Skip to Main Content
Ask About Financing


Signs Your Dog Needs Dental Cleaning

It is important to know the signs that your dog needs a dental cleaning. Our Animal Hospital at Babcock vets will provide you with the signs that your dog may need to come into our Babcock Ranch clinic for dental examinations. 

What is dental cleaning in dogs?

During a dental cleaning for your dog, a comprehensive dental examination, teeth cleaning, and polishing will be performed to eliminate tartar and plaque that can cause periodontal disease. This procedure requires your dog to be under general anesthesia.

Once your dog is under anesthesia, our veterinarians and their veterinary assistants will thoroughly examine its mouth, identifying any abnormalities. A dental probe will be used to assess gum bleeding and periodontal pockets, where food can accumulate and decay if not properly managed.

In cases of advanced periodontal disease, it may be necessary to extract severely affected teeth either during the cleaning procedure or at a later time.

How often should teeth cleaning be done on a dog? 

It is recommended that your dog's teeth be cleaned at least once a year, although the frequency may vary depending on the dog. Some dog breeds may require more frequent dental cleanings, so it's important to consult with the vets at Animal Hospital at Babcock to determine if your dog needs more cleanings.

During a dental cleaning, your pet will be put under anesthesia for its safety and the safety of the staff. The vet will then take X-rays to check for any underlying issues.

How do you tell when your dog needs dental cleaning?

Examining your dog's teeth can easily determine if it requires teeth cleaning. Look for signs of plaque buildup. If you observe any plaque accumulation or signs of gingivitis in your dog's mouth, it's time to schedule a dental cleaning.

Failure to address these problems promptly will result in their deterioration, potentially causing severe dental issues and sensitivity for your dog.

Signs that you might need to schedule dog teeth cleaning include:

  • Bad breath (Halitosis)
  • Discolored or yellowing teeth
  • Receding and/or bleeding gums (Gingivitis)
  • Drooling (more than average)
  • Loose or missing teeth
  • Poor appetite
  • Sneezing and nasal discharge (from an abscess that breaks into the nasal passages)

What happens if we don't clean our dog's teeth?

If you don't clean your dog's teeth, several dental and overall health issues can arise. Here are the potential consequences:

  • Plaque and tartar build-up: Without cleaning, plaque, a sticky film of bacteria, can form on your dog's teeth. Over time, plaque hardens into tartar, which is much more difficult to remove.
  • Gingivitis: Plaque and tartar can irritate the gums, leading to gingivitis, which is characterized by red, swollen, and bleeding gums.
  • Periodontal disease: If gingivitis is left untreated, it can progress to periodontal disease, a severe infection that affects the structures supporting the teeth. This can cause painful chewing, tooth loss, and even damage to the jawbone.
  • Bad breath (Halitosis): Poor dental hygiene often results in bad breath, which is usually caused by the bacteria in the mouth.
  • Pain & discomfort: Dental problems can cause significant pain and discomfort for your dog, affecting their ability to eat and enjoy food.
  • Systemic health issues: The bacteria from periodontal disease can enter the bloodstream and spread to other organs, potentially causing problems with the heart, liver, and kidneys.
  • Tooth loss: As periodontal disease progresses, the teeth may become loose and eventually fall out.
Regular dental care for your dog is crucial to prevent these issues. This includes brushing their teeth regularly, providing dental chews and toys, and scheduling professional dental cleanings with your veterinarian. Proper dental care helps ensure your dog's oral health and overall well-being.

What can I do at home for my dog's dental health?

Remember to brush your dog's teeth at home frequently! The more often, the better. Aim for two to three weekly brushings to keep your dog's teeth in good shape. The more you brush, the more your dog will get used to it, making daily brushing easier. If you need guidance on how to brush your pet’s teeth, feel free to contact Babcock Ranch vets, and we will help you get started in the right direction.

Also, offering dental chews and toys can help reduce plaque and tartar buildup through the build-special action of chewing. Choose products that are designed for dental health and approved for your dog's size.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding people or pets. If you are concerned about your pet's health, contact your veterinarian right away for diagnosis and treatment.

If your dog needs a dental exam or professional cleaning, contact our Babcock Ranch vets to schedule an appointment.

New Patients Welcome

Animal Hospital at Babcock is welcoming new patients. Our team provides compassionate care to you and your animal companions. Book your appointment today!


(941) 220-6300 Contact