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Fractured Teeth

Fractured Teeth
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Teeth can fracture just like bones. If there is exposure to the sensitive pulp of the tooth this can be extremely painful for our animals, and, as such, will create a reluctance for them to eat.

Cause

Most fractures in teeth are traumatic in nature, although sometimes there can be other underlying causes. For example, older animals and those with periodontal disease are seen to have a greater incidence of fractures. Also, animals which play with or chew hard objects e.g. stones, cricket balls etc.

Clinical Signs

The most common presenting sign to look out for is a reluctance to eat on one side of the mouth, or at all. You may notice part of a tooth missing, or may just appear abnormal. Occasionally there is bleeding if the fracture is deeper than the superficial enamel. However, more often than not there is no bleeding, as there are no blood vessels in the enamel section of the tooth.

Treatment

The best course of treatment is pain relief and depending on how long the fracture has been present, antibiotics may be required due to the bacterial load in the mouth. Tooth extraction under general anaesthetic to remove the source of the discomfort is the next step.

Prevention

These are very difficult to prevent, as most are traumatic and acute in nature. Keeping the mouth as clean as possible and preventing periodontal disease is a good start. Also, preventing pets from chewing on hard objects, if at all possible. There are many suitable soft or chewy toys and treats so not allowing access to stones, antler chews and bones are recommended.