Signs of Tooth Injury
Dental problems aren’t always as obvious as a canine tooth snapped in half and, unfortunately, dogs can be very good at masking their pain.
“There often are no warning signs of tooth fracture as dogs are very good at masking signs of dental pain. However, some general signs might be unwillingness to play with or chew on their regular toys, dropping food or chewing on one side of the mouth, decreased levels of activity or energy, reluctance to allow brushing of the teeth,” Buelow says.
Chronic tennis-ball chewers should also be watched, Grzyb said, as constant chewing on tennis balls can wear down the crown of the tooth, exposing the nerve and leading to pain and infection.
Greenfield suggests that pet parents check their dog’s teeth and mouth proactively during regular teeth-cleaning sessions. Staying on top of home cleanings keeps pet parents familiar with the topography of their dog’s mouth, and more likely to pick up on a pain point before it gets out of hand.