Wobbly teeth in dogs

photo of a dog on white background

Overview

Puppies’ teeth will naturally loosen and start to fall out at around four months old. This is to make room for their adult teeth.

Your dog’s adult teeth are held securely in their sockets by attachments called ligaments and the gums form a tight seal around each tooth. Loose teeth can be very painful, especially when eating, they usually need removing by a vet under anaesthetic.

Book your dog in for a check-up if you notice they have loose or wobbly teeth.

When to contact your vet

Make an appointment with your vet if you notice your dog has a wobbly tooth. It is important to find the cause, get treatment and relieve pain.

You know your dog best. If they don’t have the symptoms listed above but you are still concerned it’s always best to contact your vet.

Causes 

Tooth problems

Tooth problems i.e. broken teeth and tooth root infections will cause teeth to wobble.

Gum disease

Gum disease usually starts with plaque and tartar build up on the teeth. If the plaque and tartar isn’t removed inflammation and infection will develop. Inflammation and infection weaken tooth attachments which eventually leads to wobbly teeth. Teeth don’t always fall out once they are wobbly. Some will stay in for many years causing pain and discomfort.

Trauma

Road traffic accidents, falls, bumping into something, catching a ball in the wrong way and chewing on a hard objects can all lead to tooth damage.

Mouth cancer

Cancer in the jaw bone or gums can damage the gum, bone and attachments that should be holding the teeth firmly in place.

Preventing wobbly teeth

The most common cause of wobbly teeth is dental disease. Prevent dental disease by:

Tooth brushing

Regular tooth brushing is the best way to prevent tooth and gum problems. Brushing removes plaque before it turns into solid tartar. Fabric finger brushes can be purchased in our online shop.

Check ups

Regular dental checks with your vet will also help to stop serious problems before they develop.

Published: October 2018

PetWise Pet Health Hub – brought to you thanks to support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery 

Illustrations by Samantha Elmhurst