In this article, you will know the answer to the query “Can a Tooth Abscess Kill A Dog?“.
Fido is a lively pup, filled with boundless energy and excitement for life as a whole.
He likes to chew toys and play fetch, specifically, but he isn’t picky.
Then, suddenly, he isn’t so lively.
As a matter of fact, he seems downright listless, doesn’t want to eat, and keeps pawing at his face.
He won’t let you near his mouth, even when you try to check things out.
That’s awful! Could it be a tooth infection? Is there anything you need to do? Is it serious? How do you know, anyway?
You don’t need to worry; we have you covered.
When your fur kid doesn’t seem like himself, and he could be seriously ill, it’s scary.
To help you out, we’ve answered all these questions and a few more.
Learn more in the following paragraphs.
What Causes Tooth Abscesses in Dogs?
There are many causes of tooth infection, which is usually quite painful. A bacterial infection is the most common cause. As a result, the bacteria invade deep into the tooth structures and gums, usually accompanied by periodontal disease and gum disease (gingivitis).
Additionally, cracked or fractured teeth are more likely to develop tooth infection and root abscesses. Bacteria can easily reach the tooth root through the crack in this case. Typically, this occurs when your dog bites on something hard. Bone, ice cubes, cow hooves, rocks, and hard nylon toys are examples.
Dogs most commonly develop tooth abscesses and related dental problems in their upper fourth premolar. How does that happen? This is the large cheek tooth on each side of the pup’s upper jaw. Whenever Fido bites down on something hard, that tooth is the one that will break due to a slab fracture, since he uses this tooth to crush food. In other words, a slab-shaped piece is sheared from the tooth’s side. Ouch! There may also be a crack in the middle of the tooth. In either case, it sounds extremely painful.
Since they are easily broken, canine teeth (fang teeth) are another common place for painful bacterial infections.
What are the Symptoms of a Dog’s Tooth Abscess?
Since tooth infection and dental disease have similar symptoms to other, unrelated conditions, it is often hard to detect them.
Your pup might have swelling just below the eye if the abscessed tooth is his carnassial tooth (the upper fourth premolar). That’s because the roots of this tooth extend nearly to his eye sockets. Yikes!
Puppies may not show obvious signs of mouth pain when they have abscessed teeth. In order to spot these, you must be very vigilant. Here are some symptoms you should be aware of:
- Breath that smells bad (worse than doggy breath)
- Pawing the mouth
- Rubbing the face on the ground
- Refusing to eat or chew
- Chewing with only one side of his mouth
What Can You Do For a Dog with a Tooth Abscess?
If your pup exhibits any of the symptoms mentioned above, or anything else that concerns you, the first step is to schedule an appointment with the vet or the veterinarian’s dentist. Your veterinarian will examine your dog and determine if he has an abscessed tooth or any other dental problems.
When your pup is awake, your veterinarian can usually detect signs of a tooth infection. Sometimes the poor pup is in too much pain to allow anyone near his mouth. The veterinarian or veterinary dentist might sedate him to take a closer look in that case. An oral exam or dental x-rays would be required by the veterinarian.
The vet will typically prescribe an antibiotic and pain medication to help your pup. The vet will probably remove the infection source as well if it’s obvious. This usually involves extraction of a tooth or root canal treatment. Fido loses a tooth by taking the first option, while keeping it by taking the second option. The state of the tooth will determine which option should be taken.
Your dog will require anesthesia for both tooth extraction and root canal therapy.
Your pup will need some time to recover from the treatment, and he will likely be in a great deal of pain for some time afterward. Since the treatment occurred in his mouth, he may have difficulty eating for a while, as well. The painful process is traumatic to dogs, so they don’t like preventative dental care either. Therefore, you may have a difficult time brushing Fido’s teeth and doing other things to keep his gums and teeth healthy.
Can a Tooth Abscess Kill A Dog?
In short, yes, in the long run. Untreated tooth abscesses can spread to your pup’s other teeth. Severe complications may lead to your pup’s death. Since he will be in pain as the bacteria spread throughout his body, it will probably be a long, agonizing process. If you notice anything amiss with your pup, we recommend you take them to the vet as soon as possible.
Is a Tooth Abscess in a Dog an Emergency?
An abscessed tooth in a dog is a dental emergency. Getting Fido to the vet without delay is more important than rushing him to the ER. The earlier you treat this bacterial infection, the lower the risk of serious complications.
You might be facing a medical emergency if your pup’s tooth abscess has gone unnoticed for a while. It is more than likely that your pup will be very ill in this case, and you will not hesitate to take him to the emergency room.
How Much Does it Cost To Treat a Dog’s Tooth Abscess?
Dogs with dental infections can be very expensive to treat. This is because they usually require surgical intervention. Anesthesia and surgery cost quite a bit, and more than one person is required to perform the procedure.
Anesthesia may cause dogs to have bad reactions or cause other complications. Complications increase costs even further.
Can I Leave a Dog’s Tooth Abscess Untreated?
Untreated tooth abscesses can cause your pup a lot of pain, and he may even lose a few teeth. The infection may spread to other teeth and to the rest of his face. He could even experience vision problems. This is a bleak picture, and your poor dog might suffer quite a bit because of it.
Fido’s teeth can become infected with bacteria that can spread to the surrounding bone, where it can enter his bloodstream. As this infection spreads, it may affect his organs, including the liver, heart, and kidneys. By the time it reaches the organs, this bacterial infection could cause significant damage. As time passes, the damage will worsen.
A tooth abscess and associated dental infection may cause the gums to recede if left untreated. The pup may lose some teeth as a result.
While that abscess persists, your pup’s quality of life will be negatively impacted. Thus, it’s better for his physical health and mental well-being to get it treated sooner rather than later.
An abscessed tooth can sometimes be treated at home by your dog. But just to be sure, you should take him to the vet first.
How can I Prevent Tooth Abscesses in Dogs?
There are times when Fido’s tooth abscess is unavoidable. The same goes for human cavities. However, there are measures you can take to reduce the risk. You should maintain good dental hygiene. Fido’s teeth should be brushed regularly and he should have an annual dental checkup. The same applies to humans. Your veterinarian may even give you pointers on how to improve your oral hygiene.
Another thing to keep an eye on is what your dog chews. You could help him avoid hard toys, bones, ice cubes, and other stuff that could break his teeth.
If you want to read more about dog health tips, read here: Dog Health Tips and Tricks.