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.