Loose Teeth in Dogs: Why You Need to See a Veterinarian

Unless your four-legged friend is a puppy, loose teeth in dogs are commonly caused by periodontal disease. Loss of a tooth or teeth can also be initiated by trauma to the mouth.

When your canine has a wobbly tooth, you must bring them to the veterinarian as soon as feasible. A loose tooth can become infected, spreading bacteria throughout the body. If you see there is movement in the tooth socket or they are in pain, your pup may need to have a tooth extracted.

If your puppy has a retained baby tooth, it needs to be pulled out by the vet. Read on for more information about loose teeth in dogs and why you need to see the vet.

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What Causes Loose Teeth in Dogs?

Loose teeth are often overlooked in dogs, as many pet parents are unaware that their pup has dental difficulties. Few dogs demonstrate noticeable symptoms of dental challenges. However, just like humans, dogs can also have loose teeth. There are a few potential causes of loose teeth in canines.

Periodontal Disease

Periodontal diseases occur when the build-up of plaque and tartar forms in the spaces between the teeth and gums or the wearing away of the gums around the tooth’s attachment. It is excruciating for a canine to lose their teeth due to periodontal illness. If it goes without treatment, the contamination often spreads deeper into the tooth socket, damaging the bone.

The infected tooth becomes loose and may eventually fall out. Your vet may have to remove the tooth. Infection is a common reason for a pup to lose their teeth. A sign that your dog has an abscessed tooth is that they wince when you touch their head or see that they are only chewing on one side of their mouth. Some other indications your pup is suffering from mouth pain include:

  • Bleeding gums
  • Bad breath
  • White drainage or pus
  • Inflammation around the tooth

An abscess can lead to widespread tooth loss, and you should take your canine to the vet as soon as possible for treatment. The best way to thwart tooth infections and a painful mouth is to have a proper dental care routine for your pup, including brushing their teeth and giving them dental chews.

Make sure you have an excellent doggie toothbrush and toothpaste. It is also important to note that if periodontal disease is not adequately treated, it can lead to life-threatening problems, as bacteria can spread throughout the body. Schedule a meeting with your veterinarian at once to safeguard your pup’s wellbeing.

Puppies Lose Their Infant Teeth

Puppy teeth begin to fall out between 4 and 8 months old, and their adult teeth come in. Sometimes you may even catch a glimpse of the adult tooth coming in as it pushes the baby tooth out. There may also be times when the baby tooth is stubborn, and it will require the assistance of your veterinarian to remove it.

You should never try to pull out the baby tooth on your own, as they may contain long roots that can rip off the gum and lead to a potential bacterial infection. The following problems can occur if a veterinarian does not pull retained baby teeth:

  • Decay or gum infection (food accumulates in the gap)
  • Distorted alignment of adult teeth
  • Difficulty biting or chewing food
  • Overcrowding in the mouth

Baby teeth are not meant to be perpetual and typically fall out once the adult teeth grow in. Canines have 42 adult teeth that are erupted when they are just about seven or eight months old. Puppies will begin teething the same way that babies do when their teeth arrive.

Trauma or Injury

Trauma or injury can cause tooth loss or tooth dislocation in dogs. A tooth that has been considerably loosened is easy to spot, but sometimes tooth dislocation can be tricky to recognize. You may not be able to find it loose in the socket unless you are watching closely. Some of the indications of tooth loss in dogs are:

  • Movement of the tooth in the socket
  • Difficulty chewing or eating.
  • Bleeding in the orifice
  • Soreness in the mouth

An injury could be caused by a car accident, or your pup may have been chewing on hard material like a bone. If a tooth becomes wiggly in the mouth, it could cause bacteria in the mouth that is dangerous for your precious pooch. Broken or loose teeth should be extracted.

Mass-Like Growth in the Mouth

A mass-like growth in the mouth that can grow over or around a tooth and is referred to as an epulis. Epulides are pink in color and have a knob-like appearance. These are the most common oral tumors found in canines. A few of the indicators of epulis in dogs are:

  • Bleeding from the mouth
  • Swelling of jaw bones
  • Terrible breath
  • Excessive drooling

Epulides are benign growths that may precipitate movement or loosening of the dog’s teeth. They are not sore unless the pup has trouble chewing, grooming, or playing with toys. However, if the epulis grows substantially, it may become painful for the dog. Unfortunately, epulides are considered pernicious. These tumors may weaken the jawbone.

What Are the Different Types of Epulides?

Different types of mass-like growths can form in the mouth. These growths are called epulides, which are lumps that form on the gums.

  • Fibromatous is a benign, slow-growing tumor that starts in the gums.
  • Ossifying includes bone cells and is possible to grow to be cancerous.
  • Acanthomatous is a cancerous growth normally positioned in the front section of the lower jaw.

Epulis in dogs usually does not affect other areas of the body. However, cancerous growths should be removed. Most epulides tend to be benign, but it is best to be cautious. The appearance of growth like this in your dog should facilitate an immediate visit to the vet.

How To Thwart Dental Troubles

dog dental care

To avoid dental complications in your canine, begin by taking them to the vet for regular check-ups. Annual examinations are intended to catch health problems early before they grow to be insurmountable. Additionally, you will also need to cleanse your canine’s teeth to help inhibit periodontal disease. Make sure you purchase a good doggie toothbrush and toothpaste.

Dogs need dental cleanings just like we do. Be sure to have your pup receive regular dental cleanings with the veterinarian. You can make your vet’s work easier by regularly taking care of your dog’s teeth. Give your pups toys and treats for daily chewing, as treats like Greenies will help clean your pup’s teeth and freshen their breath.

There are plenty of dog teeth cleaning toys for gum stimulation, such as the Pamlulu Dog Chew Toy Toothbrush Stick. If your pooch is an aggressive chewer, they will appreciate Petizer Dog Squeaky Toys for Aggressive Chewers. Toys like this will allow your dog to release their pent-up energy and their instinct to bite down hard.


It is common for a puppy to lose their baby teeth. However, when an adult dog loses teeth, it typically means that they may have periodontal disease or trauma to the mouth has occurred.

If you see any of the above in your canine companion, take them to see the vet as soon as possible. Make sure they receive their annual vet exam so you can catch any dental issues before they become a serious problem.

For pets in the North Hollywood, CA region, Blue Cross Pet Hospital is here to help. Give us a call at (818) 980-1313 or visit us online today!