Tooth Abscesses And Your Pet

Posted on: 13 October 2015


Like humans, your pets can suffer from dental problems. They also need regular checkups and brushing to keep their teeth in good condition. Without good care, pets can develop a wide range of dental issues such as cavities and gum disease. One painful problem a pet can have with his or her teeth is an abscess.

What causes an abscess:

Abscesses occur when an infection forms at or around the root of the tooth. Many of these infections start with an exposed root from a broken tooth or from excessive tooth decay. The bacteria gets into the root and causes an infection and an immune response. Eventually, a painful, infected pocket of pus forms, which can be a serious threat to your pet's health if not treated.

Symptoms of an abscess:

Since pets can't tell you when they have a toothache or if something doesn't feel right in their mouth, you will have to look for other signs. Knowing the signs early can save your from pet a lot of pain and suffering. One of the first signs that your pet has a dental problem is that their breath will smell worse than usual. Your pet may also be sensitive around the mouth or jaw. As the problem progresses, you may notice a swelling around the eye or jaw area. When it gets worse, your pet may stop eating or eat very little.

Treatment of an abscess:

Before an abscess can be treated, your pet must have a thorough dental exam, which may include x-rays. The dentist may be able to drain the abscess and provide medication such as antibiotics to reduce the infection or anti-inflammatories to reduce the swelling and pain. In severe cases, a root canal may need to be performed, or the tooth may have to be extracted.

Preventing an abscess:

Abscesses can be prevented with good dental hygiene and regular checkups. Dogs and cats should have their teeth brushed regularly. If you are not sure how to brush your pet's teeth, talk to your veterinarian or veterinary dentist for a demonstration. Also ask about the best foods to keep your pet's teeth clean. Keep an eye on the amount of plaque buildup on your pet's teeth. Bring your pet in for regular examinations and cleaning.

An abscess can be a painful experience for your pet to have. Good hygiene habits and early detection can save them a lot of pain. If you haven't already done so, it might be a good time to bring your pet in for his or her dental exam and cleaning. Contact a professional animal clinic like MontClair Veterinary Hospital, and make an appointment for your pet.