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Root tip abscesses in dogs

Root tip abscesses, or boils, can be very painful for dogs. It can be difficult to detect as it's not always clear when dogs have pain in their mouths. Learn how to spot the symptoms.

Signs and symptoms of a root tip abscess

  • Swelling and sores on the cheek or lower jaw
  • Difficulty chewing on chew bones or chew toys
  • Lots of drooling
  • Chewing on just one side of their mouth
  • Difficulty opening and closing their mouth
  • One eye bulges
  • Was out of one nostril

What's the cause of root tip abscesses?

Apical abscesses can occur when the tooth roots become infected and exposed to bacteria. This could be due to a broken tooth, or that the tooth's supporting tissues have been affected by an infection and tooth loss (periodontitis).

At a later stage in the disease process, an abscess can form in the jawbone, which can open, for example, just below the eye or in the nasal cavity.

How root tip abscesses are treated

Your vet may need to x-ray the tooth first to confirm the diagnosis. The most common treatment is to remove the tooth. In some cases the tooth can be filled with a root canal. Medicine and, in some cases, antibiotics are given to reduce the inflammation and pain.

When should I contact the vet?

If your dog has a broken tooth, you should always contact your vet. It is important to treat the tooth in time. If, for example, a root canal is done at an early stage, root tip infection can be prevented.

Brush your dog's teeth

Through regular tooth brushing, you can both prevent and detect disease in the dog's mouth at an early stage.

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