April 12, 2024

Dental Issues in Dogs and Cats: Causes, Symptoms, & Treatments

Dental problems are common among dogs and cats and can often go unnoticed – sometimes even when you think you’re providing the best dental care for your pet. This article explores common dental issues in dogs and cats, their causes, symptoms, and available treatment options.

Common Dental Issues

In dogs and cats, a variety of oral health issues can arise. Here are some of the most common problems:

  1. Gingivitis/Periodontal Disease: Caused by plaque buildup and bacteria in the mouth, this disease can lead to tooth loss, bad breath, and even systemic health issues if untreated.
  2. Fractured Teeth: Often caused by chewing on hard objects like toys, rocks, or bones. Treatment includes extraction or root canal therapy and sometimes placing a crown.
  3. Discolored Teeth: Resulting from chewing hard objects or trauma to the mouth. Treatment includes extraction or root canal therapy.
  4. Persistent Primary Teeth: Baby teeth that don’t fall out before adult teeth emerge can lead to a misaligned bite. Extraction is recommended.
  5. Stomatitis: A severe oral cavity inflammation in cats caused by an exaggerated response to plaque bacteria. Treatment often involves antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs, and sometimes extraction of affected teeth.
  6. Tooth Resorption: Occurs in dogs and cats; a painful condition that erodes tooth structure, often requiring extraction.
  7. Carious Lesions (Cavities): Seen mainly in dogs, caused by decay and bacteria in the tooth. Treatment includes fillings, root canal therapy, or extraction, depending on the severity.
  8. Oral Masses: Benign or malignant growths in the mouth require biopsy and potential removal.
  9. Jaw Fractures: Caused by trauma or bone loss due to periodontal disease. Treatment includes various repair techniques.
  10. Malocclusion (Abnormal Bite): Genetic or trauma-induced bite misalignment, treated by orthodontics, extraction, or crown shortening.

A facility like Fine Animal Hospital Dentistry can provide comprehensive care for your pet’s dental issues. These hospitals have trained professionals specializing in identifying and treating oral pet problems and offering dental care services.

Symptoms to Look Out For

As a pet owner, it is essential to recognize the signs of dental issues in your furry companion. Some common symptoms include:

  • Bad breath
  • Drooling
  • Chewing difficulties or avoiding food
  • Pawing at the mouth
  • Facial swelling or tenderness
  • Discolored or fractured teeth
  • Bleeding or red gums
  • Loose or missing teeth

If you notice any of these symptoms in your pet, consult a veterinarian to address the issue promptly.

Treatment Options

Numerous treatment options are available for addressing dental issues in pets, including:

  • Professional dental cleanings and preventive care
  • Antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications
  • Dental extractions
  • Root canal therapy
  • Fillings for cavities
  • Orthodontic treatment for malocclusion
  • Biopsy and removal of oral masses

Pet Boarding Services

If you need a safe space to care for your pet while addressing dental issues, consider pet boarding services like those on their website. These facilities offer a caring environment for pets with medical needs, ensuring peace of mind while you address your furry friend’s oral health.

Internal Medicine

Sometimes, dental issues in pets could indicate underlying internal health problems. You should consult a veterinarian specializing in internal medicine to address these concerns. Veterinarians specializing in internal medicine can diagnose and treat complex diseases affecting your pet’s organs and overall health. They can be found in facilities like the one here to provide comprehensive care for your pet.

Prevention and Maintenance

One of the most important aspects of maintaining your pet’s dental health is prevention. Here are some tips to help keep your pet’s teeth and gums healthy:

  • Regular veterinary check-ups, including dental exams and cleanings
  • Brush your pet’s teeth daily or at least several times a week
  • Provide veterinarian-approved dental chews and toys
  • Utilize dental care additives or water additives
  • Feed your pet a diet that promotes dental health


In conclusion, paying attention to your pet’s dental health is crucial. Recognizing the symptoms and knowing the available treatment options can help ensure your furry friend lives a happy, healthy life. As a responsible pet owner, stay vigilant, and seek professional care, like the one provided by Fine Animal Hospital, when needed.