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Dental care

Dental health



Healthy Dog Gums & Teeth: What Do They Look Like?

Teeth are one of the first things we notice when talking to others and meeting new people. They allow us to show affections through a smile, and more importantly, break down solid foods for nourishment. What does this have to do with dogs? Well, did you know that 80% of dogs are affected by various dental diseases and that senior dogs, over 12 years of age, are more likely to have a dental problem than any other age group? 

While we care deeply for our pets with snuggles, food, and play, most owners overlook dental health as a priority for wellbeing. The majority of dog owners don’t take their dogs for regular dental checkups and that number drops when it comes to daily dental routines in the home. Learn about the importance of proper dog dental care and what to look for to ensure healthy and happy gums and teeth.


Taking care of our pets’ wellbeing needs is top priority, but an often overlooked aspects of pet health and wellbeing stems from dental care. While dental issues can cause pain and infections within the mouth, dental issues can also cause eating issues and weight loss that can lead to larger health problems, such as infections, within the rest of the body. Dental issues can go so far as to cause permanent jaw pain and even heart disease if left untreated.

That’s why it’s vital to incorporate a dental routine in your dog’s health and wellbeing plan to ensure they are healthy, happy, and stay that way. Did you know only 2% of pet parents brush their pet’s teeth? Daily dental care is so very needed! Read on to learn about signs and symptoms of heathy and unhealthy gums and teeth, along with what you can do to ensure your dog has a healthy mouth.


When it comes to assessing your pup’s dental health, there are two main areas to observe: gums and teeth. Here are a few signs that your dog has stellar dental health.

  • Gum color: A healthy dog should have bubble gum pink gums without any inflammation or redness. Many dogs have dark pigmented spots within the mouth, but that is no cause for concern, so long as the pink areas are smooth and pink in color.
  • Gum texture: A healthy dog’s gums should be smooth and surround each tooth attaching just below the crown. There should be no swelling, rippled textures, growths, or variations in color, especially around the tooth pocket. A dog’s gums should also feel wet to the touch. If they are sticky or dry, this could be a cause for concern.
  • Teeth color: Your dog’s teeth should be white and clean with little to no plaque buildup. Healthy teeth are solid and strong with no cracks, chips, or broken areas.

If you take a look at your dog and you see a mouth with pink, smooth gums and clean teeth, you’re on the right track to keeping them safe and healthy! However, there are a few things to look out for when it comes to a dog’s dental health.


There are various physical signs that can imply something is wrong when it comes to your dog’s dental health. If you notice any of the following, your pup may be suffering from gingivitis, gum disease,  periodontal disease, or papillomatosis. Check the list below and call your vet for support.

  • Bad breath (beyond normal puppy breath)
  • White, red or inflamed gums (especially around the tooth pockets)
  • Discoloration of the gum line near teeth
  • Plaque or calculus buildup
  • Growths on gums
  • Poor appetite
  • Gum recession
  • Bloody gums

If your dog is dealing with any of these conditions, understand there are many treatments to support the journey back to healthy gums and teeth. Your dog’s vet can use ultrasonic scaling and polishing to remove buildup and reduce inflammation. This is the first step to getting your dog out of the dental doghouse. You also want to incorporate daily and or weekly tooth brushing, too, which can be supported with meat-rich specialized foodtreats, and dental chews.

Don’t wait until there’s a problem to start a healthy dental routine with your dog. Just like we brush our teeth every day, our dogs need the same type of care and routine. Look for foods that offer dental benefits, brush your dog’s teeth periodically, and have your vet check their teeth during routine visits. With these simple steps, your dog will look good and feel good, too!

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