Why Does My Dog Grind Teeth?

Dogs occasionally grind their teeth for a variety of reasons. In some cases, it is a sign of dental pain or gum disease; in other cases, it may be caused by stress and anxiety. If your dog is grinding his teeth excessively or if you notice any changes in the sound or frequency of the grinding, consult with your veterinarian to ensure that there are no underlying medical issues. Dogs may also grind their teeth as part of the display of an element, such as when they feel threatened or scared. A veterinary exam can help determine what is causing the behavior so that appropriate interventions can be implemented. It is important to note that tooth grinding can become habitual and, if left unchecked, can cause damage to your pup’s teeth over time.



The reason why dogs grind their teeth?

There are several reasons dogs might grind their teeth.


Anxiety/Stress/Focal Seizures

Anxiety and stress are the main causes of bruxism among humans. This reaction to stress and anxiety is more common in dogs. However, it can still happen. Dogs may unconsciously grind their teeth while asleep. Dogs with focal seizures may experience teeth grinding and chattering, which can signify a more serious condition.

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Oral Pain

Dogs will often grind their teeth to relieve pain or discomfort. They don’t usually show signs of pain like humans. Dogs often try to mask their pain by acting normally. This is part of their survival instinct. You may only be able to tell if your dog is having problems with its teeth by watching them grind.

Possible causes of pain are:

  • Periodontal diseases.
  • Rotten or fractured teeth.
  • Infection.
  • Injury to the mucous membranes and tongues, as well as oral growths and tumors.

Some puppies grind their teeth when they are teething or when there’s a loose tooth. Most puppies will stop this behavior once they have their adult teeth.



Dental problem.

Dental problem’s can be one of the reasons for teeth grinding. Teeth grinding is a form of bruxism that refers to the clenching or grinding of the teeth. It is often linked to physical or psychological issues such as stress, misalignment of the jaw joint’s, and even sleep apnea. People with dental problems such as crooked or missing teeth may also grind their teeth out of discomfort. If you are experiencing any pain in your mouth while sleeping, it would be best to visit a dentist and get checked out. The dentist can help identify any underlying issues causing the problem and provide you with treatment options to address them before they lead to more serious damage.



Malocclusion is when the teeth are not aligned properly, preventing them from closing together evenly. It is also known as an “abnormal bite” in dogs. This can be described as an underbite or overbite. Malocclusions are a condition where the teeth grind against each other involuntarily.

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Gastrointestinal Discomfort

Dogs may grind their teeth when they feel pain in the mouth, stomach, or intestines. Dogs may grind their teeth in pain relief or to distract from it.



Is Teeth Grinding Harmful

A dog may not have problems with mild, infrequent grinding of its teeth. Grinding the teeth over time can cause severe wear to the enamel and dentin. The teeth can become painful and severely damaged if are not worn down enough. Dogs can get serious infections if the pulp is exposed.

Your dogs teeth may be ground in the beginning. It may sound subtle or like grinding or chattering. You might only be able to see the jaw muscle’s or mouth movement if you look.

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What should you do when dog grind teeth?

Even if your dog seems to be having minor problems with teeth grinding, it is important not to ignore the problem. To schedule an appointment, contact your veterinarian if you see signs of teeth grinding. To determine the cause of your dog’s teeth grinding, the vet will examine his mouth and perform a physical exam.

Your vet will recommend lab tests and imaging to assess your dog’s overall health. These tests could reveal other conditions that may be contributing to bruxism. They can also help your vet decide the best anesthetic method, sedate, or manage pain.

Your dog’s exam may indicate that your dog needs an oral examination and professional teeth cleaning to assess the extent of damage and start treatment. The dog will be under general anesthesia, and the teeth will then be examined closely. Dental radiographs (X-rays) can be taken to assess the jaw and teeth.

Your vet should determine that your dog’s teeth grinding is not a sign of a medical condition. Your vet can offer suggestions on reducing stress in your dog using behavioral modification, medication, and environmental changes. To help you and your dog, consider consulting an animal behaviorist/dog trainer.


I’m a long-time animal lover and owner of two dogs and three cats. I grew up on a farm where we had all sorts of animals, from cows and horses to pigs and chickens. My love for animals led me to pursue a career in writing about them. I have been a pet care writer for over 5 years and have extensive knowledge of animal care, health, and behavior.

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