How Fractured Teeth Affect Dogs
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 dogs. They may drool excessively, chew on the side of their mouth away from the fractured tooth, shake their head, rub their face with their paws, and perhaps have a reduced appetite or change in general attitude. Not all dogs show obvious signs of discomfort from a fractured tooth.
Symptoms of Fracture Teeth
The most commonly fractured tooth in dogs is the canine tooth followed by the upper fourth molar; the upper fourth molar is the largest tooth in the back on the top of the dog’s mouth. Symptoms that may appear include a swollen jaw, an obvious fracture in the tooth that can be seen, or an abscess on the gums that noticeably swells. Infections caused by fractured teeth can lead to lethargy, the inability to eat, overall feelings of malaise, and irritability.
Fractured teeth need to removed or repaired as quickly as possible to prevent further infections from developing. As part of your dog’s yearly check-up, ask the veterinarian to check the dog’s teeth. At home, periodically lift the lips and look around the dog’s teeth and gums to ensure that you do not miss an impending infection, or abscess, caused by a fractured tooth.