Tooth Root Abscesses

Posted by Southtowns Animal Hospital on February 7, 2019

What causes a tooth root abscess?
-Any trauma to the pulp cavity. This can be a fractured crown, damage from chewing hard objects, or
damage to the root of the tooth.
-Bacteria from dental caries or exposed dentin
-Thermal heat from electrical cord burns
-Deep periodontal pocketing

How is a tooth root abscess diagnosed?
A physical exam by a Veterinarian is the first step in working up periodontal disease. Definitive diagnosis is made by taking dental radiographs (x-rays). Here at Southtowns we always take full mouth digital dental radiographs for every dental procedure weather we are just cleaning the teeth or planning for extractions.  Radiographs are necessary to differentiate between cysts, tumors, and normal anatomy.

What is the treatment for a tooth root abscess?
Extraction of the affected teeth and cleaning the affected bone is required.  Antibiotics are not a cure. While antibiotics may make the pet more comfortable and help control infection, they are only a temporary solution.

What happens if the tooth root abscess is left untreated?
The abscess will eat away the bone and lead to chronic pain and infection. The abscess can spread to affect the roots of the adjacent teeth. Periodontal disease also causes bacteria to enter the bloodstream and has been shown to cause kidney and heart disease from chronic inflammation in the vasculature.

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