Dog Whimpering After Teeth Cleaning: Why + How to Help

Do you ever come across a situation where you feel completely helpless? Seeing your beloved dog whimpering after their teeth cleaning can leave you feeling defenseless and discouraged.

Dogs are typically resilient creatures, so seeing them in pain is difficult for many pet owners to process. 

Fortunately, there are steps that any worried doggy parent can take to help alleviate their furry friend’s discomfort. Keep reading this blog post to learn more about what could be causing your dog’s potential dental issues and how you can provide the necessary comfort during this time.

Causes of Dog Whimpering After Teeth Cleaning

Following a dental cleaning, dogs frequently whine for the following five reasons: 

  • Medication
  • Anesthesia’s side effects 
  • The discomfort of tooth extraction
  • Jaw, mouth, and throat discomfort
  • Teeth and gums may feel sensitive because of the scaling process


Before and after teeth cleaning, dogs tend to receive sedation and anesthesia to keep them calm and relaxed during the procedure. However, some medications might have side effects that can cause discomfort and agitation in the dog when waking up.

It is typical for a dog to whimper due to the medications or their interaction with the anesthesia used during the procedure.

Recovering from the medication after dental care may lead to strange behavior.

Anesthesia’s Side Effects

dog whimpering after teeth cleaning

Anesthesia is a crucial part of the teeth-cleaning process. However, your dog may experience side effects after they wake up from the operation, which can induce whimpering.

Common side effects of anesthesia include drowsiness, confusion, and loss of appetite, which are normal and should disappear within time.

If your dog is acting strange, it should fully recover in 24 hours. However, if they’re still showing the signs listed above after 48 hours, contact the vet.

The Discomfort of Tooth Extraction

dog acting strange after teeth cleaning

In severe cases of dental diseases, a tooth extraction may be necessary, which can cause discomfort in the dog.

The dog may whimper due to the pain resulting from tooth removal. It is vital to ensure that your dog is cared for after tooth extraction and that the veterinarian conducts a follow-up to check for any complications.

If your dog shows strong signs of discomfort, contact the vet about pain medication to ease their pain. Also, make sure to feed them soft foods, as kibble can aggravate the area that was worked on.

Jaw, Mouth, and Throat Discomfort

dog very sick after teeth cleaning

During a teeth cleaning, dogs undergo several procedures that involve opening their mouths wide for an extended period.

As a result, they may experience discomfort and soreness in their jaw, mouth, gum line, and throat, making them whimper during the healing process. A dog acting strange after teeth cleaning is normal as they deal with the pain and discomfort.

Dog Whimpering After Teeth Cleaning

The scaling process of the teeth cleaning procedure involves removing plaque and tartar from the dog’s teeth. The process can lead to gum sensitivity and bleeding, which can cause your dog to feel distressed and whimper. However, this is temporary and should resolve within a few days.

How to Make Your Dog More Comfortable After Tooth Cleaning

After tooth cleaning, here’s how to make your dog more comfortable.

Pain Relief

After tooth cleaning procedures, your dog might experience some discomfort or pain. It is common for veterinarians to recommend pain relief medication after these procedures. 

If your vets do not provide pain relief medication, consider getting some from a reputable pet pharmacy to ensure your pet’s comfort. However, consult your veterinarian before administering any medication to your dog.


Feeding your dog may be a bit tricky after dental cleaning procedures. After such procedures, some pets may require a soft or liquid diet to avoid biting hard food that may cause pain. 

Scheduling meals and feeding at specific times of the day can also help your dog to recover faster. For example, you can break meals into smaller portions and feed your dog more frequently throughout the day. 

Your veterinarian will provide specific feeding instructions based on your dog’s needs.


After your dog’s tooth cleaning procedure, they may require additional check-ups with their veterinarian to ensure their dental health is progressing well. Follow-up check-ups are crucial as your veterinarian can detect further dental issues before they become advanced problems.


In rare cases, complications can arise after dental cleaning procedures. Watch out for signs of excessive drooling, lack of appetite or water intake, bleeding from the gums, and lethargy.

If you suspect any complications or your dog is very sick after teeth cleaning, consult your veterinarian immediately. 

When to Consult a Veterinarian

After tooth cleaning, it’s natural to expect some discomfort in your furry friend. However, if your dog is whimpering continuously, it’s essential to take notice. 

Look out for other common signs of postoperative problems, such as a refusal to eat or drink, excessive drooling, or pawing at their face. These signs may indicate the presence of an infection, which can be extremely harmful if left untreated. 

It’s always better to err on the side of caution regarding your pet’s health, so if you notice any concerning symptoms after tooth cleaning, immediately consult a veterinarian.


Proper dental cleaning is vital in helping your dog stay healthy. While some discomfort is to be expected, you must monitor your canine companion for signs of any abnormal pain as they recover from the procedure. 

Keeping an eye on things like excessive whining and other behavior changes can help indicate when something may not be right – and at this point, it’s essential to get them evaluated by a veterinarian.