1: Tooth Root Abscess
One of the more agonizing oral problems your dog may experience is a tooth root abscess. This occurs if the root of the tooth became exposed to bacteria — perhaps from a crack or break, or from advanced gum damage due to periodontal disease — and an infection has set in.
Signs that may indicate an abscess might be difficulty eating — your dog may be dropping food, tipping her head to one side or may avoid eating at all. As the abscess builds up, you may notice facial swelling. Depending on which tooth is affected, it may look like her eye is infected or inflamed, due to the proximity of the tooth’s roots to the eye.
A look inside your dog’s mouth should reveal the culprit — a bump, swelling or a localized area of the gums that looks red and angry. An abscess may spread to surrounding teeth, so it may be difficult to pinpoint which tooth is affected.
Due to the pain involved, it’s wise to get your dog to the veterinarian quickly, who will do an X-ray to determine the extent of the problem. He may try to save the tooth with a root canal procedure, or he may need to extract it. He’ll probably also give your dog antibiotics to control the infection, and pain medication to help her feel better while she’s awaiting the procedure and recovering.
Over the course of her life, your dog will probably encounter fewer dental problems than humans do. But when something suspicious arises, it’s important to react quickly, both for your dog’s comfort and to safeguard her overall health.
Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may
not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.