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Why Do Dogs Grind Their Teeth?

A dog with a stick in its teeth.

Does your dog grind its teeth frequently? Well, not all dogs do that, and it may be a symptom that your canine needs to visit a vet. The teeth grinding in your pet may range from mild to serious clenching. Whichever case it is, you should never assume that your dog is playing.

Watch your dog closely and read other behaviors that come with teeth grinding. That will help ensure you notice signs of discomfort or illness in your dog before it escalates. If your dog teeth grinding down, the cause may be among the three reasons discussed in this article.

Read on to discover if your dog is safe or needs to be checked immediately.

3 Reasons Why Your Dog May Be Grinding Its Teeth

Dogs grind their teeth.

Below are the common possible causes of bruxism or dog grinding teeth:

  • Malocclusions: There is a correlation between dental alignment issues and bruxism (grinding of teeth). Sometimes, some dogs are born with bite misalignment that causes the lower and upper teeth not to mesh together perfectly. Such dental conditions can cause your dog to grind and clench its teeth consistently in a bid to align the teeth forcefully. However, obsessive bruxism, unfortunately, makes the condition worse like inflammation, pain, and infection. That is why most pet owners take their puppies to the pet for an oral examination. That way, the possibility of malocclusion occurring can be curbed at an early stage. Symptoms that a dog has bite misalignment include; eating only specific foods, discomfort and inability to close its mouth, and abnormal jaw growth. If you notice anything like the above in your dog, ring the vet to set an appointment.
  • Anxiety and stress: Although stress and anxiety are a common cause of bruxism in humans, it is also possible culprit in dogs. Most of the time, a stressed dog will suddenly grind its teeth while sleeping. Among all the listed possible causes of bruxism, the stress in your dog is the only one you can sort without visiting a vet. You can ease your dog's stress by massaging, exercising, spending time with, and using music therapy. Engaging in physical activities will give your dog something else to think about and relax more. Spending time with your canine will also make it feel loved and less anxious. However, after using any of the methods above and the bruxism persists for more than a week, then something else may be wrong with your dog. Book an appointment with your vet.
  • Pain: Sometimes, as a natural reflex to pain, dogs grind their teeth. Such dogs may be experiencing pain in their oral or other forms of discomfort in the body. Most times, the cause of oral pain in dogs includes cavities, mucous membrane injury, fractured teeth, and misalignment. Oral issues that are not harmful like a loose tooth may also cause a dog to grind its teeth. Loose toothing is common in puppies that are teething. That means your puppy may just be reacting to a throbbing gum ready to sprout. Nevertheless, you may have to set a vet appointment for your canine check-up to discover the real issue behind the dog's bruxism.

Is It Normal for Dogs To Grind Their Teeth?

Absolutely not! Especially not when your dog suddenly develops an obsessive tooth grinding habit. If you notice any slight sign of bruxism in your canine, check with your vet to ensure it is in a healthy condition. That is because most of the time when a dog starts grinding its teeth, there is an underlying health condition that requires attention.

Dogs grind their teeth.

A possible cause of a dog grinding teeth may be bite misalignment which is a serious oral condition. An early visit to the vet will help relieve an affected dog of pain and discomfort. That will also save you the cost of extra expenses that may be incurred if the issue escalates.


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