Northeast Animal Hospital
1401 4th Street North
St. Petersburg, FL 33704
Why isn’t my dog eating normally?
One possible reason: It’s his or her way of saying, “It hurts.”

Does my dog need to see the dentist?

Signs of gingivitis:

  • Many pets show no outward signs or symptoms associated with dental pain
  • Red and swollen gums
  • Buildup of yellowish plaque
  • Bleeding gums (advanced stage)
  • Buildup of brownish tartar (advanced stage)
  • Pungent breath (advanced stage)

Signs of periodontal disease:

  • Includes signs of gingivitis
  • Pain when eating
  • Pustular [or puss] discharge
  • Light bone loss
  • Infection (advanced stage)
  • Heavy bone loss (advanced stage)
  • Loose teeth (advanced stage)

Other dental concerns in dogs:

  • Loose teeth (in adult dogs with healthy gums)
  • Crooked teeth
  • Cracked or broken teeth
  • Tooth root abscess [or infection]

Periodontal disease causes frequent pain and is linked to weight loss, bone infection, jaw fractures, lung infection, kidney failure, liver failure, and heart failure. It destroys gums and tissues that support the teeth, which may result in loss of teeth and poor general health.

A loose tooth in adult dogs will rarely correct itself, and a crooked tooth can create a challenge when eating, as well as pain. A cracked or broken tooth can introduce bacteria into the root and lead to a tooth root abscess, which is a painful infection.

What will the veterinarian do for my dog?


  • Bi-annual dental exam
  • Annual dental cleaning (bi-annual is recommended if you don’t brush your dog’s teeth weekly)
  • Antibiotics with dental cleaning, if needed


  • Removal of excessive gingival tissue, if needed
  • Removal of tartar
  • Bonded sealant to preserve fractured teeth, if needed
  • Tooth extraction, if needed
  • Bone replacement, if needed
  • Periodontal splinting, if needed
  • Tissue regeneration, if needed
  • Root canal, if needed
  • Dental cleaning
  • Antibiotics, if needed

In most pets, periodontal disease can be prevented and treated with quality dental care. Our doctors and technicians are trained in advanced dentistry. We strive to improve your pet’s health through cleaning, digital radiography, and oral surgery with the safest and most comfortable care possible.

Please don’t wait until your dog’s health begins to decline. You have help:

Northeast Animal Hospital can help you prevent serious health issues in your canine companion with a dental exam and cleaning each year. A Dog Wellness Plan can help you even more by reducing your pet’s medical and dental expenses. Call us to learn how a Wellness Plan can work for you and your dog.

What can I do for my dog’s dental health?

Brush your dog’s teeth daily

Schedule a dental exam and cleaning annually. Schedule them bi-annually if you don’t brush your dog’s teeth at least weekly.

Northeast Animal Hospital can offer a specially-formulated diet to help care for your dog’s dental health. Please call us to help you find the right option for your dog.