Dog grinding teeth is a problem that affects many dogs. It is an issue for many dog parents and causes their dog’s teeth many problems if left untreated. It shouldn’t be taken lightly.
What is dog grinding teeth?
It is also known as bruxism. Dog grinding teeth happens when your dog rub their top and bottom teeth together repeatedly.
Ultimately, this will cause the wear down of your dog’s enamel and can result in fractures, infections, pulp exposure, and pain in their teeth and gums.
Why do dogs grind their teeth?
Jaw abnormalities affect the bite and appearance of dogs especially teeth misalignment.
Misalignment of teeth may result in an overbite, overlapping of the lower teeth by the upper, or their lower jaw sticking out.
Misaligned teeth makes it hard and impossible for your dog to close their teeth.
Effects of teeth misalignment
- Mouth injuries
- Periodontal disease
- Wear on the teeth
- Teeth might rub against soft tissues inside the mouth and cause sores.
Puppies lose and change their teeth into adult teeth. By the time they are 8 month old, their 42 adult teeth have come out.
Therefore, it is a sign of trauma or periodontal disease when your dog has loose teeth over this age.
Broken teeth are due to to trauma or your dog chewing on hard objects. Therefore, broken teeth leave the pulp and root exposed to germs in the dog’s mouth. This leads to infection which will cause abscesses and destruction of bone in the teeth.
If left untreated, the infection will go through the bloodstream leading to damage to organs in your dog’s body.
Stress and anxiety
Stress and anxiety that your dog feels from problems that arise will lead to dog teeth grinding. Dogs are very sensitive to their surroundings especially when there have been a change.
Examples would be major changes at home such as moving to a new house, introducing a new baby, and conflict at home.
Grinding dog teeth may happen from conditions such as stomach pain and oral problems that cause pain. Thus, these are conditions that are often hidden.
Symptoms of teeth grinding in dogs
- Changes in appetite
- Accidents or injuries
- Changes in diet
- Changes in potty habits
- Abdominal or stomach pain accompanied by vomiting, shaking, fever, or loss of appetite.
Solutions for dog grinding teeth
Treatment for jaw abnormalities
If your dog has a jaw abnormality, your vet will either cap or extract the crooked teeth with the most problems.
Treatment for loose teeth
Loose teeth won’t correct themselves without an intervention. The first step is that your vet will conduct an exam to see the underlying cause. In most cases , the best option is to extract loose teeth.
Treatment for broken teeth
Root canal therapy: This is the best and most common therapy. As a result, the teeth remain healthy and the roots are intact.
A vital pulpotomy: This is a procedure where the pulp is removed. Then, the area become sterilized while sealing the pulp chamber. This is more suitable for dogs who are 18 months old or younger.
Teeth extraction: This is the last option when all other procedures don’t work. It is a very complicated and painful process.
Treatment for stress and anxiety
Dogs with stress and anxiety will benefit from anti-anxiety medication and behavior therapy. In behavior therapy, the dog behaviorist will work to help make your dog adjust to new situations causing stress such as introducing a new baby.
Treatment of stomach and dental problems
For dental problems, your vet will examine your dog through a dental health assessment. If the problem is hidden, your vet may ask you to take an X-ray of your dog’s mouth. Treatment is then easily found.
As for stomach problems. your vet will run further tests to see if the cause is stomach related.
Prevention of teeth grinding in dogs
Diet and exercise
A healthy dog will not grind their teeth. Diet medical conditions away from your dog’s teeth. Also, a diet high in calcium will help build and protect your dog’s teeth.
As for exercise, try keeping your dog physically and mentally stimulated so you can avoid destructive behaviors such as teeth grinding from happening.
Being social beings, dogs need to socialize from a young age. Socialization prevents mental health problems and anxiety.
In some situations, obedience training will lower anxiety levels in dogs building in trust and relationships.
Always go to the vet to check for any dental or health related problems that your dog has. By doing so, you prevent these problems from progressing.
You got to be attentive of the signs and go to the vet immediately when there is something wrong.
Teeth grinding is not a normal habit for dogs. If you do see it, then you got to go to the vet to avoid further problems and permanent damage.
In conclusion, teeth grinding in dogs is a serious matter. You’ve got to watch for signs and symptoms for your dog when they grind their teeth.
You have to understand the causes and the solution of teeth grinding so that you know what is the best treatment for your dog.
There are also prevention methods that you can take to prevent teeth grinding.
To know more about cleaning your dog’s teeth naturally, check Top 7 Ways on How to Clean Your Dog’s Teeth Naturally.