All Types of Dog and Cat Broken Teeth Need Attention

A tooth fracture, regardless of being minor (dentin only) or severe (into the pulp cavity), can be discomforting to your pet. It is obvious that a broken tooth that enters the pulp cavity can be extremely painful. However, even when the dentin is only exposed, this can be uncomfortable for your dog or cat.

The image below is from a pet that broke the tip of his left maxillary canine tooth. Dentin is exposed. Broken teeth can become sensitive and cause the pet to possibly alter his chewing/playing habits. A very wise local veterinarian noticed this on an annual wellness exam and referred this pet for treatment.

Broken tooth that has underlying dentin exposure

Broken tooth that has underlying dentin exposure

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Dental x-ray to confirm no pulp exposure and a normal root canal/pulp system

It is imperative that dental x-rays be performed to assess tooth vitality. If the dental x-rays are normal, then the tooth can be treated with a tooth-colored dental composite material. Altering his chewing or playing habits are then needed (no more tug-of-war or hard chews). Rechecks annually are important.

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After tooth-colored composite restoration placed

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X-ray of the entire tooth root canal system to make sure the tooth is not diseased secondary to the fracture

Dental restoratives help protect the vital dentin from sensitivity and potential ingress of bacteria into the pulp cavity. If your dog or cat has a broken tooth, don’t ignore it. It can be uncomfortable and can also lead to further problems (tooth death).

Dr. G (Your Pet Dentist)

Dr. Barden Greenfield is a Diplomate of the American Veterinary Dental College (AVDC) and the founder of Your Pet Dentist of Memphis and Little Rock. He received his BS (Microbiology) at Louisiana State University and his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) at Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine. He also serves on the AVDC Board of Directors and is currently President.

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