What are Cavities?
The shape of the dog’s tooth is designed so that it hardly retains any residue of food in the mouth, so the cone shape offers very little chances of dog cavities. The dog cavities occur mostly in dogs aged over three years, but only 5% of them are affected by this disease, and it can be easily fixed with dog cavity treatment.
No particular breed or sex is more vulnerable to the cavities, but any dog that has lost the calcium or enamel coating may develop such symptoms. The serious bacterial infection is also called caries; it is a serious dental disease but is not common in the dogs. Still, multiple dog cavity treatments are available to slow down the bacterial infection or cure the cavities.
Dog Cavity Symptoms
The only way to find out the development of cavities in one’s dog is by looking at it. Mostly, the cavities either develop between the teeth or at the root of the tooth. The other common site is the base of the first maxillary molar teeth, which is the second to last tooth in the back. The reason for it being most affected is its flat shape, which can retain food particles.
The cavities in the dogs can be of two types;
- Incipient cavities, marked by a dull spot damaging the enamel protection.
- Cavities that look like a structural defect; damage the dentin layer.
Causes of Cavities in Dogs
The primary cause of dog cavities is the retaining of a fermentable carbohydrate particle in the mouth. The ideal situation to avoid the cavities is to maintain the homeostatic balance of the minerals and ideal pH to make the enzymes work better. The fermentation of the food particles results in oral bacteria acting on the tooth, which then results in damaging the tooth’s enamel protection.
A few significant causes have been listed down as;
- Imbalanced diet; rich of fermentable carbohydrates
- Poor oral hygiene and health
- Abnormal teeth growth
- Low pH in the mouth due to illness
These causes can generally affect all the breeds, but the breeds with a smaller mouth, such as Shih Tzu, Pug, and Pomeranian, are relatively more vulnerable. The chewing toys are recommended to avoid these.
Diagnosis of Cavities in Dogs
The cavities are diagnosed by the visual examination, which then helps in dog cavity treatment. The cavities are either examined by the help of surgical instruments, or X-rays are conducted to determine the cavity’s depth. The examination also helps the veterinarian to know any gum disease or fracture in the teeth.
The stages of pathology are as follows:
- #1 Stage 1: Identifying the defects only in the enamel
- #2 Stage 2: Identification of the defects in the enamel as well as dentin
- #3 Stage 3: The examination of the pulp chamber
- #4 Stage 4: Looking for structural damage to the crown of the tooth
- #5 Stage 5: To look for the condition of the roots of teeth
Dog Cavity Treatment
The dog cavity treatment depends on the stage of the cavity, if only the tooth’s enamel layer is damaged, the veterinarian will use the fluoride varnish or bonding agent to re-mineralize the tooth, which has lost its minerals. Otherwise, if the bacteria have affected the teeth considerably and the cavity has been formed, it’d follow the following process.
Firstly, the natural enamel and dentin layer would be removed, and the crown-shaped tooth would be restored by filling amalgam.
Secondly, the cavity may have developed due to the endodontic disease, in which the tooth loses its strength because it has lost the blood vessel connection with the root canal. In such a case, the dog cavity treatment is done by treating the root canal with any inert material, and then the sealing of the crown is restored. The treatment of the root canal also helps in avoiding the infection to extend to the bones.
Thirdly, any stage that demands removing the tooth completely would be treated by applying sealants on theneighboring teeth. Depending on the intensity of the damage, the tissue and the bones are operated and cured to form new tissues.
Recovery of Cavities in Dogs
If a tooth has been removed, tissues are operated, or the sealant is applied on the teeth, you’d need to visit the doctor to make sure that the treatment is healing the cavities. For faster cure, it is advised to look in the mouth of the dog and check the affected area regularly.
The fluoride-rich toothpaste must be applied for maximum protection after surgery. Also, it is highly advised to keep the dog’s diet balanced to maintain the dog’s dental health.