Symptoms of a toothache in a dog

Written by stevie donald
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Many dogs are stoic, hiding pain until it becomes severe, according to an article on the American Veterinary Society website. A toothache is not a simple matter in a dog--ignoring it can lead to bone loss and even heart and kidney disease--so understanding the signs and symptoms of a toothache is important. By the time you see very obvious symptoms, chances are the tooth requires dental surgery.

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Eating on One Side

An early symptom that is easy to miss is lop-sided chewing. If your dog eats dry dog food, this can be easy to miss. Look at its teeth--if there is more wear or discolouration on one side than the other, it may be chewing on one side only because of a toothache. As the pain becomes worse, the dog may stop chewing on favourite toys, or will refuse dry or hard dog food.

Bad Breath

While mild "doggy breath" is normal at times, very bad or foul breath is a sign of an infected tooth, gingivitis or periodontal disease, according to the Animal Specialty Group veterinary hospital.

Drooling

Drooling often is a sign of pain or anxiety, and is a common symptom of canine toothaches. Excessive or unusual drooling, coupled with any other symptoms, warrant a visit to your veterinarian for a dental examination.

Swelling

Endodontic disease, an infection often caused by a broken or cracked tooth becoming infected, is fairly common in dogs because they chase sticks and balls and chew bones or hard toys. The AVDS states that dogs most often fracture either the canines or the upper fourth premolar--one of the large teeth in the ear of the mouth. Infection and abscess can brew for a long time before erupting into an abscess or bad infection. Abscesses can be large enough to rupture the skin, and you'll often see facial swelling, according to the AVDS.

Pawing and Sneezing

In order to relieve pain, some dogs will paw their faces, or rub the side of their head on the ground or on your furniture. Infection from a tooth also can cause a runny nose or sneezing.

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