What are dog grinding teeth? Why do dogs grind their teeth? Bruxism or teeth grinding is common among humans, but it can also appear in your dog. Teeth grinding in dogs happens when they rub their upper and lower teeth together over and over. This action can damage your dog’s healthy set of teeth, causing a fractured tooth, exposed pulp, tooth infections, and painful teeth and gums. Learn more about the different reasons why dogs grind their teeth and what to do to deal with this issue.
Why Do Some Dogs Grind Their Teeth?
Like humans, dogs are not aware of what they are doing when they are sleeping. Only a pet owner can tell if their dog grinds their teeth. However, keep in mind that not all dogs grind their teeth. But if they do, here are a few potential reasons why.
Teeth grinding habit is a common reaction of dogs to discomfort or pain. Dogs do not usually show indications of pain the way people do. In fact, as part of their survival instinct, most dogs try to hide their discomfort by acting as usual as possible. From a physical perspective, teeth grinding may indicate something wrong in your dog’s mouth.
Potential reasons for oral pain include cavities, periodontal disease, tooth infections, fractured teeth, injury to the mouth lining or tongue, and oral growth or tumors. In addition, a few puppies will grind their teeth because of the teething process or when there is a loose tooth. Fortunately, most puppies grow out of the behavior once their adult teeth emerge.
A malocclusion, also known as an abnormal bite, happens when misaligned teeth or jaw abnormalities prevent the dog’s mouth from closing the teeth together appropriately and evenly. In fact, this condition can drive to grind teeth against other teeth automatically as a part of typical mouth movement.
Like oral pain, discomfort in the esophagus, intestines, or stomach can also make some dogs grind their teeth. This behavior is maybe a way for dogs to get temporary pain relief.
Stress or Anxiety
Stress and anxiety are the popular reasons for bruxism in humans. In canines, this response to anxiety and stress is rare yet can still happen. And similar to people, this form of teeth grinding may occur unconsciously while your dog is sleeping.
Dogs are well sensitive to their general surroundings. Any abrupt changes to their current circumstance or routine can cause pressure or stress. Some stress-related reasons may include a new baby or partner, moving home, or conflict in the home. When dogs feel unwell, this can appear in various behavioral changes such as teeth grinding.
Is Teeth Grinding Harmful?
Minor and occasional teeth grinding may not cause issues in a dog. Nevertheless, over time, these destructive behaviors can make significant wear to the tooth enamel and dentin. When worn out enough, the teeth might turn out to be seriously damaged and painful. If it exposes the pulp inside the tooth, the dog might develop a severe dental complication.
At first, you may not be aware of your dog’s teeth grinding. The sound of it could be unobtrusive, or it might seem as chattering or grinding. You might possibly see the movement of the jaw muscles and mouth except if you look carefully.
What to Do For Dog Teeth Grinding
Try not to overlook teeth grinding in your dog, whether it appears to be mild. If you see indications of dog teeth grinding, make sure to call your veterinarian’s office to book an appointment. The vet will assess your dog’s mouth and perform a full physical examination to search for an underlying cause.
Also, your vet will probably recommend lab tests to check your dog’s organ function and general health. These tests might uncover an underlying health problem that may be causing the bruxism. Furthermore, they can help your vet find out the safest techniques to use for anesthesia, pain management, and other treatments.
Based on the findings, your dog might require a dental examination and professional cleaning to see the extent of the damage or start treatment. This process is safe since your doggy will be placed under anesthesia while the vet closely examines the teeth. Additionally, the vet will also take dental x-rays to evaluate the teeth and jaw.
Suppose your vet determines that the teeth grinding is not identified with a health issue. Then, in that case, there is a possibility your dog is experiencing stress or anxiety. Your vet might be able to provide medical advice on the best way to facilitate your canine’s pressure with environmental changes, prescriptions, and behavioral therapy. You might also wish to look for help from a dog trainer or animal behaviorist to help you work with your pet.
Bringing your dog to a vet can help prevent the harmful effect of teeth grinding. So make sure your dog has routine wellness visits as suggested, generally once or twice a year. Keep in mind that only your vet can provide proper recommendations concerning oral health care for your dog.
Stress vs. anxiety: How to tell the difference.
Teeth Misalignment in Dogs.