Feb 26 2015

Common Dental Problems

Retained deciduous (baby) teeth– This is a common problem in small breed dogs. If left untreated they can cause the permanent teeth to come in the wrong place and worsen periodontal disease. Treatment is by extraction of the baby teeth, usually at the time of neuter or spay surgery.

Fractured teeth– If the fractured tooth has pulp exposure this can cause pain and infection. It can happen from every day chewing or trauma. If left untreated it can lead to a tooth root abscess with facial sweling and a draining infection on the cheek. Treatment is root canal therapy or extraction.

Periodontal disease– By the age of 2: 70 % of cats and 80% of dogs has some degree of periodontal disease. Early stages are reversible, but if left untreated it can lead to serious infection, irreversible bone loss and tooth loss. Periodontal disease can have systemic effects affecting the kidneys, heart and other organs.

Feline dental disease– Cats can also develop periodontal disease and should have regular oral exams and cleaning.

Feline tooth resorptive Lesions– are reported to be present in up to 60% of all cats over the age of 6 years. These are very painful lesions that occur when the enamel is eaten away. Sometimes you can see the lesion by gum growing into the tooth, other times they are only visible on dental radiographs. The only treatment is extraction of affected tooth.

Oral tumors– Animals can develop tumors in the mouth. Some are benign and can be treated with minor surgery; others require aggressive therapy including partial jaw removal.

Oral nasal fistula– This problem occurs when there is deep infection along the root of the upper canine tooth. The infection eats into the sinus cavity. It can also occur if the upper canine tooth falls out or extracted without proper closure. Treatment is extraction of affected tooth, and closure of the gum tissue.


Trauma– Trauma such as being hit by a car or being attacked by another dog can lead to jaw fracture. In most cases, we can repair by placing an intraoral acrylic splint.

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