What dental problems can dogs get?


11 June '24 3 min reading time

Plaque and Tartar

Plaque and tartar can form a buildup on the teeth or in between them. Plaque is a thin, sticky layer on the tooth. This layer consists mainly of many bacteria and remains after the dog has eaten. If you don't remove plaque by brushing the teeth, these bacteria can cause an infection in the gums. Tartar can prevent you from removing the plaque properly with brushing. You can recognize an excess of plaque or tartar because your dog gets bad breath. Moreover, you can see a yellowish deposit on the teeth.

Gum Inflammation

If plaque remains on the teeth for too long, it can cause swelling, a red color, or gum bleeding. This is the beginning of gum inflammation, also called gingivitis. As much as 80% of dogs suffer from this at some point! If you notice that your dog has gum inflammation, have the teeth professionally cleaned by a veterinarian. Such cleaning is done under anesthesia by the dental veterinarian. This may sound intense, but it's very important. If you don't treat gum inflammation, periodontitis can develop, which is even more painful for your dog and can cause irreversible damage.


With periodontitis, the gums are so inflamed that the infection penetrates further into the supporting tissue around the teeth. This means that teeth can fall out of the mouth. The inflammation also causes a lot of pain, and once the supporting tissue is damaged, it usually doesn't grow back. Because the inflammation has already penetrated under the gums at this stage, you need to see the vet to stop the infection. Just brushing teeth won't stop periodontitis. Without treatment, the inflammation will continue to advance into the jaw.


Also, the entire oral mucosa of your dog can be inflamed. This is called stomatitis. This severe infection sometimes causes a lot of pain. The inflammations occur as an exaggerated reaction to plaque. Your dog is, so to speak, allergic to the bacteria that enter the mouth daily. You can recognize stomatitis by a strong smell from the mouth and pain. Ulcers are often visible in your dog's mouth as well.

Other Dental Problems

Like humans, dogs can also have crooked teeth, broken teeth, or poorly erupting teeth (in puppies). Excess gum tissue sometimes occurs too, for example, in boxers. This genetic condition can also lead to gum inflammation and worse.

Does My Dog ​​Have Dental Problems?

There are several behaviors and symptoms that indicate your dog may have dental problems. Changes in eating behavior, reduced appetite, difficulty chewing or eating, and lumps on the jaws are signs of tooth problems. Also, if your dog doesn't like to have its mouth examined or even flinches from food, it could mean something is wrong in the mouth. It's sometimes quite difficult to see if your dog has an inflammation, such as gum inflammation, especially if it's further back in the mouth. If in doubt, consult your veterinarian for a dental check-up. Better early than late! Always brush your dog's teeth daily to prevent the buildup of plaque and tartar as much as possible.

Supporting Dental Health

There are various supplements and herbs that can support your dog's dental health. Turmeric or garlic are sometimes used as supplements. However, pay close attention to the absorbability of turmeric and the dosage of garlic! Garlic can be quickly toxic and is therefore not preferred to give to dogs. In addition, plant-based cannabinoids from the clove plant are a very good way to prevent gum inflammation. The powerful signaling molecules from cloves act on the ECS system in your dog's body. This system is important for natural resistance and self-healing ability. The active ingredients from cloves are anti-inflammatory and analgesic. Remember that such supplements mainly support and help prevent problems. Therefore, always consult a veterinarian if your dog has gum inflammation to prevent worse. Also, always ensure healthy nutrition, plenty of exercise, and daily tooth brushing.

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