4 Reasons Why Your Dog Might Need Their Teeth Pulled
The primary reason veterinarians need to pull a dogs tooth is due to complications with periodontal disease, also known as gum disease. There are four stages of periodontal disease in dogs, and a case has to advance to stage three before tooth extraction is the recommended remedy. Woodward says this is because severe periodontal disease damages the supporting structures of the teeth. “Once enough bone and gum tissue has been destroyed, the tooth cannot heal, and extraction is the only possible treatment.”
Another common need to have a dogs tooth pulled might be a fracture. VCA Hospitals indicates if a fractured tooth is healthy, it could still cause pain because of exposed nerves. However, broken tooth extraction may not be necessary. Quite often, a veterinary dentist will perform root canal therapy to correct the problem.
Only if a fractured tooth and surrounding gum tissue are unhealthy and unrepairable will extraction be considered because, as the VCA notes, “for the large canine and chewing teeth, the removal procedure involves oral surgery—comparable to removing impacted wisdom teeth in human patients.” Ouch!
Woodward adds that the removal of teeth to help eliminate trauma is another reason for extraction. Known as traumatic occlusion, this condition might be caused by teeth hitting other teeth or digging into the gum tissues.
If youre concerned about rotten dog teeth extraction, its more likely that your pup has tooth decay. Fortunately, this problem only happens in 10 percent of dogs, and veterinarians are usually able to correct it by filling the cavity, just as our dentists do for us.
Credit: alexei_tm / Adobe Stock
Alternatives to Tooth Extraction in Dogs
Motivated dog parents may elect to investigate other ways of saving teeth. A root canal, a vital pulpectomy and pediatric orthodontic care are all potential options. However, your dog might not be a candidate for advanced procedures. These advanced procedures will likely require a consultation with a board certified veterinary dentist before scheduling the procedure. Extraction is typically necessary to treat infected roots.
Dog Tooth Extraction Recovery Time and Aftercare
Recovery and aftercare should be relatively easy to handle. “There will be absorbable sutures in the dogs mouth that need to be protected. Soft food for 10–14 days, avoiding rough play, and limiting access to chew toys are usually all thats required,” Woodward says. “Pain medication is generally given for a few days after the procedure, and occasionally antibiotics are dispensed.”
Senior dogs, he points out, might require a little more attention post-operatively than younger dogs to make sure their food and water intake is adequate. Younger pets usually look normal a few hours after a dental procedure.
In order to prevent having to get another one of your dogs teeth pulled in the future, make sure to brush their teeth regularly, try giving them teeth cleaning toys to chew on (after their mouth is fully healed), and take your pup to the vet to get their teeth professionally cleaned several times a year.