Top Ten Dog Health Guides
Fractured Teeth in Dogs
Definition of Fractured Teeth
Fractured teeth are teeth that are broken or cracked. While teeth are fairly tough, they can break when a dog chews on rocks, bones, sticks, wire fences, cages or other hard objects. Head trauma can also cause tooth fractures. Inside each tooth is a passage-way called the “pulp canal,” which goes to the tooth root. A fracture may involve only the outer tooth layers, but deeper breaks can expose the pulp canal and provide an entry point for bacteria coming from the mouth. These bacteria can enter the blood stream and travel throughout the body, causing systemic infection. The bacteria that remain locally will infect the tooth root, causing an abscess. Fractures often cause the affected tooth to die. Tooth fractures are painful. Affected dogs may drool, shake their head, rub their face with their paws and/or go off their feed. Fractured teeth should be removed or repaired as quickly as possible. As part of your dog’s yearly check-up, ask the veterinarian to check your dog’s teeth.
Tooth fractures are caused either by trauma or by chewing rocks, wire fences, cages or other hard objects. Inside each tooth is a passage-way called the “pulp canal.” A tooth fracture may only involve the outer tooth layers (enamel and dentin), but if a break results in loss of the crown of the tooth or goes deeper, the pulp canal can be left open to the mouth and provide an entry point for bacteria. Bacteria
A dog’s canine tooth has a very long root below the gum line. Infections of the teeth of the upper arcade can extend deep into underlying tissues, and can even infect the nasal cavities that lie directly above. Nasal discharge, sneezing and even a “bloody nose” can occur. Affected teeth, whether in the upper or lower arcade, may fall out or need to be extracted after being fractured. Fractured teeth normally cause significant pain in
Treatment depends on the type and scope of the fracture. The determining factor is if the fracture has cut into the pulp canal, which is the chamber that houses the pulp tissue, blood vessels and nerves. If just the enamel is fractured, and the dentin is only exposed treatment is less extensive. In these cases, since the fracture does not reach into the pulp canal, smoothing rough enamel edges and applying a bonding agent to