Tooth fractures are not that uncommon in dogs, however, left untreated they can grow into very serious and painful dental conditions in your pooch! Here, our Oklahoma City veterinarians discuss how dogs fracture their teeth, what a broken tooth looks like, and how to get it treated.
How do dogs break their teeth?
A chipped dog tooth may not always seem like a problem, but it is possible for small chips and cracks to grow. If the chipped or cracked tooth is impacted a second time (i.e., accidentally hit or if the dog chews something hard) it could lead to a full tooth fracture. Chipped enamel and dentin can also lead to fractured teeth, which is why regular veterinary dental checkups are important to prevent these issues in your pup.
Aside from health issues, a dog's broken tooth can cause them a lot of pain. It's important for owners to be able to recognize a fractured tooth in their dog so they can get it treated and provide their pup with relief as soon as possible.
What does a fractured dog tooth look like?
Most dog tooth fractures look like a crack through part of or the entire tooth, or like a chunk of the tooth is missing. Some fractures are more severe than others.
There are four types of dog tooth fractures. These are:
- Uncomplicated crown fracture. A fracture or crack of the crown that does not expose the pulp (the soft tissue and nerve endings that are inside the center of the tooth).
- Complicated crown fracture. A fracture or crack of the crown that exposes the pulp.
- Enamel fracture. A fracture to the surface of the crown that only removed the enamel.
- Root fracture. A fracture involving the root of the tooth.
Some fractures, like the enamel and root fractures, can be harder to see with the naked eye. They will present themselves in your dog's behavior or health, as our Oklahoma City veterinarians have detailed below.
Signs & Symptoms of Fractured Dog Teeth
- Bleeding of the mouth
- Chewing on one side
- Grinding of teeth
- Pawing at the mouth
- Excessive drooling
- Grinding of teeth
- Lymph node swelling
- Dropping food from the mouth when eating
- Squirming or running away when the face is petted
- Refusal to eat hard food or chew on toys
If you notice any of these symptoms of broken teeth in your dog, contact our Oklahoma City vets right away to get your pooch treated. Leaving a tooth fracture untreated can lead to worsening pain and oral disease, as well as bodily infection and organ failure in the advanced stages of dental disease.
Is a broken dog tooth an emergency?
In short, yes. A broken tooth in a dog should be treated as an emergency. There are a number of health complications that could occur as a result of a broken or fractured tooth, these complications only worsening the longer your dog goes without veterinary attention,