Five Signs Of Dental Pain In Pets

Your pets can’t tell you when they are suffering from a toothache or other types of pain.  If you notice any of these signs, contact your veterinarian to schedule an exam!


1. No signs at all: Dogs, cats and other companion animals, such as rabbits, rarely show signs of dental pain.  This is a survival mechanism, an instinctual behaviour that our domesticated animals have in common with their wild ancestors.

2. Bad Breath: The odour is a byproduct of the bacterial metabolic process.  In pets with periodontal disease, there is more bacteria in the mouth, and so the odour increases.  “Doggy breath” or “tuna breath” is not normal and needs to be evaluated. 3. Altered Behaviour:  Chewing on one side of the mouth, dropping food, running away from the food dish, crying when yawning, hiding, not grooming themselves and acting “grumpy” are all signs of dental pain.  You know your pet better than anyone, so look for abnormal behaviours.

4. Bleeding:  Bleeding from the mouth is usually due to periodontal disease. but it could also be evidence of fractured teeth, lacerations or ulcers on the tongue or gum tissue or the presence of an oral mass.  Look for thick, ropey saliva, spots of blood found on toys or beds, or drops of blood in the water or food dish.  If the periodontal disease is severe enough, you may notice bleeding from the nose or bloody discharge when your pet sneezes.

5. Return to Normal:  Once our veterinary team addresses your pet’s oral issues, your pet may show they are feeling better by acting more like themselves, or seeking extra attention.

Don’t let your pets suffer in silence.  They don’t just have a toothache, they have a whole mouth full of toothaches!  Daily dental hygiene is free.  All you need is a toothbrush and a couple minutes to help prevent periodontal disease!



– Special thanks to Pat March, RVT, VTS (Dentistry) & DVM 360 for their tips on recognizing dental pain in our pets!

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