Dental Problems in Dogs

Dental Problems in Dogs

Cost of Treatment: $200 to $1,450

What they are: Dogs can experience the same type of dental problems that humans do, from a cracked or broken tooth all the way to plaque buildup and periodontal disease. They may also suffer from toothaches, yet are programmed to hide chronic pain to avoid being targeted as weak. That means your dog may be suffering from dental problems in silence unless you have his teeth regularly checked and keep an eye out for other symptoms of advanced dental problems.


  • Red gums
  • Bleeding gums or blood on chew toy
  • Bad breath
  • Loose teeth
  • Vocalization when eating or yawning
  • Bumps or lumps in mouth area
  • Bloody or rope-like saliva
  • Not wanting you to touch head area
  • Problems picking up food
  • Chewing on only one side of mouth
  • Sneezing and nasal discharge

Treatment: Prevention is the key to avoiding dental issues, and you can regularly brush your dog’s teeth at home or schedule a professional cleaning at the vet. Your vet should also check your dog’s teeth at every regularly scheduled visit to catch potential problems at their earliest stages. Dental problems can also be the result of an accident, in which cases surgery may be needed to repair or replace teeth.

Dental surgeries can easily reach around $1,400 while professional teeth cleaning can start around $200. The high expense of cleanings is due to the anesthesia used to sedate the pet during the procedure, which can be risky for certain breeds.

Several dog health insurance plans cover dental problems due to accidents, but they usually don’t cover cleanings unless you opt for a wellness plan that includes teeth cleaning as part of the covered routine care.

Return to the Dog Health Problems glossary.

  1. Reply
    Martyna P. 02/18/2016 at 11:38 am

    I own a poodle and her dental problems used to be very severe. Her breath was very bad and apparently she had plaque on her teeth. Treating it at the vet’s would be expensive, so he recommended us removing the teeth completely. So we did it. She has only few small teeth, and she can only eat soft things but it’s still better than it was.

    • Reply
      Fran 04/03/2016 at 3:51 pm

      We had a dog that was a stray and then was rescued, she needed the majority of her teeth out but it was worth it as it is likely they cause a lot of pain to the dog when they are in this state.

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