Dogs cannot speak to tell you what they are feeling, but they can demonstrate signs and symptoms that can alert you to know there is a problem. If your dog is acting strange, rubbing its face on things, and not eating well, it might be experiencing a problem with a tooth. In some cases, tooth problems will cause swelling around the mouth, but not always. If you suspect that your dog has an issue with one of its teeth, take the dog to an animal hospital.
Problems Dogs Have With Their Teeth
There are four main problems dogs can have when it comes to their teeth:
- Cracked tooth – If your dog's teeth are weak, or if it chews on something that is really hard, the dog may end up with a cracked tooth. This can be bothersome for the dog, and it can lead to an infection or a loose tooth.
- Infected tooth – Just like humans get cavities and infections, dogs can too. An infected tooth causes throbbing and pain, and it is something that needs immediate treatment.
- Misaligned teeth – When teeth are not in the proper alignment, they can rub across the dog's gums in a way that irritate the dog's mouth.
- Gum disease – Dogs can also develop gum disease as they get older. This can occur from eating the wrong foods, or from a lack of good oral care.
In any case, a dog can feel uncomfortable or miserable if it has a problem with a tooth.
Ways Veterinarians Fix The Problems
Veterinarians can do several different things to alleviate the problem your dog is having, but it must begin by determining exactly what is wrong with the dog. An examination of the teeth is usually all that is needed for this, and this will help the vet determine how to treat the tooth. Most tooth problems are treated in one of these three ways:
- Antibiotics – Taking medication will help clear up any infection found in a dog's mouth. If the dog has an infected tooth, it may also need one of the other two treatment options completed too.
- Teeth cleaning – A vet will usually have to administer anesthesia to complete teeth cleaning on a dog, but this can really help. Teeth cleaning is completed to remove the buildup of plaque on the dog's teeth, and this will leave the dog's mouth cleaner and its breath fresher.
- Tooth extraction – If a tooth is in deplorable condition and cannot be fixed or saved, the vet may recommend extracting the tooth. This procedure also requires anesthesia and may require taking antibiotics before or afterwards.
You can keep your dog's teeth clean by taking it to a veterinarian regularly and by feeding it the right foods. To learn more about your dog's tooth health, contact an animal hospital in your area (such as Metzger Animal Hospital).