You may not think much of the condition of your pet's teeth, but their oral health is very important for their overall physical health. If their teeth are weakened or they're having problems with their gums, they may not eat properly and, in turn, get sick or have a weakened immune system. If you're a responsible pet owner, you also don't want to have a pet who is in pain because of their teeth being neglected! While some signs of pet dental problems are obvious, others might be easily overlooked. Consider a few of these here so you know when to take your pet to an animal dentist.
Dropping food from the mouth
Some pets are just messy eaters, especially large and energetic dogs, but if you notice a distinct change in your pet's eating so that they're always dropping food from the mouth, this can be a bad sign. This may signal that they are having pain along the gum line or with certain teeth in particular, and food drops out of their mouth as they try to move it away from that area. It can also be that their mouth has gone numb and they cannot sense when they have food in that part of the mouth. Excessive drooling just on one side of the mouth can also be a sign of the same issue.
Eating habits change
A pet may stop eating as much as they once did because of stomach issues, being overheated, or not liking a new food you're offering. However, try to note if they attempt to eat but seem to give up after getting some food in their mouth. This can mean that their mouth is in too much pain for them to comfortably chew their food.
Pulling away from being touched around the mouth
When you want to pet your cat or dog around the face, you need to ensure you're not doing anything to make them feel insecure so that they might nip at you. However, if you're petting their face and mouth as you usually do and notice that they suddenly pull away, or pull away when you try to touch a certain side of the mouth, this usually signals that they're in pain. Just as you don't like to be touched in an area of a bruise or irritation, your pet may also be trying to protect this sensitive area of their teeth and gums.