How do I know if my dog’s teeth are causing them pain? - Animal Hospital of Statesville

Dental disease is quite painful, but most dogs don't tell you. Most of the time, they don't whine and cry and complain. They deal with things and move on, but when we look for subtle changes, we can see these things. We may see a dog trying to eat, but the food falls out of their mouth. We may see a dog who is chewing, and we see the food from this side, or it never goes to the right side. The dog is perhaps only chewing on the left side of the mouth because the right side hurts. Some of these pets will drool excessively. And then, we can see behavior changes, because again, dental disease is painful. Some of these dogs become very quiet. They just aren't as interactive or as social as they'd like to be; they want to be by themselves.

Depending on the problem, the pet has to come back to have the problem addressed in the vast majority of cases. Occasionally, we'll deal with something minor, but when we deal with a pet's mouth, they do have to be sedated to deal with that. And we don't do that at the examination. At the examination, we're trying to get a good overview of what may be going on with the pet's mouth, put together a treatment plan on what we think we may be dealing with, and then set up a follow-up appointment for that.

How do I know if my dog’s teeth are causing them pain? - Family Pet Veterinary Center

The problem is they won't show it. The only way to know is to look at imaging because we want to look at the roots. You can flip the lip and look at the crown, but it's the roots; it's the two-thirds of the teeth underneath the gum line where the painful things hide, but you can't see it. I've had dogs with teeth practically falling out of their heads, but the owners didn't know it. When we treated it, the pets were so much more puppy-like. We didn't realize that they had pain.