Do you ever wonder what a discoloured tooth means when you see this in your pet? This is a series of images taken of a 7 year old dog with a discoloured canine tooth. If you see a discoloured tooth in your pet make an appointment with your veterinarian.

The yellow arrows are pointing to the discoloured right upper and lower canine teeth in this 150 lb English Mastiff dog. The upper canine is grey and the lower canine tooth is pink at the tip of the crown. In this dog the lower canine tooth is scraping the upper canine tooth. It has caused a lot of wear of the upper canine tooth over time and this has caused damage to the pulps of both teeth. The blue arrow is pointing to a small rough lump on the gums.

This is the X-ray of the right upper canine tooth. The blue dots outline the area around the apex (root end) where there is loss of bone. Evaluation of the tooth and surrounding bone can never be assessed without X-rays. The bone loss can be caused by several things. The most common cause is the presence of an infection causing an abscess. These can be very painful and make the animal feel sick. Notice the area outlined in orange dots – this is the pulp. For a 7 year old dog this is WAY too big. This tooth has been dead for a long time – maybe 6 years. The yellow arrow is pointing to pulp stones – small calcium deposits in the pulp cavity – this means that a root canal will be very difficult to impossible to do. The decision was made to extract the tooth.

The gum was cut and lifted up from the bone to allow the surgeon to remove the tooth. A huge, foul smelling abscess was discovered and the cavity around the infection was cleaned very well with instruments and flushed well. The lining around the abscess was removed too. In this image the arrow is pointing to some lining that was taken out of the tooth socket after extraction.

Please note – this patient was anesthetized and was protected against pain – this is not something that can ever be performed on an unanesthetized patient.

This is how the surgery site looks after the tooth has been removed and the surgical closed with sutures. The blue arrow is pointing to the area where the lump was. It was removed and sent to the lab for analysis. It was found to be due to the long standing infection and happily not cancer. The surgical site and the biopsy site healed very well over the next few days. The dog was a wonderful patient.

This x-ray shows that all the root has been removed. Without an X-ray after an extraction it is not possible to say for sure that all the root has been removed. Any root material left behind can lead to infection and pain.