How much does it cost to have a dog’s tooth pulled UK? Expert Advice

Why are healthy teeth important for your dog?

The truth of the matter is humans dont just care about their teeth for health reasons – they also care about aesthetics. Many people want straight teeth and a dazzling white smile. Of course, this isnt the case for dogs! Dogs need healthy teeth for the most fundamental reasons: eating comfortably, displaying their normal behaviours, and being free from pain and infection. Healthy teeth allow your dog to pick up and chew their food, as well as being useful for enrichment activities like chews and toys.

What happens if you don’t look after your dog’s teeth?

Without regular home care, your dog’s oral health will deteriorate gradually over time. Here are the potential consequences of neglecting your dog’s pearly whites:

Without regular brushing, bacteria in your dog’s mouth will lead to plaque build-up on their teeth and under the gumline. Over time, this build-up leads to inflammation and tartar. If your dog has periodontal disease, they will need a dental procedure to remove the tartar, known as a scale and polish. Although humans can just visit the hygienist at their local dental practice, dogs need an anaesthetic so they stay still for the procedure. They might also need pain relief and antibiotics to help prepare them for the procedure or to help them recover afterwards.

When periodontal disease becomes advanced, the tissues that support the tooth in its socket start to degenerate. This means that the gums recede, and the bones surrounding the tooth root dissolve. This causes the tooth to become unstable, and it may fall out or require removal. Dogs canine teeth have very long roots, and some of their molars have three roots. These teeth can be challenging to remove and might need to be removed surgically, using a drill to remove some of the jawbone.

As you already know, there’s a lot of bacteria in a dog’s mouth. If a tooth’s root is exposed or the gum surrounding it becomes inflamed and stops forming a seal, bacteria can track up into the socket and cause a malar or tooth root abscess. This infection commonly spreads to the sinuses and causes a swelling visible below your dog’s eye. This type of abscess can also occur if your dog fractures their tooth, exposing the pulp cavity. If your dog has a molar abscess, it can cause pain to your dog and will need to be treated by a vet.

Periodontal disease nearly always causes pain – and we understand that thought can be upsetting for dog parents, when all you want for them is to be happy and pain-free. This pain can range from mild discomfort with gingivitis, to severe, debilitating pain caused by abscesses or infection. Its important to remember that your dog cant tell you verbally that theyre feeling pain, but that doesnt mean there arent signs if you look for them, so you can ensure they’re not suffering in silence. You might notice your furry friend isnt as interested in food as they used to be or that they hesitate before eating, taking a treat, or picking up a toy. You might see them dropping food while they eat or yelping when they chew in a particular part of their mouth.

Its not just humans who experience bad breath. If your dogs teeth arent very healthy, you might find yourself flinching when they give you a slobbery kiss or turning your face away when theyre panting nearby. Halitosis is caused by the bacteria in the mouth. A course of antibiotics will improve it, but it will sadly soon return without the proper dental treatment.

If your dog isnt eating because their mouth is sore, theyre bound to lose weight. If theyve lost a lot of weight, your veterinarian might want to check a blood sample before giving them an anaesthetic to ensure their organs are healthy and can cope with the anaesthetic.

Having a mouth full of bacteria doesnt just make your dog prone to infection in their mouth. The mouth and gums are so full of blood vessels that a severe dental infection can very quickly lead to sepsis. Bacteria can also occasionally travel via the blood to the heart, causing an infection of the heart valves known as endocarditis. Although rare, both conditions are severe and sadly often fatal. Bad teeth have also been linked with kidney disease, liver disease, and strokes.

Dog Tooth Extraction Recovery Time and Aftercare

Recovery and aftercare should be relatively easy to handle. “There will be absorbable sutures in the dogs mouth that need to be protected. Soft food for 10–14 days, avoiding rough play, and limiting access to chew toys are usually all thats required,” Woodward says. “Pain medication is generally given for a few days after the procedure, and occasionally antibiotics are dispensed.”

Senior dogs, he points out, might require a little more attention post-operatively than younger dogs to make sure their food and water intake is adequate. Younger pets usually look normal a few hours after a dental procedure.

In order to prevent having to get another one of your dogs teeth pulled in the future, make sure to brush their teeth regularly, try giving them teeth cleaning toys to chew on (after their mouth is fully healed), and take your pup to the vet to get their teeth professionally cleaned several times a year.