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Dental Caries (Cavities) In Dogs: Symptoms, Causes, & Treatments

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(Picture Credit: Hillary Kladke/Getty Images)

Dental caries in dogs, also known as dental cavities, arise when bacteria in the mouth causes dental hard tissue to decay. They can appear on both the crown of a tooth or the root.

Studies have estimated that around five percent of dogs will suffer from dental caries at some point.

If you see signs that your canine is developing dental health issues or cavities, then you must consult your veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and treatment. Here’s what you should know about the symptoms, causes, and treatments of dental caries in dogs.

Symptoms Of Dental Caries In Dogs

Cavities in dogs can produce two main symptoms. In cases of incipient dental caries, a patch of white enamel will appear.

In other cases that involve structural defects, a dark area of decay will be present below the tooth enamel.

Causes Of Dental Caries In Dogs

Close-up of a dog teeth and fangs. Concept of aggressive behavior of dogs and attacks on people. Angry domestic dogs guard private property. Caries and dental diseases in elderly dogs. Animal grin.

(Picture Credit: Olga Kurdyukova/Getty Images)

The cause of dental caries in dogs is bacteria. This bacteria ferments carbohydrates on the surface of the teeth that, in turn, produces an acid that can harm the enamel.

There are a number of factors that can increase the chances of a dog developing cavities. Some of those factors include:

  • Teeth being positioned too tightly together
  • Pockets of space between teeth and gums
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Dietary issues
  • General health of a dog

Veterinary Treatments

If you see signs that your dog might be developing dental caries, your veterinarian will want to conduct a close examination of your dog’s teeth. In particular, your vet will pay close attention to any areas that show enamel hypocalcification.

The vet may also use dental radiographs to confirm their diagnosis.

If the vet identifies any cavities, treatment will focus on either extracting or restoring any affected teeth.

While your dog recovers, you should maintain regular visits with their vet to check on the condition of their teeth. Additionally, keeping up a good dental routine at home can help to lessen the chances of dental health issues returning. Your vet will be able to advise you on the best dental care practices for your specific dog.

Has your dog ever developed dental caries? How do you take care of your dog’s teeth to keep them healthy? Tell us all about it in the comments below.

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