How to Treat Dental Pain in Dogs: 8 Ways
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There are several approaches to treating dental pain in dogs, including prescription medication, dental procedures (also known as COHAT), and home remedies.
While a puppy’s dental pain is usually resolved by six months of age, an adult dog’s dental pain is usually indicative of a larger problem.
Most dental pain in dogs is caused by dental disease, as this is the most common health issue impacting our furry friends.
Your veterinarian can help you make the best plan for your pet, which may include one or more of the following options:
1. Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
NSAIDs are a group of pain medications that reduce inflammation in dogs and can be prescribed by your veterinarian. While effective in treating pain, NSAIDs don't treat underlying dental issues.
Some common NSAIDs for dogs include:
In certain situations, your veterinarian may incorporate other pain management medications in addition to NSAIDs, such as Gabapentin and or dog friendly opioids.
While antibiotics won’t give your dog immediate pain relief, it can treat the cause of the pain, which can bring some relief within a couple of days.
Antibiotics are used to treat dental infections and some post-dental procedures.
3. Veterinary Dental Cleanings (COHAT)
Professional dental cleanings are not a treatment for pain per se, but can help prevent periodontal disease and tooth decay in dogs that can lead to oral discomfort.
Dental cleanings are typically performed under anesthesia to ensure a thorough and stress-free experience for your pet.
Pet Dental Health Quiz
1. How often do you brush your pet’s teeth at home?
2. What color are your pet’s teeth?
3. When you look at your pet’s gums, which best describes what you see?
4. When you check your pet’s teeth, what do you see?
5. How does your pet respond to having their teeth or mouth touched?
6. When my pet eats, they:
7. When you kiss your pet you notice…
4. Tooth Extractions
In cases of advanced dental disease or severe tooth decay, tooth extractions may be the best course of action to relieve your dog from persistent dental pain.
Your veterinarian will discuss the need for extractions based on a thorough examination and dental X-rays.
There is some evidence that CBD can help alleviate pain and discomfort in dogs as well as relax them if they are stressed. CBD for dogs is generally considered safe, but you should always consult your veterinarian before giving it to your pup.
6. Dental Treats and Chews
Fillable toys also can reduce inflammation and prevent painful dental disease from starting. Filling a KONG or similar toy with cold or frozen food can also keep your puppy or adult dog distracted and entertained.
7. Cold Therapy
Cold compresses and ice packs are effective ways to relieve inflamed gums and treat dental pain in dogs.
If your pet will tolerate it, wrap a cold pack in a towel and apply it to your dog’s mouth or cheeks, or place it on them when they are lying down. Consult your veterinarian before attempting cold therapy.
8. Dietary Changes
To encourage your dog to eat even if they have a toothache, try feeding them soft foods, like rice, cooked vegetables, ground turkey, chicken, or prepackaged wet dog food.
Remember that the best way to treat dental pain in dogs is to prevent it with regular veterinary dental exams and cleanings.
If you think your dog is experiencing dental pain, don't hesitate to get in touch. One of our veterinarians can create a dental and pain management plan to get your pup feeling better soon!
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I ease my dog's tooth pain?
As mentioned above, aside from puppy teething, the only long-term treatment for dental pain is to diagnose and treat the underlying dental injury or disease. Pain medication and other comfort measures can help your dog to feel more comfortable in the short-term.
How can I treat my dog's tooth infection at home?
Aside from short-term comfort measures, canine oral infections will need to be treated under the care of a veterinarian.
Is dog tooth pain an emergency?
Any dental pain or infection in a dog will require a consultation with a veterinarian, who can better advise you whether your pet can be treated during a sick exam or telemedicine appointment or whether your dog should be seen at an emergency clinic.
Can you give Orajel to dogs?
No, Orajel is not suitable or safe for dogs. This is because the active ingredient in Orajel is benzocaine, which can impact a dog’s oxygen levels in the blood. Human-grade pain relievers should never be used on your pup unless specifically recommended by a veterinarian.
Don't Let Pet Dental Disease Sneak Up on Your Furry Friend
Regular checkups are crucial for maintaining your pet’s overall health and well-being. Our stress-free in-home visits make it easy to ensure your pet's oral health is always in top condition.