Hello there human! My name is Stella, and I’m a friendly American pitbull terrier (not that any of us pitbulls are unfriendly!) Looks like you’re here because you’re curious about pitbull teeth. Well, you’ve come to the right place!
Us pitbulls are chewers, so you might be used to throwing us a chew toy and going on with your day, and usually that’s enough to keep us happy! However, if you notice that something isn’t right with our gums or there’s too much plaque on our teeth, it may be time to pay special attention to our chewing habits.
Today, I’ll cover what you need to know about pitbull teeth – including baby teeth, adult teeth, and canine teeth – how to identify pitbull teeth problems – including any kind of dental disease – and what to do to make sure that your dog’s mouth stays healthy and clean.
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How to Take Care of Pitbull Teeth
As the proud owner of a pitbull, you have the responsibility of taking care of every aspect of your dog’s needs, including their teeth.
Dental checkups should be part of your routine with your pitbull, the same way that you have routine dental checkups. You should take us to the dentist at least once a year.
But your responsibility to your pitbull’s teeth doesn’t stop there. Us pitbulls are consistently using our teeth, for eating, chewing and playing, and a lot can happen in a year. This is why you have to keep a close eye on our teeth.
Getting a closer look at our teeth is the only way to make sure that everything is good and to spot any dental issues. I understand that our teeth can be intimidating, but don’t be afraid of your pitbull! After all, he is your friend, and friends don’t bite friends (usually). As long as you get your pitbull familiar with this routine early, he’ll understand what’s coming and be less defensive.
Dental care should be part of your grooming routine with your pitbull. We may only need to bathe once a month, but it is important that you brush our teeth at least twice a week, if not more. Use a doggo toothbrush to brush our pearly whites to keep them clean.
How to Brush Pitbull Teeth
Regularly brushing your pitbull’s teeth is the best way to prevent dental problems and remove plaque buildup. But I’ll admit, sometimes we don’t make it easy to brush our teeth. You might be afraid of how large pitbull teeth are the first few times you try to brush your puppy’s teeth, not to mention that we don’t like it very much either and might make a fuss. But don’t worry, it does get easier. All you need is patience, and maybe the help of a friend.
Here’s what you’ll need to brush your pitbull’s teeth:
- Dog toothpaste: Do not use the same human toothpaste you use on yourself! Not only does it taste yucky, but it has a lot of artificial ingredients that shouldn’t be digested. It’s harder to make sure that a dog doesn’t swallow toothpaste than it is for a human! This dog toothpaste is one of my favorites because it tastes like chicken!
- Dog toothbrush: You can use a human toothbrush, but we prefer that you use a toothbrush that is especially made for us. Dog toothbrushes usually have longer handles and angled bristles to make brushing more convenient for you. My owner uses this dual-headed dog toothbrush that is gentle and reaches every corner of my mouth.
Once you have your toothbrush and toothpaste ready, it’s time to get brushing!
You want to start by getting your pitbull to relax. This is probably the most difficult part of the process because we really don’t like having someone poke around in our mouths. Your pitbull might try to bite you at first, but it is important to stay calm so that he can calm down. Brush as gently as you can.
Lift your pitbull’s lips to check if there are plaque spots. Then, brush the outside of his teeth. Unlike you humans, you don’t have to brush the inside of our teeth.
And that’s it! If you use doggy toothpaste, there’s no need to rinse our mouths, we can do that ourselves. In fact, let us lick the remaining toothpaste off of the toothbrush. This can be a treat for us, as doggy toothpaste usually comes in yummy flavors and the licking helps the toothpaste reach the parts of the mouth that you maybe couldn’t reach.
Here’s a pro tip: If you give us a chew toy or treat as a reward after every brushing, we’ll eventually catch on and brushing our teeth will get easier.
Other Pitbull Teeth Tips
Brushing pitbull teeth is the most important part of preventing dental problems, but taking care of our gentle hygiene doesn’t stop there.
Here some other steps you can take to take care of pitbull teeth:
Can you believe that it is possible for us to play and clean our teeth at the same time? There are actually some chew toys out there that are specially made to clean your dog’s teeth. As we chew, the toy scrubs away plaque.
That being said, never give your pitbull very hard toys, as it can crack his teeth or damage his gums.
Feeding us high-quality food can be beneficial to our teeth. Stay away from food with a lot of added sugar, because just like in you humans, this food can rot our teeth. Make sure there’s a little crunch to our food, as wet food can stick to our gums and create tooth decay.
Did you know that dental dog food exists? Dental food is dog meals with additives that prevent plaque from hardening. You want to make sure to talk to the vet about dental food before giving it to your pitbull.
Make sure that you are giving us lots of water to drink after every meal. Not only is water good for us, but it also washes away bits of food that might get stuck in our teeth. This helps prevent food from causing tooth decay.
Signs That There’s Something Wrong with Your Pitbull’s Teeth
Did you know that us dogs are more likely to develop gum problems than you humans? This isn’t only because we don’t get our teeth brushed regularly. Dogs develop more gum problems because we have high alkaline levels in our mouths, which makes it a great environment for plaque formation. This is especially true for pitbulls, both younger dogs and an older dog.
You may not be able to spot problems with our teeth right away, but if we get an infection in our mouth, we will start exhibiting certain symptoms.
Some signs to look out for in pitbull teeth include:
- Bad breath – This one is the most obvious. Everyone has bad breath sometimes, but if your pitbull’s breath smells particularly bad, this is a guaranteed sign that your dog’s teeth are rotting.
- Bleeding gums – Gums may bleed from gingivitis, loose teeth, or other dental problems.
- One-sided chewing – Just like you humans, if one side of our mouth has issues, you’ll notice us only chewing on the other side.
- Blood on the chew toy – If you have a puppy, finding blood on his chew toy isn’t too big of a deal because he might just be teething. But if your pitbull is older and you’re finding blood on his chew time, this might mean that he has some dental problems. This can be a sign of gingivitis, or even a more serious dental condition.
- Whimpering – If your pitbull is in pain, you will hear him whimpering. If you hear him whimpering while chewing, this may be a sign of a dental problem that needs to be checked out.
- Bloody saliva – Blood in saliva is a big no! If you notice that your pitbull has bloody saliva, you need to get him checked out. It might be due to bleeding gums or some other dental issue.
- Can’t pick up food – Us dogs rely on our teeth to pick up our food. If you notice that your pitbull is having trouble picking up food, then there is probably something wrong with his teeth.
- Tooth discoloration – If your pitbull’s teeth are yellow or browning, there may be an issue.
- Broken tooth – A broken tooth can be caused by many things, but it needs to be addressed as soon as possible to avoid further fractures or infection.
It is important to note that us pitbulls are known to have a particularly high pain tolerance, so just because we don’t show any of these signs, it doesn’t mean that we are not in discomfort. In fact, when we do start showing signs, it probably means that the problem has become advanced.
Some dental issues, such as periodontal disease, see dogs show no signs at all. However, we are prone to develop some sort of dental issue at around the age of three, so you want to pay special attention to our mouths. This is why it is so important to regularly check our mouths close up, as it’s the only way to spot any potential dental problems.
If your pitbull’s dental issues are left untreated, they can develop more serious problems, such as:
- Loss of appetite and weight – Eating can become a painful process for us pitbulls if we have dental issues. As a result, we may become reluctant to open our jaws and chew food properly, and we might even drop food from our mouth while we’re eating. Overtime, this might lead to weight loss and other serious health issues.
- Periodontitis – Periodontitis is a gum infection that affects not only the gums but also other tissues around the teeth, leading to the loss of the supportive, structural tissues that the jaw needs. This can lead to tooth loss, bone loss, and other serious health infections.
- Kidney and liver disease – Sometimes, dental problems don’t only affect your pitbull’s mouth. Oral issues allow bacteria to enter directly into the bloodstream. Once circulating, the bacteria can travel to other organs, such as the kidney or the liver.
How to Treat Pitbull Teeth Problems
If, despite your preventative measures, your pitbull still develops teeth problems, don’t panic. You have a couple options to help him out.
If your pitbull looks like he is in a lot of pain, bring him to the veterinarian immediately to get checked out. You want to ensure that the pain does not worsen. For mild cases, the vet might recommend medication to treat an infection or temporary treatment to help your pitbull get over the pain.
When we have dental issues, the first thing that the vet wants is for us to stop chewing. We hate this, and honestly, we usually don’t listen. I guess that’s why they invented dog cones.
Dog cones, also known as “the cone of shame,” are a little uncomfortable, but the mild discomfort is better than excruciating pain that can arise from worsening dental issues, so we’ll tolerate the shame for a while.
In more severe cases, such as a fractured tooth, your vet may want to seal your pitbull’s tooth, or perform a root canal. Hope that it never gets to the point of tooth extraction, as recovery from this procedure is long for dogs, and if we lose a tooth that is crucial to eating, we will have trouble finishing our meals for a while.
Taking Care of Pitbull Teeth
Well human, I hope I taught you a lot about taking care of pitbull teeth. You now know that us pitbull’s need just as much attention on our teeth as you humans do. We can develop infections, and diseases, and suffer several painful and life-changing consequences if our dental problems are left untreated.
However, if you take care of our teeth, you help prevent us from suffering those consequences. With proper brushing, daily monitoring, and regular checkups, your pitbull’s teeth can stay strong and healthy while helping us enjoy our meals and play with our favorite chew toy!