1. Bleeding or tender gums

Is your pet sensitive to brushing? Have you noticed blood on their favorite toys or in the food bowl? Bloody gums mean sensitive gums and this is a sign your pet’s teeth need some help, as this can be a sign of gingivitis. Your veterinarian can easily evaluate this condition and work out a treatment plan.

2. Halitosis (bad breath)

Puppy breath is so good, and bad breath from a dog with infected teeth or gums is so bad. Keep your pet’s breath smelling great with regular brushings and cleanings. If you notice bad breath, it may be time to get checked out.

3. Changes in eating behaviors

Your pet may be trying to tell you something if they stop eating their normal food. If your dog stays away from bones, or if they leave their hard food behind and only eat soft food, this could be a sign that their mouth is bothering them.

4. Loose teeth

Every now and then, and particularly if you notice any of the other issues mentioned in this article, you should check your pet’s mouth for any loose teeth. You can check this just like you would in a human, take a clean hand, or wear a glove, and systematically wiggle each tooth (gently!), trying to feel for any loose ones. Loose teeth can be a sign of gum disease, or just a sign that there was an injury and a tooth needs to get pulled. Either way, it sounds like a trip to the vet is in order!

5. Loss of appetite

Any time your pet stops eating, you should have them looked at immediately by your vet. There are a lot of reasons this could be happening, so it is crucial you get a professional opinion.

6. Pawing at the mouth

Pawing at the mouth could be a sign of oral pain. Since pets can’t speak to us in the traditional way, this could be their way of telling you that their mouth is bothering them.

7. Yellow or brown matter on teeth

Any discoloration of the tooth is not a good sign, and your pet could be experiencing tartar buildup, or something more serious like a tooth abscess. In either case, a professional evaluation by a vet is needed, since teeth should always be white.

8. Nasal or eye discharge

Some of the more serious mouth and tooth problems can manifest in these other organs. Nasal or eye discharge could be a number of things, but if they are related to the teeth, this usually indicates some sort of abscess or infection in the tooth itself or in the root. Please have this evaluated by your vet as well.

Remember that most pets will have no signs at all of any tooth or mouth problems, so it is important that you get their mouths checked regularly by your veterinarian so they can give their professional opinion. Mouth health is a great contributor to overall health for your four-legged friend, so it is important you stay on top of it.