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crack a smile

You’d think that if your pet broke a tooth, you’d know it right away, but that’s not always the case. Many pets carry on eating and playing, even if the soft pulp of the tooth is exposed and they experience pain and bleeding. Over time, the nerves in the tooth’s exposed pulp die off and the pain subsides, but that doesn’t mean your pet is out of the woods when it comes to the chipped chomper.

Broken teeth with exposed pulp are prone to infection. Bacteria travel up through the hole in the tooth, causing infl ammation and damage to the tooth root and surrounding jaw bone. Tooth root abscesses are common sequels to broken teeth. In dogs, a commonly fractured tooth is the fourth premolar, or the large tooth located at the back of the upper jaw. A tooth root abscess in this tooth can cause a lump below the eye on that side, as well as eye discharge that can be mistaken for conjunctivitis.

Fractured teeth should always be treated if there is pulp exposure. A root canal, generally performed by a veterinary dentist, can usually be performed to save the affected tooth. Extraction of the tooth is also an acceptable treatment, and can be performed under anesthesia by your regular veterinarian. Within a
couple of days, your pet will be back to his normally chipper self.


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