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Why Do Dogs Lose Their Teeth And How to Prevent It?


dog tooth loss
8 min read

Is your dog losing their teeth? Seeing your dog lose their teeth is very concerning and scary, which is why you should try to understand why it happens and what you can do to stop and prevent it.

So why do dogs lose their teeth? Teeth loss occurs due to many different reasons. One of those reasons is periodontal disease; aka, gum disease. Gum disease occurs due to your dog having bad oral hygiene, which makes it, in that case, a preventable tragedy.

It is normal for your puppy to their baby teeth when they’re four months old to grow their adult teeth. One other cause of teeth loss that you don’t have much control over is trauma.

Dog teeth loss and periodontal disease

Dental diseases like periodontal disease are considered to be one of the most severe health conditions that could ever affect your beloved dog.

But what exactly is a periodontal disease?

This is a progressive gum disease that develops through several stages. It is a severe dental disease that afflicts pets and is unfortunately capable of negatively impacting your four-legged best friend’s quality of life.

If your dog has periodontal disease and they’re not receiving the suitable treatment, then your beloved four-legged best friend is going to experience a lot of pain, lose their teeth, and suffer from several infections.

As time passes by, this hum disease could eventually lead to damaging several vital organs like your dog’s liver and heart.

dog tooth loss

But how is this periodontal disease related to my dog losing their teeth?

This gum disease is characterized by plaque and tartar build-up. This build-up of plaque and tartar seriously irritates your beloved dog’s gum tissues. The periodontal disease also allows oral bacteria to multiply and spread more quickly.

With time, these events damage your beloved dog’s gums. Damaged gums cause bone loss, and bone loss leads to tooth loss.

Now that you get the general picture let us talk about each stage, how you can recognize it, and what you should do to prevent the disease or at least slow it down from progressing to the next stage.

It is also now clear that your dog’s teeth becoming loose is mostly due to a bad oral regime, which is something that could be fixed. You can easily prevent your dog from losing their teeth by:

  1. Brushing their teeth daily with dental toothpaste that is made specifically for dogs and a toothbrush. If you don’t have a toothbrush for your dog, then make sure you check out our Dog Finger Toothbrush.
  2. Taking them to their dentist to get their teeth cleaned twice a year.
  3. Giving them carrots and strawberries to help with keeping their teeth clean and aiding in boosting their immunity.

If you want to learn about more natural ways that you could use to keep your dog’s teeth clean, then make sure you read my Best Way to Clean Dogs Teeth Naturallyblog post.

First, your dog gets gingivitis.

What is gingivitis?

When specific proteins that are from your dog’s saliva and immune cells mix up with your dog’s oral bacteria, gum inflammation occurs. This gum inflammation is called gingivitis. You will start noticing that your dog’s inflamed gums are turning red and becoming swollen.

Signs and symptoms that you should look for include the following:

  1. The dog’s gum will start getting swollen.
  2. A few red lines will become visible on their gum.
  3. Plaque starts building up on your dog’s teeth. 
  4. They might experience a little bit of pain.

What should you do when you notice that your beloved dog might have gingivitis?

dog tooth loss
  1. Make sure you take your dog to their veterinarian regularly to get your dog’s teeth cleaned under anesthesia at least once or twice a year. I know that a lot of people are scared of putting their dogs under anesthesia, which is why I wrote the Are Anesthesia Free Dog Teeth Cleaning Services Legitblog post.
  2. You must brush your dog’s teeth daily with a toothbrush and a dental toothpaste that is made specifically for dogs.

Next, tartar begins to build-up

What is tartar?

When plaque hardens, you get tartar. As the periodontal diseases continue to progress, your beloved dog’s oral hygiene worsen.

Tartar causes the grooves that are found in the gum to widen. These grooves that I am referring to are what hold your dog’s teeth in place. They are also known as the sulcus.

The widening of the sulcus causes the plaque and tartar that is built on your dog’s teeth to migrate inside of the grooves. This migration of tartar and plaque worsens the inflammation and triggers its progression.

During this stage, your dog’s minimal bone loss becomes visible in oral radiographs. Please note that you can’t see your dog’s bone loss by just looking at their teeth, but they’re seen in oral radiographs.

In order to get a radiograph of your dog’s teeth, your dog must be under anesthesia. That is why you should have at least an annual dental check-up for your dog to help prevent further bone loss if it has already started happening.

Signs and symptoms that you should look for include the following:

  1. The dog’s gum will become very inflamed.
  2. Your dog’s breath begins to stink
  3. Plaque is visible on their teeth
  4. Tartar is visible on their teeth. 
  5. Bone loss is visible upon getting an oral radiograph. 

What should you do when you notice that your beloved dog might have tartar?

  1. Make sure you take your dog to their veterinarian as soon as possible to get an oral radiograph and to get your dog’s teeth cleaned under anesthesia.
  2. You must brush your dog’s teeth daily with a toothbrush and a dental toothpaste that is made specifically for dogs.

Then, the periodontal disease fully develops

As your dog’s bone loss continues to worsen, it is going to reach a point where ninety percent or more of bone loss occurs. This makes their risk of losing their teeth ver high, so please take care of your dog’s teeth by following a good oral hygiene regime

If you don’t, your beloved dog will experience excruciating pain. As if that wasn’t bad enough, they’re also going to be prone to getting terrible systemic infections that could damage your dog’s vital organs.

How is that going to happen?

Systemic infection occurs when your dog’s oral bacteria enter their bloodstream. This makes the bacteria spread throughout your four-legged best friend’s body and make it able to affect vital organs.

Signs and symptoms that you should look for include the following:

  1. A lot of bone loss is going to be seen via an oral radiograph of your dog’s teeth.
  2. Your dog’s breath is going to smell terrible.
  3. Your dog is going to experience excruciating pain.
  4. There is going to be more plaque that is built-up on your dog’s teeth and beneath their gums.
  5. There is going to be more tartar that is built-up on your dog’s teeth and beneath their gums.
  6. You must brush your dog’s teeth daily with a toothbrush and a dental toothpaste that is made specifically for dogs.

Why should my dog be under anesthesia while getting their teeth cleaned?

If you recall what we’ve discussed earlier in this post, about how wide grooves lead to the migration of plaque and tartar into them, then you’ll understand why it is so important to take your dog to the veterinarian dentist to get their teeth cleaned under anesthesia.

dog tooth loss

For the veterinarian dentist to be able to get an oral radiograph of your dog’s teeth to see how much bone loss has occurred, your dog must be under anesthesia. Bone loss isn’t visible for the human eye to see.

Also, while your beloved dog is under anesthesia, the dentist will start cleaning the built-up plaque and tartar that inside the grooves of the gum. A toothbrush can’t reach that area.

It is really not safe for your dog to get their teeth cleaned at the dentist without anesthesia because they might get scared and move their heads, getting themselves injured in the process ( we all know how sharp a dentist’s equipment is)!

How could dogs lose their teeth due to trauma?

The trauma I am talking about is, for example, when your dog accidentally collides headfirst with another dog or a wall.

That kind of incidents could lead to your dog’s teeth loosen up a bit, so it is vital to take them to the vet as soon as possible to start implementing a treatment plan that could prevent tooth loss.

That’s it for today’s post. You should now be able to recognize the signs of gum disease, now how to handle them, have a pretty good understanding of why dogs lose their teeth.

If you have more questions regarding loose teeth and teeth loss, then feel free to leave them in the comments section down below.

If you have taken your dog to get their teeth cleaned under anesthesia, then please share your experiences with us in the comments sections as well.

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