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Dental month #1 - I found a grey tooth, Is this normal ?

Updated: Feb 4, 2020

Hello WPVC friends, February is the National Pet Dental Health Month which was created by the American Veterinary Medical Association to highlight how important oral health is to overall health, happiness and well-being of your pet. WPVC is offering a Dental promotion in February to help all of our furry friends to keep a healthy oral condition and kiss their friends with confidence. Today, I introduce a story of "A Grey Tooth" from a 7 year old German Shepherd.

He came to us to get a broken incisor handled at first. As it has been a few days with exposed dentin, we decided to pull this one out after a discussion. German Shepherd's incisors are almost 3 cm long which are almost double the length of people. Dr. Christine pulled this broken tooth out and started a full dental exam. During examination, we found an unexpected grey-red molar on his left upper area. Have you seen a grey tooth from your pet ?

When the nerves in the pulp of the tooth, which is the inner layer, become damaged, such as by injury or decay, they can stop providing blood to the tooth. That can cause an infection and lead the nerve to die. This is known as a non-vital tooth " Grey tooth ". ( Not every grey teeth are non-vital, consult with vet )

A dying tooth may appear yellow, light brown, gray, or even black. It may look almost as if the tooth is bruised. The discoloration will increase over time as the tooth continues to decay and the nerve dies. The dying nerve can often cause pain as well as infection.

In this case, we agreed with an extraction of this sore tooth. This molar has 3 roots inside and Dr. Christine cut each root using a high speed drill to extract it completely.

A remaining root inside can cause an abscess and/or a cyst underneath the eye so it's important to take dental x-rays after extraction to make sure there isn't any remaining part of the sore tooth.

This is how his mouth looked

after a big molar extraction. As trauma is the most common cause of grey dead tooth for pets, WPVC recommends to check your pet's mouth regularly at home. Avoid toys or treats which are very hard that may cause any trauma to teeth. Also regular dental exams with a veterinarian is recommended.

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