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How to Tell If Your Dog Has a Toothache

Dogs can experience toothaches just as humans can, except they don’t show their pain in the same ways as humans do. It can be difficult to determine whether or not your dog is experiencing tooth pain, but if you learn to recognize the signs and symptoms a dog displays, you will know when it’s time to take your dog to the veterinarian.
Toothaches in dogs can be caused by a number of things, such as broken or decaying teeth. Periodontal disease is often the number one cause of toothaches in dogs. This disease is similar to gingivitis in humans and is caused by an infection due to plaque and tarter accumulation. Over time, this infection can lead to bleeding, swollen gums, and even tooth loss. Most often, periodontal disease doesn’t cause a dog discomfort until the disease has progressed from lack of treatment.

Behavioral Symptoms of Toothaches

When dogs don’t feel well, they often show their discomfort with behavioral symptoms. Often, when a dog has a toothache they will become less active than they normally are. It isn’t uncommon for them to rub their muzzle on the floor or to rub their feet on their face. Many dogs become reluctant to eat or chew due to the pain or they may only chew on one side of their mouth. A decreased appetite is very common when a dog is experiencing a toothache.

Physical Symptoms of Toothaches

There are obvious physical signs your dog may have a toothache as well. Symptoms of periodontal disease are great indicators your dog may be experiencing pain. Symptoms of periodontal disease include inflamed gums, bleeding gums, and redness of the gums. An abscessed tooth can cause your dog pain as well. Symptoms of an abscessed tooth include a pus discharge, ruptured nasal cavities, and facial swelling.

Home Treatment for Toothaches

If you suspect your dog has a toothache, it’s important to seek veterinarian care. Until you can see your veterinarian there are certain home remedies you can use to help relieve the pain your dog is experiencing. These home remedies include giving your dog ice water, but remove the ice before giving it to your dog or use shaved ice. The cold water can stop bleeding if there is any and numb the area.

You can purchase over-the-counter pain relievers for your dog as well to decrease the discomfort and swelling. Because your dog is going to have a difficult time eating while in pain, give them soft food to eat, such as meat flavored baby food, canned dog food, or soak dry food in chicken broth.