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Common Dental Problems

Fractured teeth can lead to pain and bad breath. Please watch the video below to learn more from Brook Niemiec, DVM, DAVDC who is a board certified veterinary dentist.

Fractured Teeth


Fractured tooth with no exposure of pulp (nerve) chamber

Fractured teeth that are not infected can be smoothed and the exposed dentin is “sealed” with bonded dental materials that decrease sensitivity and help decrease the chances of future infection.

Fractured tooth with exposure of pulp (nerve) chamber

When a tooth has been broken, the pulp chamber is often exposed to the oral environment. The pulp exposure can be visualized on oral examination as a pink (vital pulp) or black (necrosed pulp) spot at the site of exposure. Exposed pulp is painful to the animal and can lead to periapical osseous (bone) infection.

Abscessed Teeth

        An abscessed tooth is an advanced form of an infected tooth, and is most commonly seen on the upper jaw just below the dog or cat's eye. It can go unnoticed by just looking at the mouth. They are often signaled by facial swelling and confirmed with dental x-rays. Facial swellings may be very painful for our companion animals.

Suspect abscess tooth due to location of facial swelling

Teeth from outward appearance. (Bleeding around gums due to aggravating the gingivitis)

Radiographic evidence of tooth being abscessed

This condition is usually caused by a fractured tooth that has been infected by the oral bacteria and the tooth eventually dies. The bacteria will travel through the infected root canal system and gain access to the jaw through the bottom of the roots. Once the infection reaches the jaw, it also has access to the entire body through the blood vessels.

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