Dog Teeth Chattering: What Does It Mean?
Have you noticed your dog’s teeth chattering lately? Dog teeth chattering can mean different things to your dog.
Suddenly, your dog’s jaws are uncontrollably clicking together. What could this be? Why is this happening?
Is this normal or is this something that’s needed to be addressed as soon as possible?
Dog jaw chattering can be caused by multiple reasons. Is it maybe because they are cold? Are they nervous?
Or is it a health problem that needs to be addressed as soon as possible?
If you’re curious about why their teeth are chattering, read more below!
Dog Teeth Chattering
Teeth chattering is a phenomenon of the jaw muscles wherein they click together repeatedly and sometimes uncontrollably.
Dog teeth chattering or jaw chattering is the repeated clicking/hitting of the upper teeth to the lower teeth.
Teeth chattering can be a normal reaction of the body due to situations they are exposed. However, to some dogs, teeth chattering may be a sign for help.
Take note that teeth chattering may have different causes and treatments accordingly.
Causes of Teeth Chattering
Although not all teeth chattering may mean serious business, sometimes teeth chattering can be a symptom of other underlying conditions your dog may have.
Here are other possible causes for teeth chattering:
Unfortunately, some dogs may develop aggression in their lifetime.
Aggression in dogs may be due to several reasons but teeth chattering may be a symptom that can be an early warning of its development.
Along with other symptoms like sudden behavior changes like possessiveness, isolation, and vigilance, owners should consult with their veterinarian or a canine behavior professional to address their aggression in the earliest stage possible.
Cold Temperature or Hypothermia
One of the most common reasons for teeth chattering will be cold temperatures.
Similar to humans, dogs will also tend to shiver as the exposure to cold temperatures is prolonged.
The body tends to create a rapid movement of the muscles to generate movement for heat and sometimes, this can occur in the jaws as well.
Hypothermia occurs when the body loses heat and dangerously dropped its temperature so that it cannot generate heat as fast as it should.
Along with teeth chattering symptoms may include, shivering, slowed breathing, weak pulse, loss of consciousness, and others.
Dogs who are experiencing gastrointestinal problems may be teeth chattering due to continuous or excessive retching and vomiting.
This can also be due to pain due by the gastrointestinal problems have caused.
Some dogs who may have neurological disorders may have teeth chattering as a symptom.
Along with being unable to control some of their bodily functions and movements, they may also experience seizures or epilepsy.
This can also occur in dogs who are experiencing seizures or epilepsy. Dogs who are experiencing seizures and epilepsy may have their muscles contracted and locked which may occur in the jaws.
Along with these other symptoms may include frothing of the saliva, stiffness, shaking of the body, and non-moving pupils.
This can be a very dangerous occurrence for your dog and may lead to worsening their condition if left unaddressed.
This can also be very traumatic for the dog and the owners, so it’s best to ask for guidance from the veterinarian what are the things they need to prepare and do when the time seizure episode happens again.
Oral Pain due to Dental Problems
Dental problems like periodontitis, which affects the gums, and teeth chattering can be a symptom. When dogs have dental or oral problems, teeth chattering may be a symptom.
Along with the teeth chattering it may be accompanied by unpleasant mouth odor, drooling, difficulty in consuming dry and hard foods, they may even have a difficult time grabbing food by mouth, different colored gums, inflammation, and bleeding,
Out of Fear
Sadly, some dogs may be prone to stress, fear, and anxiety. These dogs may chatter their teeth in response to these emotions and distress they’re feeling.
Some dogs may display other behavior in response to their distress, but teeth chattering is a common symptom for dogs who are feeling stress, fear, and anxiety.
When dogs are in-heat, their pheromone senses are heightened.
Male and female dogs who whiff the scent of the other tend to chatter their teeth due to inhaling the scent as it goes straight to the scent organ.
Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorder
Temporomandibular Joint Disorder is the dysfunction of the temporomandibular joints due to dislocation, acute trauma, an improper bite, or other underlying conditions.
Sadly, this health condition is painful. Dogs who have TMJ may experience jaw pain, jaw lock, earaches, headaches, stiffening of the neck, and more.
Diagnosis and Treatment for Dog Chattering
Consultation & Physical Evaluation
For dogs who are experiencing sudden teeth chattering, it is advisable to undergo a thorough physical evaluation with the veterinarian.
This can help the veterinarian evaluate any physical and behavioral changes and consider what symptoms are present or may occur in the future.
Owners can also help veterinarians rule out other complications by providing the observed symptoms.
They can either collect other symptoms accompanied by the teeth chattering or record a video whenever it happens.
After the veterinarian has rule-out other complications, they may have a suspected reason from the physical evaluation and provided symptoms given.
The veterinarian will then recommend another test necessary or medication may try to lessen the teeth chattering.
Frequently Asked Questions about Dog Teeth Chattering
Are teeth chattering in dogs a seizure?
Not all teeth chattering is a sign of seizure but dogs who are having a seizure may chatter their teeth due to contractions and locking of their muscles in the jaw.
Other symptoms of a seizure may include foaming of the mouth, stiffening of the body, repeated jerking or shivering of the body, and others.
Why does my senior dog chatter his teeth??
Senior dogs may have several dental disorders if their oral health is not up-to-shape.
Some senior dogs may have Periodontal disease which has teeth chattering as its symptom.
What breeds of dogs chatter their teeth?
Greyhounds are commonly known to have the habit of chattering their teeth.
This breed is very zealous with their emotions. They are similar to Huskies that are vocal with their emotions.
Dog Teeth Chattering: Summary
Dog teeth chattering is primarily caused by exposure to cold temperatures.
But if your dog is still chattering in different situations, you may as well check with your veterinarian to determine the cause of teeth chattering.
Dog jaw chattering is bizarre, alarming, and surprising. As pet owners, it’s only natural for us to be worried.
We all want what’s best for our pups. The smallest concern can make us stressed.
Dog teeth chattering can be caused by different causes such as emotional reasons. For instance, your pup might be excited, nervous, or has anxiety.
But it can also be caused by multiple health issues such as gastrointestinal problems, neurological disorders, or dental problems.
Monitor your dog if you see something unusual or out of the ordinary. It is in your best interest to consult with your vet. I mean, it’s better to be safe than sorry, am I right?
It’s always best and recommended to check on your dog’s teeth as soon as possible to prevent worse complications in the future.