Canine tooth problems can cause plenty of different health issues for your dog. For example, a broken tooth can affect proper chewing, making your dog lose their appetite for food. A broken dog tooth may lead to complications if left untreated. Their dental health is just as important as humans.
Common Causes Of A Broken Canine Tooth
Dogs can get very excited on different occasions, it’s common that they move non stop when they feel thrilled or when they are playing outdoors. This makes them vulnerable to accidents, or worse, a situation causing a fractured tooth.
Getting hit by a car would most likely cause a fractured tooth. Just like children, dogs must be supervised at all times when they are doing outdoor activities.
Dogs like to play with toys that they can bite. Chewing hard things can cause broken canine teeth as well. Any fractured tooth must be examined by the vet immediately to prevent infections from happening.
Is Your Dog Suffering From Fractured Tooth
It can be difficult to figure out the causes of the sudden changes in the mood behavior of your dog sometimes since they cannot describe the pain that they are feeling. This can make pet owners anxious as they have no idea how to help their dogs. The first thing to consider when they start showing behavioral changes and mood swings is the possibility of a fractured tooth.
Below are the common signs of a broken tooth;
- Chewing on one side. You may notice your dog eating and chewing with one side of their mouth only, this could indicate that the other side is fractured and is uncomfortable for them to chew with.
- Refusing to chew treats. Some dog treats can be very rough making it hard for them to chew.
- Grinding of teeth. Teeth grinding can be associated with various teeth and dental problems.
- Excessive drooling. This symptom is usually seen on dogs with liver problems, but it can also be an indication of a mouth problem involving the salivary glands.
- Pawing of the mouth. Constant licking of the mouth and scratching are common symptoms of a serious dental problem.
- Swollen face. This is a common symptom of allergy and bug bites, but this may also indicate a fractured tooth.
- Dropping of food while eating. If your dog suddenly drops their food while eating, it could be a signal of a broken tooth.
Types Of Dog Tooth Fractures
- Enamel fractures- a condition where the fracture causes a loss of crown substance from the enamel which causes the exposure of the dentine.
- Uncomplicated crown fractures- this is quite common on large dogs. It happens when a piece of the crown is broken that exposes the dentine.
- Complicated crown fractures- a state where there is direct pulp exposure. This condition can be painful and may cause a bacterial attack leading to tooth death.
- Uncomplicated crown-root fracture- a type of fracture that involves the crown and root of the teeth but does not lead to pulp exposure.
- Complicated crown-root fracture- similar to uncomplicated crown-root fracture but causes pulp exposure of the canine tooth.
- Root fracture- a tooth problem that’s commonly caused by accidental trauma. This usually leads to tooth extraction.
Broken Dog Tooth Treatments
There are three common ways to treat a fractured tooth.
The first and the best option to treat them is by root canal therapy. This procedure is done on dogs to remove the infected root canal tissue. This helps to prevent any bacterial attack on the exposed pulp from happening. Root canal therapy also decreases the chance of having to go through tooth extraction.
The vital pulp therapy or also known as VTP is a procedure recommended to dogs under 1 and a half years of age only. The reason for this is that because dogs’ teeth don’t mature until that age giving an excellent VTP result. This therapy must be done as soon as the tooth problem has been diagnosed.
The last treatment is canine tooth extraction. In times where the root canal therapy doesn’t give a preferrable result, extraction of the fractured tooth is considered. Most veterinarians don’t recommend this therapy that much because of its possible long-term effects on the dog such as orthodontic problems.
Complications After Tooth Extraction
Displaced Root Tips is a common complication after tooth extraction. This occurs when the dentist mistakenly displaced the tooth root while trying to retrieve the fractured root tips.
Hemorrhage may occur during and after the surgery, excessive bleeding can be controlled by putting pressure on the direct source of the blood to avoid blood clot formation.
Lip Entrapment is a common tooth extraction complication where the tooth gets in contact with the upper lip causing it to rest on the outside part of the upper lip. In case that this condition does not self-correct, a different treatment will be done to separate the tooth from its contact to the upper lip.
Trauma to adjacent teeth occurs when the adjacent tooth to the fractured tooth gets damaged because of the extraction. This tooth would now need a separate examination and diagnosis.
Dehiscence is the effect of a lack of tension-free closure. This can also be caused by poor flap design, unsupported sutures, and faulty postoperative care.
Iatrogenic Jaw Fractures happen due to preexisting endodontic disease affecting the dogs’ tooth or because of the excessive force by the surgeon.
Ophthalmic Damage occurs if the dog has a previous or current dental disease that directly affected the tooth extraction. The surrounding tissues particularly the globe and orbit may be damaged with improper operation.
Fractured alveolar bone takes place when there’s too much force used to extract the teeth, This also happens when the extraction forceps are used before tooth elevation.
How To Prevent A Broken Dog Tooth
There are plenty of ways to prevent a broken dog tooth. You might want to consider a few things in order to avoid the occurrence of tooth problems. The first thing to do is to give up bad habits. Dogs tend to chew on anything they lay their mouth on, it may be a rock, a hard toy, a hardwood, or even hard treats. Try to determine the capacity of your dog’s teeth in chewing hard things and decrease the presence of these things in their surroundings.
Teeth cleaning is an important matter as well. Your dog needs to have its own set of mouth cleaning materials as well, try to clean their teeth before or after their bath to remove cavities and food particles preventing bacterial infection.
A regular checkup is an essential preventive-care regimen. Just like humans, dogs need to have their regular visits to the veterinary clinic too. A once a year checkup will greatly help in avoiding any kind of physical problems.
Professional dental cleanings at least once a year will also do its magic. This procedure puts your dog under anesthesia so they may need extra care after the cleaning.
A healthy dog’s teeth indicate no sign of plaque and tartar. Firm gums, good breath condition, great food appetite, and clean teeth without any discoloration are all signs of a healthy canine mouth. Pet owners can maintain this condition by being responsible for cleaning their dogs’ teeth regularly and avoiding situations that may cause dental complications.