Dental X-rays in dogs are similar to those taken in humans. In many cases, intraoral dental X-rays are necessary to identify and treat dental problems in your dog. Nearly two-thirds of each tooth is located under the gum line. Your dog will need to be anesthetized in order to accurately place the X-ray sensor and perform a thorough oral assessment, treatment, and prevention procedures.
Tooth resorption in dogs is a painful condition with no known cause. It is categorized into two types with subcategories of each: internal or external. Tooth resorption is usually only visible on intraoral radiographs. Although the premolars of the lower jaw are most commonly affected, lesions can be found affecting any tooth. Dogs with tooth resorption may show increased salivation, oral bleeding, or difficulty eating, as well as muscular spasms or trembling of the jaw whenever the lesion is touched. Treatment will be determined based on how far the resorption has extended and may include watchful waiting or extraction.
A tooth root abscess develops when bacteria enter the exposed root canal of the tooth. If the protective tooth enamel is chipped exposing the underlying dentin or the pulp, bacteria can gain access to the center of the tooth causing an infection. A persistent infection can result in an abscess that may leak directly into the oral cavity or may leak out onto the skin. Any tooth can fracture; however, the most common are the canine teeth. If your dog has an abscess, he may be reluctant to chew on her toys or may pull away when his head is touched. A tooth root abscess is a very painful condition and needs to be treated as soon as possible. Antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, and/or pain relief medication will be prescribed. Treatment options include root canal therapy or extraction.
Dogs can have misalignment of the teeth much like people. In people, orthodontic care can be used to perfect a pleasing smile or create a functional bite. In dogs, the goal is to make the mouth functional and pain free. Often this involves moving, reducing the height of, or extracting teeth.