Dogs love chewing and this habit will soon catch up with their teeth. Over time, you’ll notice your dogs bottom front teeth worn down.
Nevertheless, wear and tear are normal for dog teeth. Even humans will get worn-out teeth as they age due to regular use.
However, in the case of dogs, the wear and tear can be excessive. This leads to a condition that causes a canine to lose the top of part of its tooth fast, which is called attrition.
Aside from excessive use, there are other factors and reasons that will contribute to the damage to your dog’s teeth.
In this post, I discussed the reasons behind your dog’s worn-down teeth and what you can do about it. This can help slow down the damage or help your dog adjust to its changing teeth.
Reasons why a dog’s teeth get worn down
There are many possible reasons why your dog’s front teeth will get worn down. Nevertheless, the following are the most common cases observed in canines:
1. Chewing hard objects
The most common reason why the bottom front teeth of your dog get worn down is chewing hard objects. Tennis balls, Frisbees, branches, bones, and more are just some of the common culprits.
Specifically, the texture of tennis balls acts like sandpaper. As your dog chews on it, the enamel of its front teeth gets worn down.
Aside from the front teeth, the back teeth of your dog may suffer from the same wear and tear. This is more common among canines who bite into their cages.
This kind of attrition happens slowly and you won’t notice it right away until the dentin is exposed. The dentin is the yellowish or dark brown layer right under the enamel.
2. Allergies or skin problems
Skin problems or allergies can also lead to the attrition of your dog’s front teeth. It’s because affected dogs will keep chewing the itchiness away until their teeth lose height.
Aside from damage to the teeth, chewing due to allergies will also lead to skin injuries. If not addressed right away, continuous chewing may trigger infections.
3. Misaligned teeth
Malocclusions or misaligned teeth can also lead to the wearing down of your pet’s front teeth. Due to the misalignment, many dogs will prefer to chew stiff objects or food to soothe the discomfort.
Aside from that, the malocclusion will cause other teeth to be overused. This will cause excessive wear and tear, especially on the front bottom teeth.
Take note that misalignment often occurs when a canine’s milk teeth don’t shed properly. In this case, the lingering teeth need to be removed to give way to adult ones and avoid said malocclusion.
4. Poor dental hygiene
Poor dental hygiene can also contribute to the wear and tear on your dog’s lower front teeth. While it’s rarely the main reason for attrition, poor dental hygiene could speed up or worsen the damage.
If you don’t brush your dog’s teeth or observe any dental health measures, don’t be surprised if its teeth will sustain irreparable damage.
5. Old age
Dogs love chewing and over the years, it will slowly wear down their teeth. This is a normal occurrence, especially for senior dogs.
Much like humans, a canine’s teeth will age and wear down. At some point, the tooth will fall off or be extracted due to severe damage.
Overall, a 10-year-old dog suffering from signs of attrition isn’t really surprising. What you can do is slow down the damage through proper dental care.
6. Canine bruxism
Lastly, canine bruxism could also be the culprit behind attrition. This condition occurs when the upper teeth of your dog rub on the bottom teeth.
This constant grinding will cause attrition and another condition called temporomandibular joint or TMJ. Aside from dental wear, dogs with bruxism will also suffer from headaches and jaw pain.
Take note that bruxism in dogs must be addressed as early as possible. If not, your pet will develop gingival recession as well as a slew of infections.
What to do if your dog’s bottom teeth are worn down
Worn-down teeth shouldn’t be a life sentence for dogs. There are many ways to treat or manage it properly.
It’s important to take your dog to the veterinarian for a proper diagnosis. From there, the vet can recommend treatment options to save or restore the affected bottom teeth.
Usually, the following will be the treatment options you’ll be given:
1. Metal crown replacement
For dogs suffering from severe attrition, a metal crown replacement might be necessary. Like with human crown replacements, a metal shaped into the dog’s teeth will be implanted in its mouth.
Overall, this option is considered if the wear and tear on the tooth are severe. It’s also the ideal solution once the pulp canal is already exposed and the dog owner doesn’t want to consider extraction.
2. Dentinal sealant
If the bottom is worn down but no pulp is exposed, a dentinal sealant is a common option. This buys your dog’s teeth time to build a natural seal called reparative dentin.
Take note that, unlike fillings, dentinal sealants will only last for a short period. Over time, it will also get lost due to attrition.
Aside from that, dentinal sealants aren’t ideal if your dog’s affected tooth has already built reparative dentin. This can be confirmed after a thorough examination at the vet’s clinic.
3. Root canal
For dogs whose worn-down teeth have exposed and inflamed pulp, a root canal procedure can be performed. This will help save the tooth permanently instead of extracting it.
However, this procedure can be pretty costly. So for dog owners without a budget, extraction is often the more attractive option.
If your dog’s bottom teeth only have mild signs of attrition, the vet may recommend monitoring first. This way, you’ll see whether it’s just a normal level of wear and tear.
At this point, the vet may provide preventive solutions. You also need to make changes to your dog’s diet and habits to slow down the damage to its teeth.
How to prevent your dog’s teeth from getting worn down
While there’s no absolute way to prevent attrition in dogs, you can take a few measures to at least slow it down. Here are a few pieces of advice you can consider:
1. Avoid giving bone treats to your dog
As much as possible, avoid giving animal bones to your dog if it’s already suffering from attrition. Bones are stiff and will cause further damage to the affected teeth.
Instead, you should opt for softer bone treats that promote dental health. This will help satisfy your pet’s chewing habits without subjecting their teeth to too much wear and tear.
2. Treat skin disorders right away
It’s important to treat your dog’s skin problems right away to avoid excessive chewing. Aside from reducing the risk of attrition, early treatment of skin problems will save your dog from unnecessary irritations.
Overall, you should treat skin problems in dogs the moment it surfaces. This will save you from expensive vet bills later on.
3. Don’t tolerate obsessive chewing
Obsessive chewing in dogs can cause severe damage to their teeth. The good thing is that this behavior is easy to correct and prevent.
Most of the time, canines suffer from obsessive chewing if they are bored or not given ample mental stimulation. This is much so if the dog belongs to the herding, working, and sporting categories.
Make sure that you satisfy your dog’s exercise needs based on its breed. Aside from preventing excessive chewing, keeping your pet active will also avert other behavioral problems.
4. Brush your dog’s teeth regularly
Regular brushing of your dog’s teeth may not prevent attrition, but it will avoid the development of other dental problems. This way, even if your dog’s tooth pulp becomes exposed, it will not become inflamed or infected.
Aside from that, brushing your dog’s teeth regularly will let you spot changes that may point to dental problems.
Overall, brushing your dog’s teeth at least once a week is the minimum. If you can do it more frequently, it would be better.
5. Supervise your dog’s outdoor trips
Whenever you’re letting your dog roam outdoors, you must be around to supervise its movements. Make sure that you stop your pet whenever it tries to chew on your fence, rocks, and other items in your yard.
While this is just a small step, it will make a big difference in your dog’s dental health.
6. Observe routine dental checks
Lastly, you should take your dog to annual dental checks. This way, the vet can spot signs of attrition early before it causes serious problems for your dog’s health.
Aside from that, dental problems like attrition can be treated easier and cheaper when detected early. While dental checks will cost a fee, it’s just a small price to pay compared to expensive treatments for serious tooth problems.
Do dogs lose their front bottom teeth?
There are two instances wherein a dog will lose its front bottom teeth. The first is one is when the adult teeth set in and the other is when the teeth become damaged.
Old age, poor dental hygiene, bruxism, and other factors can cause your dog’s teeth to fall off. Most of these are preventable and treatable early on.
Can bones wear down a dog’s teeth?
Animal bones can wear down your dog’s teeth fast. Aside from that, it can cause other dental problems like wounds if the bone splinters.
Take note that bones are tough against the enamel of your dog’s teeth. If given regularly, animal bones can wear down your pet’s teeth in just a few months or years.
Moreover, poultry bones splinter easily. These sharp splinters can get stuck on your dog’s gums and throat, creating a much bigger problem.
Why do older dogs grind their teeth?
Older dogs tend to grind their teeth due to pain. This is called bruxism, which is a condition that’s also prevalent in humans.
Aside from pain, misalignment of the teeth can also be the reason behind the condition. Take note that malocclusions like these can cause more dental problems if not addressed right away.
How much does it cost to get a dog’s tooth fixed?
Procedures to fix tooth problems in dogs can cost anywhere from a few hundred to thousands of dollars. The price depends on the complexity of the procedure and your dog’s condition.
For example, a root canal for canines costs around $1,500 to $3,000. Meanwhile, routine dental cleaning usually costs roughly $50.
Overall, the final price will depend on the veterinarian’s estimate. Take note that even the location of the vet’s clinic will impact the cost of the procedure.
Should I get my old dog’s teeth pulled?
For mild cases of attrition, tooth extraction isn’t needed for dogs. However, if the pulp is exposed and infected, the vet may recommend the tooth be pulled.
The veterinarian will have to assess your dog’s condition to see whether the tooth can be saved. But even though the tooth can be saved, many pet owners opt for extraction since it’s cheaper than other procedures.
Is a broken dog tooth considered an emergency?
A broken tooth in dogs isn’t always an emergency. It depends on the severity of the damage and the circumstances surrounding it.
For example, if your dog’s tooth is broken with the pulp exposed, you must seek immediate veterinary attention. It’s because an exposed pulp is painful and prone to infections.
However, if your dog’s tooth only sustained a chip, you don’t have to panic. You can still schedule a visit to the vet for repairs, but it’s not as urgent as dealing with exposed pulp.
Dogs bottom front teeth worn down are often a sign of dental problems. It’s important to consult the veterinarian to know your options on how to prevent or repair your dog’s biters.
Take note that a proactive approach can help your dog’s teeth from a potential extraction. It will also prevent possible infections down the line.