Signs Your Pet Has a Tooth Fracture

Signs Your Pet Has a Tooth Fracture

Mack, is a five year old Redbone Coonhound, who recently came to Hannah with a broken canine. He was dropped off for an exam, which quickly turned into a dental surgery. There were several broken teeth that needed extracting. Luckily, our team of extensively trained Pet practitioners were able to take care of his immediate needs, provide preventative care, and complete a thorough, sedated exam.

Assessing the Damage

Not long after, a second Pet, pictured left, was brought into Hannah, also for a fractured canine tooth.

These conditions are very painful for your pet, but they can cause additional, more serious complications, if left untreated. And we can see from these two recent cases that fractured teeth are more common than most Pet Parents realize. So what should you look for to assess the severity of the damage?

In most cases, the large premolar and molar teeth are injured from chewing hard objects, from major trauma, or from less obvious trauma such as, pets fighting or playing. The canine (fang) and incisor teeth are often fractured from some form of trauma.

Dog Jaw Structure

Dogs are not the only ones susceptible to this condition

In cats, it is particularly common to see fractured upper canine teeth. They are most likely to fracture from facial trauma, since chewing hard objects is less common in felines, than in canines.

Assessing the damage

When looking at a Pet’s tooth, the extent of the fracture may or may not be obvious. Sometimes, there are cracks wide enough that you can see vital (live) pulp exposure, but there might be more subtle damage. For instance, the non-vital (dead) exposed pulp is usually not as apparent if there is a build up of calculus (tartar), which can camouflage the fracture site. Additionally, the non-vital tooth could have the pulp chamber exposed, but the reddish-pink pulp tissue may not be visible. Visibility depends on the extent of a tooth fracture, and whether it involves the outer enamel only, or the deeper structures, such as the dentin or pulp (nerve and blood supply).

It is important to establish an accurate diagnosis prior to deciding on the best treatment for the injured Pet. At Hannah, we feel very strongly about providing thorough dental and oral surgery consultations. This allows everyone involved to make informed decisions.

Call Hannah’s 24/7 hotline to speak with trained staff, who can help to determine the urgency of the Pet’s situation. If your Pet requires immediate attention, please contact Hannah’s emergency hospital right away.

Open 24/7 and located at:

10164 SW Washington Square Rd
Suite B3
Tigard, OR 97223

Phone: (360) 816-8000

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