Eighty percent of dogs have oral disease by age three, according to the American Veterinary Dental Society. In fact, it is one of the most commonly treated problems in small animal health clinics. Since small breed dogs are more susceptible to oral disease than larger dogs, I have to make sure to brush my Maltese-Yorkie Mila’s teeth frequently. Is your dog displaying any of these common symptoms of oral disease?
Common Symptoms of Oral Disease in Dogs
Bad breath – Contrary to popular belief, classic “doggy breath” is not normal. If your dog’s breath consistently smells like feces, despite that he hasn’t recently eaten any, he is likely suffering from halitosis, otherwise known as bad breath. This is just one symptom of oral disease in dogs.
Bleeding gums – Do you see blood along your dog’s gum lines? Just another sign of oral disease, bleeding gums can signify that something is wrong with your pet’s mouth.
Inflamed gums – If you see redness or infected gums, your dog may have gingivitis, stomatitis, or any of the other types of oral disease that are common in dogs. Inflamed gums can be painful and irritating to your pet, just like it can be in humans.
Inflamed tongue – Not only can your dog’s gums become inflamed, but so can his tongue. Does your pet’s tongue seem red and swollen? This may just be a sign of oral disease in your dog.
Oral Tumors – Oral tumors often signify gum disease in dogs, especially if they are accompanied by bad breath, inflamed gums, drooling, and damaged teeth. You may also notice whining and crying during feeding time and a reluctance to chew on toys.
Difficulty chewing – Difficulty chewing on either hard food or chew toys signifies tooth pain or sensitivity in the teeth. Sensitive teeth is just one more symptom of oral disease in dogs–this is why preventative care is important, even in animals.
Drooling – Excessive drooling in dogs that don’t normally drool? That’s not normal. Drooling can signify an oral disease, such as gum disease.
Because oral diseases are so common in household pets, it is important to take preventative measures to ensure your dog does not have to suffer from one of these problems. You should brush your dog’s teeth twice a day to prevent plaque and tartar build-up, as well as make a visit to the veterinarian regularly for a thorough exam. If your pet is displaying any of these common symptoms of oral disease in dogs, make an appointment to your veterinarian as soon as possible.