Teeth in dogs

, medical expert
Last reviewed: 19.11.2021

All iLive content is medically reviewed or fact checked to ensure as much factual accuracy as possible.

We have strict sourcing guidelines and only link to reputable media sites, academic research institutions and, whenever possible, medically peer reviewed studies. Note that the numbers in parentheses ([1], [2], etc.) are clickable links to these studies.

If you feel that any of our content is inaccurate, out-of-date, or otherwise questionable, please select it and press Ctrl + Enter.

Dental stone in dogs occurs quite often - according to statistics, 75% of pets can have such a problem. Our task is to help the animal in time, and to prevent the development of complications, because some of them become quite serious.

Let us consider in more detail the main aspects of this pathology, as well as the ways of its elimination and prevention.

The mechanism and causes

Mineral deposits on the teeth are a big problem for pets. In addition, the presence of tartar can provoke other serious complications. Therefore, constant and thorough care of the dog's mouth is extremely important.

The tooth stone is transformed from a conventional plaque, which accumulates for a certain time at the base of the tooth, closer to the gingival margin. It consists of food fragments, obsolete cells of mucous tissues, proteins of salivary secretions, representatives of a diverse microflora. Over time, the deposit hardens, deposited in a mineral precipitate, it settles a lot of bacteria. Some of them, especially streptococcus, create a favorable environment for the further formation and strengthening of calculus. Lime deposits and microorganisms on them actively produce lactic acid, which breaks the acid-base balance in the oral cavity. As a result, the mucous membranes of the mouth, the gums, and the enamel of the teeth suffer. In the future, this can provoke the development of inflammatory processes, allergic manifestations, damage to tooth enamel and periodontal disease.

The process affects to a greater extent fangs and molars. A tartar may appear in any adult dog, but tiny breeds with a short snout are more likely to suffer.

The main causes of calculus in dogs:

  • presence of permanent plaque;
  • absence of solid elements in everyday food (bones, cartilage, etc.);
  • violations of the dentition;
  • damage to the structure of the enamel of all or some of the teeth;
  • violation of salt and mineral metabolism in the animal body.

The tartar develops gradually, eventually affecting the surrounding tissues.


The owner of the pet should regularly inspect the mouth, the teeth of the animal, in time to identify the symptoms of tartar in the dog. Be sure to alert the appearance of a dark yellow or grayish-brown layering at the bases of the teeth, redness and swelling of the gums, their hypersensitivity and bleeding.

If you do not remove the tartar in time, the pathological process will continue to progress. The animal can no longer eat normally, especially with solid food. The appetite disappears, the dog loses weight. There may be a loss of teeth, increased salivation.

Dental stone in dogs can be found both above the edge of the gum and under the gum. The stone above the gum is diagnosed more quickly and is much easier to remove. Under the gum mineral deposits can long remain unnoticed. And only during the initial inflammatory process becomes apparent the appearance of voids, "pockets" between the tooth and gum, the tissues swell, there is a pretty unpleasant odor from the mouth.

Perhaps the development of periodontitis: the animal suffers from excruciating pain in the gums, teeth first loosen, then begin to fall out. There are small inflammatory elements on the mucous membranes, abscesses. Mass reproduction of microbes in the oral cavity leads to their entry into the stomach of the dog, and then into the bloodstream. This can cause toxic effects on the liver, urinary and cardiovascular systems.

Removal of tartar in dogs

The best way to treat this pathology is to remove tartar from dogs. This can be done mechanically, or by a modern ultrasonic method.

With mechanical removal of plaque, there is a danger of damaging the enamel or mucous tissues.

The procedure is performed more often under general anesthesia. The animal is forbidden to take food 10 hours before removal in order to avoid vomiting during anesthesia. After the anesthesia, the tartar is scraped by a special tool manually, or an ultrasonic effect of varying degrees of vibration is used.

The use of ultrasound is less painful for the animal, traumatic lesions of the gums and enamel are excluded. However, this method is poorly suited for getting rid of the stone under the gum.

After the procedure, the teeth are thoroughly polished using special pastes and baits; complete the process by applying a bactericidal agent to the treated tissue.

In the presence of signs of inflammation, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory drugs, supplemented with vitamin complexes, drugs for raising immunity, stimulants of metabolism, can be prescribed.

A completely logical question may arise: how can I clean the tartar at home? Is it possible? In principle, it is possible, now in the veterinary shops and pharmacies are sold a lot of special pastes and brushes, as well as chewing gums for cleaning teeth. You can find even a specialized dry food for the prevention of tartar in dogs. Nevertheless, as practice proves, the effect of these methods is temporary, and sooner or later you will still have to remove tartar in the clinic. The procedure for the removal of tartar is recommended to repeat every 12-18 months.


Now let's talk about how to prevent tartar in dogs. The most basic and main aspect of a healthy state of teeth in an animal is oral hygiene. Some lovers of pets have been taught puppies to brush their teeth since childhood, at least twice a week. To do this, use a soft brush to avoid injuring the gums. At the moment, zoological shops sell a wide variety of tooth powders and pastes for dogs.

Often let the animal chew the bones (real or imitated).

When examining the oral cavity pay special attention to the condition of the gums, mucous cover. The slightest suspicion of the presence of inflammation should be the reason for contacting a veterinarian.

Do not remove the resulting stone can not, as this will lead to more serious consequences, which then will be treated more difficult.

Everyone knows that pets require constant care and attention. The guarantee of well-being and health of your pet are periodic examinations of the oral cavity, which allows you to notice and prevent tartar in time in dogs.

Translation Disclaimer: For the convenience of users of the iLive portal this article has been translated into the current language, but has not yet been verified by a native speaker who has the necessary qualifications for this. In this regard, we warn you that the translation of this article may be incorrect, may contain lexical, syntactic and grammatical errors.

You are reporting a typo in the following text:
Simply click the "Send typo report" button to complete the report. You can also include a comment.