath that smells worse than usual, it could be an indicator.

Other indicators to watch for include:

1. Difficulty Eating or Dropping Food

If your pet is struggling to eat or is dropping food out of their mouth, this could be a telltale sign of dental pain. Tooth decay or gum inflammation may make chewing and swallowing food challenging for your pet.

2. Red or Swollen Gums

Healthy gums for pets should be pink and firm. If their gums appear red or swollen, this could be a sign of gingivitis or periodontitis. In severe cases, bleeding and pus could occur around their gum line.

3. Yellow or Brown Tartar Build-up

A yellow or brown build-up on your pet’s teeth is a sure sign of dental disease and should be treated immediately to avoid tooth decay and inflammation of gums.

4. Loose Teeth or Missing Teeth

If your pet has loose teeth or is missing all their teeth altogether, this could indicate that they’re suffering from a serious dental disease. Tooth loss could be caused by decay, infection, or trauma.

Preventing Dental Disease

The key to preventing dental disease in pets is maintaining an ongoing routine for dental care, including brushing at home and regular professional cleanings from vet dentists. Furthermore, offering your pet healthy meals and plenty of chew toys can help keep their teeth clean and healthy. Like how routine dental visits are essential to maintain your dog’s teeth health, regularly taking your young pet to puppy veterinarians is equally important to ensure they grow into healthy adult dogs.

You may visit websites like to learn more about what puppy vets do.

Treatment Options for Dental Disease in Dogs

If your pet suffers from a dental disease, they will require professional help from a veterinary dentist. The severity of the illness will dictate which approach may work best.

Treatment could include:

1. Professional Dental Cleaning

Routine pet dental services from vet dentists typically involve the removal of plaque and tartar build-up on your pet’s teeth through an anesthesia procedure to ensure their comfort during this important step.

2. Dental Extractions

In severe cases of dental disease, your pet may require one or more teeth extractions to eliminate infection and protect their oral and gum health. Extracting the affected tooth from their bodies can stop further damage caused by infection and preserve their teeth in general.

3. Treatment for Gum Infections

To treat gum infections effectively and keep them from spreading further, your pet may require antibiotics or other medications to clear up the infection and keep it at bay.


As a pet owner, it’s essential to recognize the signs of dental disease in your pet and take steps to prevent and treat it. Regular dental services from vet dentists, a healthy diet, and lots of chew toys can all play an integral part in keeping their mouths and gums in tip-top condition. Early detection and treatment of dental disease are the keys to its prevention.