Dogs and humans share quite a lot of physiological and anatomical similarities. Similar to humans, dogs suffer from various dental diseases. The root cause of these diseases is the consistent buildup of plaque. The normal mouth functions which involve eating and production of saliva cause food particles and bacteria to stick to the dog’s teeth. This leads to the formation of plaque on teeth. 

If oral hygiene isn’t maintained, plaque continues to deposit on the teeth. It then hardens into tartar. Formation of tartar gives way to dental ailments such as gingivitis (inflamed gums) and bad breath etc ultimately leading to the loss of the tooth. 

Dental diseases are silent creepers and don’t reveal themselves until the damage has been done. To ensure the dental health of your dog, it is imperative to look out for the following telltale signs. 

Bad Breath

  • Dogs don’t usually have minty-fresh breath. Their breath can stink due to the consumption of unhealthy food.  However, if bad breath persists and it becomes awfully rotten, you should know that something is not right. The accumulation of tartar and plaque leads to an onslaught of bacteria inside the mouth.

This gives the mouth a distinctively foul odor. Consult a vet immediately if your dog has bad breath. It can be an indicator of a more complex underlying disease. 


  • Gingivitis is the irritation of gums. It occurs when the bacterial infection has progressed and has reached the gums. After destroying the teeth, the tartar reaches the gum line and causes swelling and bleeding. This is called gingivitis. 

This is an advanced stage of dental ailment. If not treated properly, it can lead to the early loss of the tooth. 

Painful Chewing Leading to Loss of Appetite

  • If you notice a change in the eating pattern of your dog or visible sign of pain while chewing food, it can be an indication of a dental problem. Dental problems such as gingivitis disrupt the normal functioning of the mouth. It makes chewing and swallowing painful. 

Your dog may start to eat lesser than usual which will result in significant weight loss. If you see these telltale signs in your dog, consult an experienced vet immediately. 

Too Much Drooling

  • Dogs drool more than humans. Drooling is a normal mouth function and is an indication of dogs’ anticipation of a meal. However, excessive drooling which occurs throughout the day can be a sign of a dental problem.

Bleeding and Formation of Lumps

  • Extreme cases of periodontal diseases such as gingivitis can cause bleeding of the mouth. It can also lead to the formation of tumors like epulis inside the mouth. The tumors are formed on the inside and can be difficult to detect. However, one telltale sign can be swelling around the jaw. 

Look out for lumps, swelling, and bleeding. If any of the above occurs, you would know that it is time to consult a veterinary dentist.

Swelling of the Eyes

  • The symptoms of dental illness are not limited to the mouth only. Abscesses are formed due to infections and fractured teeth. The pus spreads to adjacent parts of the body such as the face. It can lead to swelling under the dog’s eyes. 

Dental diseases can be problematic but with proper treatment, they can be cured. Prevention is better than cure. Look out for telltale signs of dental ailments and if you find any of the above signs, consult a vet. If you are residing in Charlottesville, VA, lookup Autumn Trails Veterinary Center. They provide top-notch dental services for dogs at affordable rates.