Most pet owners take care of their canine companion's physical and emotional well-being by scheduling regular medical checkups, feeding them nutritious food, and allotting sufficient time for play and exercise. Along with these crucial activities, pet dental care shouldn’t be overlooked. Dogs often do not show any signs that they're suffering from dental disease or a toothache. You should be proactive and be aware of the common conditions that your furry friend might face.

What Are Common Dental Problems for Dogs?

1. Gingivitis

Periodontal disease is the most common dental issue for dogs. Gingivitis is an early stage of periodontal disease and occurs when bacteria infect the gum tissues surrounding the teeth and cause inflammation and infection. If you notice an odor or that your pet's gums are red or bleeding; or if you see blood on their chew toys, take them to the vet.

2. Periodontitis

pet dental careWhen gingivitis is left untreated, the infection can move deeper into the tooth socket and deteriorate the bone. This condition is called periodontitis.

In severe cases, there can be a tooth root abscess, which can come with soft swelling under the eyes. If left untreated, severe periodontitis can cause the teeth to fall out over time. We are not only concerned about the teeth and gums but the whole pet. The infection and inflammation around the teeth and gums can spread to the heart, liver, kidneys and other organs of the body. Often after cleaning an older dogs teeth owners call me in a couple weeks and tell me their dog is acting like a puppy again.  They did not realize the dental disease was dragging their pet down.

3. Fractured Teeth

Fractured or broken teeth result when dogs chew on objects that are too hard for their teeth, such as bones, or especially nylon chews. If the fracture cuts through the pulp, which is the center of the tooth with nerves and blood vessels, root canal therapy or tooth extraction is necessary to fix it.

To prevent this issue, avoid giving your pet a toy or treat that doesn't bend when chewed. Inspect your dog’s mouth once in a while to ensure their teeth are healthy and intact. If there is an odor from your dog”s mouth they need their teeth cleaned.  


If you need reliable pet dental care for your furry friend, Dr. Douglas Foreman and Dr. Roberta Mauro of Cherry Hill Dog & Cat Hospital will be happy to help. For decades, this animal clinic located in Elkton, MD, has been the go-to facility for pet surgery, spaying, neutering, small animal medicine, and other related services. The practice has been voted the best veterinary facility in Cecil County three years in a row and offers top-rated pet dental care at affordable prices. Call (410) 398-1331 to schedule an appointment, or visit their website for more information.