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broken teeth


kelpiegirl
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Crap. Lucy broke a tooth- not that it took much- she already had really worn it down by chewing at the crate. So, the canine is about half way gone. Not straight across though. I don't see any pulp. I don't know WHY she does this, but clearly, she can't be in the crate while I am away. Not sure of my next step. Will try and get photos. I know there are lots of things that can be done, but what is the most viable? No pun intended.

Julie

 

 

brokentoothleftside.jpg

brokentoothrightside.jpg

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The thing about canines is that they are almost a part of the jaw - you only see about a third or so of the tooth. So pulling a canine is usually not preferred because it can make the dog susceptible to a broken jaw.

 

I think some of the decision on what to do is whether the tooth is broken or just worn down. I once had a dog with a cracked tooth. I took him to a dentist & she did a root canal. She recommended against pulling the tooth. I think this is the conservative approach - it will save the tooth and make it structurally sound again (but she will still only have half a canine).

 

I have a dog now who has worn down his canines to the point that they are not much different than his molars in terms of size/height. They do not bother him now, but I would expect a problem with his teeth sometime in the future. I have also had other dogs with moderately cracked or worn canines that never gave them a problem in their lives.

 

I think where the crack is/how the tooth is cracked (is it just cracked across or is there more damage) is important. I had the root canal done on my dog years ago - I'm not sure if dentistry practices/recommendations have changed since then. You may need to consult with a dentist or your vet (if they keep up on dentistry practices). I don't think most regular vets would do anything besides clean/pull teeth.

 

gail

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Oh, that sucks! Johnson did the same thing when we first brought him home to foster and tried to crate train him. I freaked out, never having had a dog break a tooth before, and rushed him in to the vet. She calmly examined him, noticed there was no exposed pulp, and sent us home. No treatment or repair necessary--we just keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn't change condition.

 

We did, however, give up on the crate training and now just confine him to the bedroom (where the other two monsters are crated) when we're gone. It has worked out fine for Johnson, and I hope Lucy is as lucky.

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The thing about canines is that they are almost a part of the jaw - you only see about a third or so of the tooth. So pulling a canine is usually not preferred because it can make the dog susceptible to a broken jaw.

Much more true for lower canines than for uppers. Melanie has an old post (in this section) with illustrations -- ah, here it is, very educational even though the illustration I remembered is no longer visible.

 

Go see your vet. If a root canal is needed, you don't have forever to wait (said my vet). After a while, pulling the tooth, or leaving it as is and hoping it never gets infected, will be your only options.

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That looks like a pretty minor break, IMO. Charlie broke one of his lower canines about 2 years ago. It broke about halfway down, straight across. A few weeks later, another piece broke off (must have been cracked by the initial injury). This time, it broke at an angle towards the gum. My vet looked at it and told me not too worry, but to check it periodically to make sure it didn't get infected. He's never had a problem with it. His upper canines are already worn down as far as your dog's tooth is broken. I know how much it sucks to have them break a tooth, though. I was totally bummed when Charlie broke his.

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