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Breaking It Down: How to Handle a Pet’s Broken Tooth

Have you ever chipped a tooth? If you’re nodding, chances are you either bit down on something too hard or had a painful impact with something – think hockey puck.

In pets, the same injury can occur, often in similar circumstances. Well-meaning pet parents may give hard chew toys to their dogs to amuse them, and some dogs get a bit too enthusiastic. Or a pet is involved in a traumatic incident – hit by a car or struck by an object, for example – and broken teeth are the result.

Tooth Hurts: Signs & Symptoms

There are varying degrees of broken teeth, some requiring more urgent care than others. If the pulp or nerve are exposed, your pet may require emergency treatment or a visit to the veterinary dental specialist to avoid infection and further injury. If only the enamel – the outermost surface of the tooth – is impacted, your pet may not show any signs of pain. Make no mistake, though – you should still have a veterinarian check your pet’s mouth to be sure the fracture won’t worsen and lead to trouble down the road.

The reason broken teeth in dogs and cats are such a problem is that, if left untreated, even for a short time, an infection can set in. If bacteria enter the root canal through a fracture, it can spread to the jaw and eventually through the bloodstream to other parts of your pet’s body.

Look out for these symptoms of tooth fracture:

  • Signs of pain or discomfort during eating
  • Scratching or pawing at the mouth
  • Refusal to eat
  • Chewing food on one side of the mouth
  • Blood in the mouth or coming from the tooth
  • Pus or swelling

Any of these symptoms would indicate a need for a veterinary appointment as soon as possible. The presence of blood, pus, or swelling might require a visit to an emergency veterinary hospital like Animal Emergency Hospital Volusia.

Most fractured teeth need to be treated to free the pet from pain and eliminate chances of infection. Depending on the extent of the injury, treatment may range from root canal therapy to extraction. But if your pet ends up losing some teeth, don’t worry! Even toothless cats and dogs can still enjoy soft food and very good quality of life.

AEVH Is Open 24/7

Animal Emergency Hospital Volusia (AEHV) is the resource you and your pet’s primary care veterinarian may turn to for 24/7 veterinary emergency and critical care services in the Ormond Beach area. As a modern hospital, we have all of the latest diagnostic equipment, and we are experienced in treating all types of veterinary emergencies

No appointment is ever needed.

If you believe your pet needs emergency care, we ask that you call (386)252-0206 to alert us of your arrival. Our team will discuss our current safety protocols and curbside services. For your convenience, we are encouraging clients to complete and submit client and patient forms online before arriving.

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