Dog Tooth Extraction

A dog tooth extraction may be needed when the tooth is badly decayed, mobile or when there is a serious infection affecting the tooth. A proper dental hygiene can prevent the extraction of the tooth.

Reasons for Tooth Extraction

A tooth requires extraction if:

  • It is badly decayed and infected and cannot be treated otherwise
  • It is affected by odontoclastic resorptive lesions
  • It is mobile, which can be caused by periodontal disease and bone loss
  • The teeth are crowded
  • Teeth are badly fractured and pulp is exposed

Signs of Dental Problems in Dogs

If you have a dog, you should be able to identify dental problems and rush to the vet to get appropriate treatment. If detected in a timely manner, some problems may not end with a tooth extraction.

Watch out for tooth problem signals:

  • Bad breath or halitosis
  • Drooling
  • Swollen, red or discolored gums
  • Dental abscess
  • Lack of appetite
  • Pawing the mouth

Tooth Extraction

If the vet decides that an extraction is necessary, he will prepare the dog. The dog will receive an overall or local anesthetic and the vet will take a look at the root morphology of the tooth, to ensure that the extraction will be successful and all the roots are pulled.

If the tooth is affected by odontoclastic resorptive lesions, the vet will pay special attention.

If there is a dental abscess, the extraction won’t be possible until the pus is eliminated. The vet will prescribe antibiotics or drain the pus and extract the tooth only after the surrounding area is clean.

Post Extraction Treatment

After the extraction, the dog may bleed for several hours. A sterile gauze must be kept in the mouth to help stop the bleeding.

To prevent infections and to relieve the post extraction pain, the vet will prescribe some medications including antibiotics and analgesics. If the procedure has been complicated, the vet may also prescribe some non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

The dog shouldn’t eat for a few hours after the extraction and should get a soft diet for 2 to 5 days after the procedure.

You should consult the vet a week after the tooth extraction to ensure that everything is normal. In some cases, infections can occur. Infections are signaled by local swelling, redness, pain, foul odor, pus and fever.

Preventing Tooth Extractions

Tooth extractions can be prevented if your dog gets regular teeth brushing and dental chew treats, kibble food and chew toys or ropes.

If the teeth are not properly cleaned they will be prone to decay. The minerals and bacteria from saliva and food residue can attack the enamel, causing cavities. Tartar deposits can lead to gum and periodontal disease and mobile teeth.

Tooth extraction is not always necessary and you should discuss your alternatives with the vet. In some cases, endodontics may be possible to save the tooth. Dogs need their teeth to be able to chew and eat properly.