I had a dental procedure today. There was only one major abnormality, one of the incisors was pink in colour.
Discolouration of teeth, that is of the whole visible crown, usually signals disease of the pulp cavity. Sadly, I was in a rush to get everything done so I could get to my appointment after work (more on that later), that I didn’t get a photo of the tooth! I did however find one that was posted by a dental specialist (Dr. Niemiec at dogbeachvet.com ) whom I have taken some CE lectures with.
The patient I had today, its tooth was this colour. On x-rays there was no peri-apical lucency to indicate infection, it also only had superficial pockets of 1mm. Argh! Here is a radiographically ‘healthy’ tooth that is clearly diseased! So, our options were referral to dental specialist to salvage the tooth and have a root canal performed (which this dog has had several so far) or we pull the tooth. I get on the phone with the owner to let them know. It’s hard to describe pulpitis to owners. It’s inflammation without infection. The only way we know is by looking at the tooth. Where there is inflammation, there is pain. The owner retorted that the dog is still eating and chewing hard things. We hear this allllll the time! Of course they are still eating. I have seen dogs and cats with their teeth falling out of their mouths and they are still eating! Eating is survival. Survival is important, even if it means to eat through the pain of dental disease. How fitting for dental health awareness month!
It took me an hour to remove the one tooth. Hence why pulpitis is painful for me too! After a wrist injury, I worry when I have to do a lot of torquing with my wrist. But it seems to be doing ok!
Anyway, check our dogbeachvet.com for more dental informatio, including that of pulpitis and discolouration.