January 11, 2023 6 min read


Do you have a dog? If so, it's important to know what signs are indicative of an underlying health issue. If your dog is showing any of the following symptoms, it may be time to visit the vet:

Unhealthy Dog Teeth #1. Bad breath

Bad breath is a common symptom of unhealthy dog teeth. The presence of halitosis, or bad breath, can be a sign that something is wrong with your dog’s mouth.

Unhealhty dog teeth can be caused by several factors—the most common are plaque buildup on the teeth, bacteria in the mouth, or dental disease (such as periodontitis). Dogs often have tartar build-up on their teeth which makes it harder for them to chew properly and causes discomfort when eating because it scrapes against their gums.

-If the dog has a problem with its gums, then it might have a problem with its teeth. Gums are important for holding teeth in place and keeping them clean. If your dog’s gums are loose, this can lead to problems with the teeth and bone decay, which can cause pain for the dog.

-If your dog has an overgrowth of plaque on its teeth and gum line, then this can lead to periodontal disease and tooth loss. This is similar to tooth decay in humans but happens over longer periods. It is possible that you may not notice any symptoms at all!

-If your dog has bad breath, then it could be due to bad teeth or gum disease. Bad breath can also be caused by an abscessed tooth or infection around the tooth socket.

unhealthy dog teeth

Unhealthy Dog Teeth #2. Yellow teeth

Why are they yellow? Here's what makes your dog's teeth yellow.

Every dog has two sets of teeth: incisors (front teeth) and molars (back teeth). The incisors are where the canine teeth come from—the first set of puppy-like teeth your pup will grow into. The molars develop later in life after the puppy set has grown out—you can see these when your puppy starts gnawing on rawhides and bones as part of its normal behavior. They're also called "adult" or "second" molars because they become visible when you start feeding them biscuits at around two months of age and then again at around six months old.

If your dog has yellow teeth, it's a sign that plaque buildup is occurring. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that builds up on your dog's teeth and can cause cavities and gum disease if not kept in check. If you see this happening with your pet, it's important to have him/her checked by a vet as soon as possible so that any problems can be treated before they become worse.

Unhealthy Dog Teeth #3. Red, irritated gums

If you see red, irritated gums, your dog may have an infection or abscess. The color of his or her gums should be pink and not bleeding when you brush their teeth. If they are, there may be an underlying health condition causing them to bleed so much that they appear red instead of bleeding.

There are some other reasons why their gums might be red and inflamed. Here's what you should know about it:

Dry skin
If your dog has dry skin and the skin on their upper lip starts to look cracked and flaky, it could be an early sign of irritation in the gums. If it doesn't go away after a few days, or if the cracks are getting deeper and making it difficult for them to eat or drink, then you should take them to the vet right away. The vet can give them an antibiotic that will help prevent infection from setting in.

Parasites can cause irritation in dogs' mouths as well as their skin. This irritation can become more severe if they have a fever or if they get too hot while they're sleeping. You should check their mouth often with a mirror to see if there are any signs of infection on the inside of their lips or gums.

unhealthy dog teeth


Excessive build-up on teeth

Your dog’s mouth is important to his overall health and well-being. Teeth are made up of enamel, which is the hardest substance in your dog’s body. This substance protects your dog’s teeth from bacteria and other harmful substances, as well as from chewing on things that can damage his teeth.

Dogs get their teeth cleaned every three to four months. This helps to remove any debris or plaque buildup that has built up over time. If you notice that your dog has trouble eating or seems uncomfortable when he chews on something, it could be because he has too much plaque buildup in his mouth. This can cause him pain when he chews on things like bones and toys.

If you have dogs that are showing signs of excessive build-up on their teeth, it's important to take them to the vet. The doctor will be able to diagnose if your dog has dental problems and recommend a treatment plan.

  • Teeth should be clean and white. If they're not, then he may have an unhealthy mouth or gingivitis (gum inflammation) in his mouth already.

  • Excessive buildup can lead to other dental problems like bad breath or tartar deposits on the surface of his teeth that cause decay as well as other oral health issues such as gum disease or periodontal disease (gum tissue around the jawbone).

Pawing at the mouth

Sometimes, when you see your dog pawing at her/his mouth, you may wonder if she's having some kind of dental trouble. But that's not always the case!

We've all seen dogs paw at their mouths. It can be a sign of pain or discomfort. But what causes it?

It could be a sign of an infection, dental disease, or a foreign object in the mouth.

  • A pawing at the mouth is a sign of pain or discomfort.

  • It could be a sign of an infection, dental disease, or a foreign object in the mouth.

Loss of appetite or only wanting to eat soft food

One of the most common signs of unhealthy teeth is your dog losing appetite or only wanting to eat soft food. This could be a sign that they are experiencing tooth pain, but it may also be due to an underlying health issue. If your dog is not eating and only wants soft food, this could mean there is some kind of issue with their mouth or throat (such as gingivitis).

If your dog's appetite has suddenly changed, or he's only eating soft food, there are a few things you can do to help.

First, check in with him to see if he seems distressed. If he does seem distressed, it might be time to take him to the vet. He may have some sort of condition that can be treated and corrected.

If your dog's appetite has stayed the same, but he doesn't seem interested in eating much at all, try mixing some other types of food into his regular diet. For example, add some canned pumpkin or pumpkin pie mix during the day, and then later on offer him a bowl of meaty treats as well as the cooked pumpkin or pie mix. If your pup won't eat the pumpkin or pie combination mixed with his regular food, try mixing it with kibble instead—but don't add too much! You want to make sure that your dog gets enough nutrition from his regular meals so that he keeps up his energy level for playing and running around outside.

If your dog is showing these signs, it may be time to visit the vet.

If your dog is showing these signs, it may be time to visit the vet. Your veterinarian will examine the teeth and gums for signs of disease, such as discoloration or inflammation. They may also x-ray your dog's mouth to determine whether there are any issues with the jaw itself or if any teeth need replacing.

Depending on what they find during this visit, your vet will likely recommend antibiotics or other treatments that can help treat their infection while they wait for their next appointment (which should be within two weeks). They'll also likely recommend a special diet to help prevent further problems in the future—especially if you think this could be related to past dental problems!

If your dog is showing these signs, it may be time to visit the vet.

Certain types of skin conditions can cause hair loss in dogs. If you notice your dog's fur is thinning and you notice that the fur is falling out, it's important to schedule an appointment with your vet as soon as possible.

You should also keep an eye on your dog's diet. If their diet isn't balanced or contains too many unhealthy treats, they may not be getting all the nutrients they need from their food.


If you notice anything that looks or smells odd, or if your dog is being more aggressive than usual, it’s time to check in with the vet. Treatment for canine root resorption depends on how advanced the disease is and what caused it in the first place. It could also be necessary to take a biopsy (scraping) of your dog’s teeth for further diagnosis. Your vet will do all this work quickly and painlessly so that you can get back to shagging each other like normal!

If your vet says something like "you should probably get him in right away," trust them! They have years of experience dealing with animals that have issues like this one.

Click here to see products to help you make your pet's gums and teeth healthy.


Nancy Wise
Nancy Wise

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