While regular, yearly teeth cleanings are important for your pet, sometimes underlying conditions may cause your pet to need their teeth cleaned sooner. Brushing their teeth with a pet toothbrush and toothpaste (do not use human toothpaste on your pet) and a healthy diet can help keep their teeth clean and healthy between regular visits, but sometimes even that is not enough. We are going to discuss a few signs to look for to know if your pet needs their teeth cleaned and should see your local veterinarian as soon as possible.
- Broken or Damaged Teeth
Dogs especially tend to have more problems with broken teeth due to their nature of rough housing, playing or chewing on things they find outdoors. If you notice a tooth or two broken or if your pet’s teeth seem to be damaged, a trip to your local vet is important. Broken or damaged teeth can cause pain or lead to serious underlying issues, like bacteria that can cause an abscess. Getting this removed quickly will help keep your pet out of unnecessary pain and get back to playing and enjoying life.
- Bleeding or Swollen Gums
Just like humans, swollen or bleeding gums in your pet is a bad sign that can be caused by issues including gum disease or other infections that will cause your pet a lot of pain. If you notice your pet’s gums are larger than normal or find their gums are bleeding, taking your pet to get their teeth cleaned and examined by their veterinarian is the best thing you can do to help diagnose and treat the issue quickly.
- Extreme Drooling
We all know certain pets are prone to drool, some way more than others, but there comes a point when your pet’s excessive drooling may be a health concern. As long as the drooling stays within their normal range, there is no cause for concern. But if you notice your pet’s drooling becomes extreme and is way more than their usual, they may need to get their teeth examined for gum disease, an abscess or an injury you were not aware of. Extreme drooling can be a sign your pet either can’t swallow properly or is producing more saliva due to an underlying health issue.
- Terrible Breath
Terrible breath is another point that can be hard for some pet owners to tell if their pet needs to get their teeth cleaned if your pet’s breath seems to always smell bad. Of course pets are prone to bad breath in some ways due to the food they eat and their normal hygiene. But if their breath turns into something much worse that makes you need to hold your breath because it smells like a sewer or garbage truck, this could be a sign your pet really needs to get their teeth cleaned. They may have food lodged between their teeth, bacteria buildup in their gums, or in some cases, it could be a more serious problem like an abscess in their mouth.
- Discolored Teeth
Your pet probably is not going to win any awards for “World’s Whitest Teeth,” but if you notice an unusual discoloration in their teeth, it is time for your pet to get their teeth cleaned and checked out by your local vet. Yellowing or browning of the teeth could be a sign your pet should have already had their teeth cleaned to remove plaque build up that could lead to tooth decay. Discoloration comes with age, so in some older pets, this may not be cause for alarm, but it is always best to be safe and visit your visit just in case.
- Pawing at The Mouth
If you notice your pet pawing at their mouth often or rubbing their mouth against the carpet, they probably should see the vet to get their teeth cleaned. Your pet could have food stuck in between their teeth or in their gums, causing them pain or it could be something deeper that can’t be seen without an exam. Your vet can examine their teeth to find the issue and take care of it so your pet will not have to continue living with the pain.
- Minimal Eating
If your pet normally has a healthy appetite but suddenly stops eating or is eating much less than normal, they may be in pain. Your pet could have oral inflammation, an infection or something lodged in their gums. Scheduling a teeth cleaning for your pet can help diagnose the issue and get them back to eating their yummy pet food and acting like their old self.
Ultimately, you know your pet better than anyone. You know how much they eat, sleep, play, drool, bark, meow, and poop. If you notice something abnormal or they seem to be acting differently, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian. You never know what your pet may have gotten into, chewed on, stepped on, and more. Getting your pet checked quickly could help save them a lot of pain or even bigger health issues down the road. Contact your local vet today if you have noticed any of these signs and think your pet needs to get their teeth cleaned or just a general checkup. You and your pet will be glad you did, even just for the peace of mind that they are okay.