In a study done by Dr Fraser Hale, a veterinary dental specialist, discoloured teeth (pink, purple, grey, or tan) 92.2% were found to have necrotic (dead) pulps and 42% had no radiographic evidence of pulp disease. This means that if a tooth is discoloured it is likely to need a root canal to save the tooth, or extraction.

Side view of right upper canine tooth

Front view of right upper canine tooth

Side view of right lower canine tooth

Side view of right lower canine tooth

It is important to see your veterinarian for this problem. The following are some examples of discoloured teeth:

Affected teeth can be painful. Things to watch for are ‘flinching’ if you look at your pet’s teeth or the affected tooth. Does your pet bite the food or toy and then drop it? If you see this see your veterinarian. Some of these teeth can be saved with a root canal. Others need to be extracted. Intraoral radiographs will help determine the best course of treatment.

See: Discoloured Upper Canine Tooth in a Dog

For more information please refer to Healthy Mouth, Healthy Pet: Why Dental Care Matters. Available at Amazon, AAHA and VIN book stores.