Is Your Dog Whimpering After Teeth Cleaning? [Solve the Discomfort]

Zack Keithy, our author, is a certified veterinarian technician (UC Blue Ash) for over 6 years (contact him here). The articles written here are based on his expertise and experience, combined with a review by our expert vet reviewers including Dr M. Tarantino. Learn more about us here.

Remember that time you bit into a cold ice cream cone too quickly and that sudden ache radiated through your jaw?

Imagine our four-legged friends after teeth cleaning. Little yelps and whimpering can echo through our homes, touching that raw nerve of pet-parent worry.

And why wouldn’t it? Just as we would care for a child’s toothache, our fur babies deserve the same compassion.

If you find your dog whimpering after teeth cleaning, this blog post will help you soothe the discomfort, and get it back to that tail-wagging happiness.

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What Happens During a Canine Teeth Cleaning Procedure?

During a doggy teeth cleaning session, the dentist carefully examines your pet’s teeth and gums to check for problems like gum disease or cavities. 

After the examination, they then perform a dental scaling to remove the plaque and tartar buildup from the teeth and along the gumline.

Some dentists administer anesthesia before doing anything to ensure your pet’s comfort.

In some cases, the dentist may also extract any damaged or infected teeth.

Once those are done, the dentist polishes the dog’s teeth to leave your pet with a shiny set of chompers.

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Why is My Dog Whimpering After Teeth Cleaning?

why is your dog whimpering after dental cleaning

Is your pet whimpering hours after getting their teeth cleaned? Don’t fret. This is a normal reaction to getting this dental procedure done.

Scaling and polishing the teeth can cause temporary inflammation in the gum tissues and this is the main reason why your pet may feel some discomfort after their trip to the dentist.

The entire cleaning process also takes up at least half an hour to finish.

So, imagine having to stretch your jaw wide for the entire period.

That’s bound to cause some lingering pain and discomfort.

The soreness and sensitivity may cause your pet to whimper or show signs of pain. 

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What to Expect After Dog Teeth Cleaning?

After getting home from the dentist, your pet might still be a little groggy from the anesthesia.

Drooling and disorientation are also common side effects that can take a few hours to wear off, especially if any tooth extractions were performed.

You may also notice some redness and swelling on your pet’s gums.

As the pain medication wears off, it may start whining and become restless, or your dog might even have a cough after a dental.

Quite commonly, they may also refuse to eat too as chewing on anything will definitely be uncomfortable, even painful, for a few hours to a couple of days after the cleaning.

So don’t be surprised if your pet’s appetite declines.

Dog Teeth Cleaning Anaesthesia Side Effects

Administering anesthesia is necessary for a thorough doggy dental cleaning.

While doing so is generally safe, the use of anesthesia does come with some side effects.

The most common ones are disorientation and grogginess.

Expect your pet to be a little wobbly on its feet a few hours after the cleaning and he or she may also appear lethargic or sleepy for a while. 

Some owners also report observing their pets to be a bit restless and slightly more vocal (cue whimpering) as they recover from the side effects of being anesthetized. 

Although it rarely happens, some dogs do suffer from allergic reactions to the sedative.

Respiratory issues such as wheezing or difficulty breathing typically occur if your pet is allergic to the anesthesia used.

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How to Help Your Dog Recover After Dental Cleaning? Aftercare Guide

While dental cleaning is not a major procedure, it’s still important to ensure your beloved pet has a smooth and pain-free recovery. 

By following these aftercare tips, you can help your dog quickly bounce back from the procedure quickly.

  • Help your pet calm down by creating a comfortable and quiet space where they can rest.
  • Keep your other pets and small children away from your recuperating furry pal. This temporary isolation will prevent your pet from engaging in any vigorous activity that can strain their mouth.
  • For the next few days after the cleaning, serve your pet soft and easily digestible food. Steer clear from hard treats or toys to avoid reopening the wounds or applying pressure on the inflamed gums. 
  • And if you’re planning on offering treats, try giving them ones straight from the fridge. A cold treat can do wonders in soothing your pet’s inflamed gums.
  • One step that will make subsequent cleanings less painful is maintaining good oral hygiene. Make sure to properly and regularly brush your pet’s teeth to minimize plaque build-up.
  • Follow your vet’s or dentist’s instructions in giving your pet their medications like pain relievers or antibiotics. Double-check the dosage and schedule.
  • Lastly, don’t forget to bring your dog back to the dental clinic for their post check-up. This way, the dentist can assess if your pet is recovering properly and address any dental concerns if any.

When Should You Contact the Vet About Your Dog Whimpering?

As you can see, it’s kind of expected for your pet to feel some pain or discomfort after a dental cleaning, so whimpering or yelping isn’t out of the ordinary at all.

However, don’t dismiss it too quickly either.

If the whimpering gets worse, you should take a closer look at your pet’s mouth.

If the gums are bleeding or swelling excessively, you should consider calling the dentist or the vet asap. That shouldn’t happen after a regular cleaning session. 

Additionally, consider going back to the dentist or seeing a vet if the pain persists or seems to get worse after several days.

The gums could be infected and that requires medical attention.

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What Can I Do to Prevent Dental Problems in My Dog?

Just like us, our furry friends need proper dental care to avoid painful toothaches and other dental issues. 

Here are some tips for you:

  • Keep your pet’s teeth in top shape by brushing them regularly using a toothbrush and toothpaste designed for dogs. Make it a fun activity by turning toothbrushing into a game. 
  • Aim to brush their teeth at least twice a week to maintain their dental health. Use lots of praise and pets to encourage your pet to sit still and enjoy this activity.
  • Treat your pup to dental chews. These yummy treats not only satisfy your pet’s natural need to chew on things but also help keep tartar at bay. 
  • Visiting the dentist at least twice per year is also a must. A professional can offer a more thorough cleaning of your pet’s teeth and gums as well as perform other procedures to keep your pet’s chompers in top shape. 

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why is teeth cleaning necessary for dogs?

A regular doggy dental cleaning can prevent your pet from suffering from toothaches and other problems. A quick trip to the dentist can prevent any plaque and tartar build-up and stop the development of tooth decay, gum disease, and other doggy oral health problems.

How long does it take for dogs to recover from dental cleaning?

Depending on how extensive the dental procedure done on your pet was, as well as their individual oral health factors, recovery time after dental cleaning for dogs may take a couple of days to up to two weeks. The first few days after cleaning, your dog may experience the effects of anesthesia and some discomfort or swelling of the gums.  

Can dogs have their teeth cleaned without anesthesia?

Though you can have the procedure done without anesthesia, it will not be as effective or comprehensive. Aside from ensuring your dog’s comfort during the dental procedure, the use of anesthesia also helps the veterinarian in performing a more careful and complete cleaning of your dog’s teeth. 

How much does dog dental cleaning cost?

The average cost for dog dental cleaning ranges from $200 to $700. The price will vary depending on where you are located or the pet clinic you go to. The kind of procedure or treatment that your pet will require can also affect the cost.  

How often should a dog’s teeth be professionally cleaned?

How often you need to get your dog’s teeth cleaned by a dentist depends on your pet’s oral health and other risk factors. If your dog has good oral health, best get the procedure done at least once every year. You might have to visit the clinic more often if your pet suffers from other dental issues.

In Conclusion: Dog Whimpering After Teeth Cleaning

In the end, understanding and addressing your dog’s whimpering post-teeth cleaning is all about empathy and knowledge.

Stick with us, apply our tips, and you’ll keep your furry friend’s chompers healthy and their spirits high.

After all, a happy dog means a happy pet parent, right?

Check out these other dog care tips too:

You’ve made it to the end, but I hope it’s not the end of our journey. We want to hear your voice! Share your thoughts, problems, suggestions, or anything related to your dog in the comments section. And don’t forget to join our newsletter today too.

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Zack Keithy
Zack Keithy

Hey, I'm Zack, the Chief Editor here. I was formerly a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT) for a good 6 years before moving on to greener pastures. Right now, I am still heavily involved in dog parenting duties, and it is my desire to share all our knowledge with fellow dog owners out there! Connect with me on LinkedIn, or read more about Daily Dog Drama!

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