Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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Written by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years Leslie Kasperowicz

Melanie Musson is the fourth generation in her family to work in the insurance industry. She grew up with insurance talk as part of her everyday conversation and has studied to gain an in-depth knowledge of state-specific car insurance laws and dynamics as well as a broad understanding of how insurance fits into every person’s life, from budgets to coverage levels. She also specializes in automa...

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Reviewed by Melanie Musson
Published Insurance Expert Melanie Musson

UPDATED: Nov 17, 2020

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Dogs can experience the same type of dental problems that humans do, from a cracked or broken tooth all the way to plaque buildup and periodontal disease.

Dogs could also suffer from toothaches or any number of dental issues and are programmed to hide their pain.

Your dog might be suffering from dental problems in silence unless you have his teeth regularly checked and keep an eye out for other symptoms of advanced dental problems.

Any of the below symptoms can be indicative of a dental problem.

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FACT: Pet insurance pays up to 90% of vet bills when your pet is sick or injured!

Symptoms of Dental Problems in Dogs

  • dog getting dental check

    Red gums

  • Bleeding gums or blood on a chew toy
  • Bad breath
  • Loose teeth
  • Vocalization when eating or yawning
  • Bumps or lumps in the mouth area
  • Bloody or rope-like saliva
  • Not wanting you to touch head area
  • Problems picking up food
  • Chewing on only one side of the mouth
  • Sneezing and nasal discharge

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Common Dental Issues in Dogs

The most common dental problems in dogs are the following:

Cracked or Broken Teeth

Dogs can easily crack or break their teeth by either biting into something hard or even just a tooth cracking on its own.

When a broken tooth becomes exposed, it can become infected if not treated properly.

Always check with your vet if you notice a cracked tooth even if your dog doesn’t seem to be in pain.

An x-ray will determine whether your dog needs a root canal if it seems to have been exposed.

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Root Abscess

A root abscess occurs when the root becomes exposed to bacteria.

This can be a result of a crack or break or even periodontal disease.

Sometimes the result can be that your dog’s eyes look infected depending on the location of the tooth.

The gums might also be swollen if the bacteria has already spread.

It’s important to get to the vet immediately to assess the issue.  A root canal might be done or your vet will try to remove the tooth and clean up the area before it becomes infected.

Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease is the result of plaque buildup on your dog’s teeth.

The tartar buildup can affect the gums which will usually develop into gingivitis.

If periodontal disease isn’t treated, it can cause the gums to recede and eventually lose their function.

The usual sign of the periodontal disease is if your dogs’ gums look inflamed.

A professional teeth cleaning can help reverse periodontal disease if done before the disease has progressed too far.

Related: 10 Things You Must Know Before You Buy Pet Insurance

Loose Teeth

If your dog has a loose tooth that isn’t a result of an accident, it is usually from some trauma inside the mouth or even periodontal disease.

It could also be a sign of illness.

Always visit your vet who will eventually extract the tooth.

Dog Dental Problem Prevention

Prevention is the key to avoiding dental issues, and you can regularly brush your dog’s teeth at home or schedule a professional cleaning at the vet.

Your vet should also check your dog’s teeth at every regularly scheduled visit to catch potential problems at their earliest stages.

Chew toys are always helpful to keep your dogs’ teeth strong.

There are also many different types of wet and dry dog food that promote dental health.

The Cost of Dental Problems

Dental problems can also be the result of an accident, in which cases surgery may be needed to repair or replace teeth.

If your dog needs any kind of dental surgery, the cost can easily reach $2,000.

Even cleaning your dog’s teeth can cost anywhere from $750 to $1,000.  The high expense of cleanings is due to the anesthesia used to sedate your dog during the procedure, which can be risky for certain breeds.

Most dog pet insurance plans cover dental problems due to accidents, but they usually don’t cover cleanings unless you opt for a wellness plan that includes teeth cleaning as part of the covered routine care.

For example, plans like Embrace will even cover up to $650 of the cost of periodontal disease.

Is it worth it purchase dental health insurance?  It really depends on how much you think your dog will need it.

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Final Thoughts on Dog Teeth Problems

The best way to prevent any dental issue in your dog is to keep up with your annual vet visits to have your dog’s teeth checked.

It can help not only the dental issues that might have occurred but also check the overall condition of your dog.

And you can even try brushing your dog’s teeth at home to get rid of the tartar build-up.  Just make sure to use a toothpaste that is specifically for that purpose.

Most dogs don’t mind when you brush them and it could be a good time to do a mouth check to make sure everything looks fine inside your dog’s mouth.

As they say, dental health is a good indicator of total health and we always want our dogs to be healthy!

For information on just some of the dog health issues that can occur, take a look our handy dog health glossary.


Other articles you may find helpful: 

Is Exotic Pet Insurance Necessary? 

The Best Pet Insurance By State 

What Is Pet Insurance?

Fun Facts, Dog FAQ, And Unsolicited Dog Advice

5 Training Commands to Save Your Dog’s Life

The Ultimate Guide to Safe Foods for Dogs

Dog Health Problems

Dog Breeds


Cat Health Problems

Cat Breeds


We get it, your dog is like your child and when your puppy or dog has health problems it is scary. Luckily there is pet insurance companies that will help you pay for any veterinarian care they made need. Checkout the best puppy and dog pet insurance companies and learn about common puppy health issues and ailments in older pets


Common Health Problems:

Acral Lick Granuloma in Dogs

Alopecia in Dogs

Antifreeze Toxicity in Dogs

Aortic Stenosis in Dogs

Arthritis In Dogs

Bladder Stones in Dogs

Boxer Cardiomyopathy

Cataracts In Dogs

Cherry Eye in Dogs

Chronic Active Hepatitis in Dogs

Collie Eye Anomaly In Dogs

Constipation in Dogs

Cruciate Ligament Tear in Dogs

Cryptorchidism in Dogs

Cushing’s Disease in Dogs

Degenerative Myelopathy | Spinal Cord Disease In Dogs

Dementia in Dogs | Canine Cognitive Dysfunction

Demodicosis In Dogs

Dental Problems in Dogs

Diabetes In Dogs

Dog Comedones (Schnauzer Bumps)

Dog Diarrhea: What Can You Do To Help?

Dog Ear Infections

Dystocia in Dogs

Ectropion in Dogs

Elbow Dysplasia in Dogs

Entropion In Dogs

Eye Problems in Dogs

Fleas in Dogs

Gallbladder Obstruction in Dogs

Gallstones in Dogs

Gastroenteritis In Dogs

Glaucoma in Dogs

Heart Murmurs In Dogs | How To Identify Them

Hip Dysplasia in Dogs

Hot Spots On Dogs

Hyperparathyroidism In Dogs

Hypothyroidism In Dogs

Intervertebral Disc Disease In Dogs

Nasal Solar Dermatitis In Dogs

Patellar Luxation in Dogs

Progressive Retinal Atrophy In Dogs

Renal Failure in Dogs

Seizures in Dogs

Wobbler Syndrome In Dogs

The Dog Flu – Symptoms & Treatment for Canine Influenza

Dog Biting Nails