What are the signs of dental problems in small breed dogs?


Small breed dogs are a delightful addition to any household. Their small size and affectionate nature make them perfect companions. However, just like their larger counterparts, small breed dogs are also prone to dental problems. Dental issues can cause discomfort, pain, and even affect the overall health of these little furballs. As responsible owners, it is crucial to be aware of the signs of dental problems in small breed dogs, so that we can take timely action to prevent any further damage. In this article, we will discuss the common signs of dental problems in small breed dogs and provide insights into the various sections that will help you understand and address these issues effectively.

Readers will find this article divided into three sections: “Signs of Dental Problems in Small Breed Dogs,” “Prevention and Maintenance,” and “Consulting a Veterinary Professional.” In the first section, we will delve into the different signs that indicate dental problems in small breed dogs, such as bad breath, swollen gums, excessive drooling, and difficulty chewing. Understanding these signs will enable you to identify potential dental issues and take appropriate action. In the second section, we will provide you with preventive measures and maintenance tips, including proper dental care routines such as regular brushing, dental-friendly toys, and feeding strategies that promote dental health. Lastly, in the third section, we will emphasize the importance of consulting a veterinary professional for regular check-ups and any unusual symptoms or concerns related to your small breed dog’s dental health. By the end of this article, you will have a comprehensive understanding of dental problems that small breed dogs may face and be equipped with the knowledge to ensure their dental health and overall well-being.


What Are the Signs of Dental Problems in Small Breed Dogs?

Dental problems in small breed dogs can be easily overlooked if pet owners are not aware of the signs to watch for. Small dogs are more prone to dental issues, such as dental plaque buildup, gum disease, and tooth decay, due to their small mouths and crowded teeth. These problems can cause pain, discomfort, and lead to more serious health issues if left untreated. In this article, we will discuss the common signs of dental problems in small breed dogs and provide valuable information on how to prevent and treat them.

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Signs of Dental Problems in Small Breed Dogs

Dental problems can be a major concern for small breed dogs. Unfortunately, these issues often go unnoticed until they become severe, leading to pain, discomfort, and potential health complications. It is crucial for dog owners to be aware of the signs of dental problems in small breed dogs, in order to seek proper veterinary care and prevent further deterioration of their dog’s oral health. Here are some key signs to watch out for:

Bad Breath

Bad breath, also known as halitosis, is one of the most common signs of dental problems in small breed dogs. If your dog has persistent bad breath that doesn’t improve even with regular teeth brushing, it may be indicative of gum disease or tooth decay.

Difficulty Eating or Loss of Appetite

If your small breed dog is having difficulty chewing food or shows a sudden loss of appetite, it could be a sign of dental problems. Toothaches or gum inflammation can make eating painful for dogs, leading to reluctance or refusal to eat.

Visible Dental Issues

Take the time to examine your dog’s teeth and gums regularly. Look out for any signs such as swollen or bleeding gums, loose or broken teeth, or a buildup of tartar or plaque. These visible dental issues are clear indications that your dog requires dental treatment.

Pawing at the Mouth

If your small breed dog frequently paws at its mouth or rubs its face against furniture or the floor, it may be a sign of dental discomfort. This behavior often indicates that your dog is experiencing pain or irritation in the oral cavity.

Behavioral Changes

Dental problems can cause behavioral changes in dogs. If your normally happy and friendly small breed dog becomes irritable, aggressive, or withdrawn, it could be a response to dental pain. Watch for changes in behavior and consult a veterinarian if such changes occur.

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According to a study conducted by the American Veterinary Dental College, dental disease affects approximately 80% of dogs over the age of three.

What are the signs of dental problems in small breed dogs?

1. How can I tell if my small breed dog has dental problems?

Look out for signs such as bad breath, yellow or brown teeth, gum inflammation, excessive drooling, difficulty eating, and pawing at the mouth.

2. Are small breed dogs more prone to dental problems?

Yes, small breed dogs are prone to dental problems due to their small mouths and overcrowding of teeth, which can lead to plaque and tartar buildup.

3. Can dental problems lead to other health issues in small breed dogs?

Yes, untreated dental problems can lead to more serious health issues, including infections, abscesses, tooth loss, and even organ damage if bacteria enter the bloodstream.

4. How often should I brush my small breed dog’s teeth?

It is ideal to brush your small breed dog’s teeth at least 2-3 times a week to help prevent dental problems and maintain good oral hygiene.

5. What are some dental care options for small breed dogs?

You can use dog-friendly toothbrushes and toothpaste, dental chews, and dental rinses specifically designed for small breed dogs to ensure proper dental care.

6. Is professional dental cleaning necessary for small breed dogs?

Professional dental cleaning is recommended for small breed dogs, especially if they show signs of dental problems or have a history of dental issues.

7. Can a small breed dog’s diet affect dental health?

Yes, diet plays a crucial role in dental health. Feeding a balanced diet, avoiding sticky or sugary foods, and providing dental-friendly treats can promote better oral hygiene.

8. Are there any breed-specific dental issues that small breed dogs face?

Some small breed dogs are prone to specific dental issues such as retained baby teeth, overcrowding, or misalignment of teeth, which require attention and possible intervention.

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9. What should I do if I suspect my small breed dog has dental problems?

You should schedule a veterinary appointment for a thorough dental examination. Your vet can determine the extent of the issue and recommend appropriate treatment.

10. Can regular dental check-ups help prevent dental problems in small breed dogs?

Absolutely! Regular dental check-ups, along with proper home dental care, can help prevent or catch dental problems early on, leading to better oral health for your small breed dog.


In conclusion, it is crucial for small breed dog owners to be aware of the signs of dental problems in their pets. Some of the common indicators include bad breath, excessive drooling, difficulty eating or chewing, swollen gums, and loose or missing teeth. These signs may be indicative of various dental issues such as gum disease, tooth decay, or oral infections.

Regular dental care is essential in preventing and treating dental problems in small breed dogs. This includes daily tooth brushing, regular dental check-ups, and a balanced diet that promotes dental health. Additionally, providing dental chew toys can help in maintaining good oral hygiene by reducing plaque buildup and massaging the gums.