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Cavities in Dogs

 by ben on  |
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Even though dental diseases are common among most dog breeds, the problem of dental cavities among canines is quite rare. However, just because the prevalence of cavities also known as carries is low doesn't mean that your dog cannot be affected. Nevertheless, because it is hard to tell when your dog has this problem it is therefore essential to examine your pooch's teeth regularly and ensure you attend all the vet appointments.

What causes cavities in dogs?

As a dog parent, there is no arguing that you want the best for your pooch. Being in the know about what causes cavities in dogs goes a long way in ensuring that your pup is in good health as you can avoid the causing factors, hence ensuring your pup’s dental health is on point and save yourself hundreds in treatment.

Cavities in dogs are often as a result of prolonged fermentation of food particles such as carbs on the tooth’s surface. How? Well, the health of any teeth, including those of your furred best friend depends on the continuous exchange of minerals between the tooth’s enamel and oral fluids. That means when your dog eats foods that are prone to fermentation such as carbohydrates, and no form of oral care is carried out afterward, such particles tend to ferment leading to the production of minerals that break down the tooth's enamel and dentin, thus resulting in carries.

Therefore based on the info above, one of the primary causes of cavities in canines is poor oral hygiene. Other common causes include

  • Crowded teeth or those that are abnormally close together
  • Low salivary pH
  • Poor diet, a diet that consists of highly fermentable foods such as carbs
  • Gaps between teeth and gums

As noted earlier, cavities are rare among dogs. Nevertheless, it is vital to note that they are common among the smaller dog breeds such as Shih Tzu, Poodle, Chihuahua, Yorkshire terrier and Pomeranian among many others. They are also prevalent among breeds with short faces.


Unlike humans who can identify dental problems, dogs cannot and what’s even worse is that they can’t tell you that they have a cavity. It is therefore up to you to identify the symptoms. It is nonetheless important to keep in mind that signs of tooth cavities in dogs can be hard to determine and that the primary way to note them is by their appearance on the tooth. Usually, they are more likely to appear on the flat top surface of the molar teeth of your dog. They usually appear as dark brown or black discoloration. Therefore ensure you regularly check your furbaby’s teeth. Besides the visual appearance, other red flags to be on the lookout for include

  • Loss of appetite. Most furbabies never lose their appetite unless they are experiencing nausea or tooth pain or discomfort
  • Dropping food
  • Unusual drooling
  • Dark spots anywhere on a tooth


If you note any of the symptoms above, it is vital you take your pooch to the vet immediately. Doing so prevents further damage and also increases the chances of preventing tooth loss. Before any form of treatment, your vet will first assess to determine the extent of the damage so he/she can determine the right type of treatment for your four-legged best friend.


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