It’s important for a dog owner to know when a dog is showing signs that he’s in pain. The symptoms may vary depending on the cause of the pain; for tooth pain, there are specific clues that should alert you and prompt you to take a closer look. If your dog is experiencing tooth pain, there are some home remedies you can try to give him some relief.
Causes and Symptoms of Tooth Pain in Dogs
Some of the common causes of tooth pain in dogs include:
- A broken tooth
- Tartar build-up
- Infected or swollen gums
It’s important to properly identify the cause of the problem and treat it as soon as possible, not only to relieve your pet’s pain but also to prevent complications, which may include secondary infections and tooth loss.
If your dog is experiencing tooth pain, he may exhibit any of the following symptoms.
Poor appetite. Tooth pain typically causes difficulty chewing, and you’ll notice Fido eating less eagerly than usual, especially if his food is dry. If he starts eating and then stops, if he whines while chewing, or spits his food, it may be because eating hurts. Appetite loss is also a symptom of other health conditions, so take your pet to the vet if his appetite doesn’t improve after 2 days.
Chewing on one side of the mouth. Your dog will naturally prefer the side of his mouth where there is no pain when he eats. If food or even a toy he’s carrying in his mouth touches the painful side by accident, you may also notice him spitting/dropping the food/toy.
Excessive drooling. If your dog is drooling more heavily than usual even when he’s not eating or chewing on his favorite toy, his salivary glands may be producing excessive saliva in response to pain in the mouth. If blood is present in the saliva, he may have a mouth injury or a more serious condition and he should be checked by your vet immediately.
Bad breath. Doggy breath doesn’t normally smell foul — unless he recently ate something stinky. If your pet pal develops bad breath for no apparent reason, it may be caused by tooth decay or an oral infection, and he may also be experiencing some pain.
Swollen, inflamed, or bleeding gums. If you already suspect that Fido may have tooth pain, you can take a closer look inside his mouth to check for swelling, inflammation, or bleeding of his gums. If the swelling is already noticeable from outside his mouth, he may have already developed an infection. Bleeding may also indicate a broken tooth or lesions/cuts on his gums. Keep in mind that any open wounds inside the mouth is highly susceptible to infection, so you should have your dog treated by a vet as soon as possible.
Withdrawing from touch. Especially if Fido is normally ecstatic about getting petted, his withdrawal from your attempts to touch him may be because he’s in pain. If he’s particularly protective of his face or head, one of the possible causes is tooth pain.
Home Remedies for Tooth Pain in Dogs
As with humans, tooth pain typically requires medical intervention. If the tooth problem has already progressed to swelling and an infection, home remedies are not advisable and will not be of much help. It’s important that your dog receives veterinary treatment as soon as possible.
An infected tooth will most likely require extraction of the tooth; this is a minor surgical procedure but will still involve giving your dog anesthesia. If you don’t want your dog to lose his tooth and it’s still possible to save it, you can ask your vet for a referral to a veterinary dentist who can perform a root canal. Be advised, however, that a root canal is more expensive.
As soon as you notice your dog experiencing tooth pain, schedule an appointment with your vet at the soonest possible time. Proper and timely treatment is important to prevent an infection and other complications.
You can also help manage his pain, in the meantime, by giving him soft foods. You may also try giving him CBD oil. You can mix this into his food or administer the drops directly into his mouth if he’s not averse to the taste and texture. Start with the lowest recommended dosage and observe how he responds to it. CBD oil is known to effectively provide pain relief and promote relaxation. Talk to your vet about this alternative option before beginning treatment, especially if Fido is taking other medications, whether for his pain or another condition.