Dog Broken Tooth Repair

A broken tooth can be the result of an accident while playing or while chewing on rough things such as pebbles or paper clips. If your dog displays symptoms of tooth pain you should take a look at his teeth, and establish if he has a broken tooth, a decayed tooth or other more severe problems.

Causes of a Broken Tooth

Your pet’s teeth may break due to accidents while playing, when running, stumbling or falling, or if he chews on objects that are too rough. A tooth can break if decayed and weakened, but it may also fracture if it is completely healthy, due to increased pressure.

Symptoms of a Broken Tooth

As you may not be present when the tooth is broken, you should watch out for a few symptoms that may indicate that there is a dental problem. A dog with a broken tooth will display numerous symptoms including:

  • Refusal to chew on the side with the broken tooth; a dog may choose to chew only on one side
  • Excessive drooling
  • Pawing the mouth region
  • Foul odor coming from the mouth
  • Sudden swelling of the jaw, if the tooth gets infected
  • Pus in the area and possibly nasal discharge of pus
  • Sneezing
  • Depression
  • Lethargy
  • Aggressiveness due to pain

If a broken tooth is not detected and repaired in a timely manner, the tooth will get infected and the gum may also be affected.

Treatment of a Broken Tooth

If you take a look at your dog’s teeth you can spot if there is a broken tooth, as this is clearly visible. However, you may mistake a broken tooth for a decayed one that has a brown spot on it, so it is recommended to visit the vet.

It is important to determine if the pulp of the tooth has been exposed. When the pulp of the tooth is exposed, there will be a small dark spot (a hole) exposed on the surface of the tooth. This will require treatment, as the exposure of pulp and the nerves will cause a lot of pain to the dog. The nerves will eventually die (in up to 2 months), but the hole will allow bacteria to enter and cause infections.

If the pulp of the tooth is not exposed, vets don’t recommend any treatment. There are 2 options of treatment when the pulp is exposed: tooth extraction or tooth repair.

Tooth repair will involve the extraction of the nerve (root canal therapy) and then the tooth will be restored. Some vets may also recommend the placement of dental caps to protect the devitalized tooth and prevent future fractures.

If the tooth is not treated and an infection occurs, root canal therapy may not be possible and the extraction of the tooth may be the only solution.

Leaving a broken tooth untreated can lead to complications, as the infection from the tooth may spread to the jaw bones and then to the internal organs of the dog.