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Dr. John
Dr. John, Texas Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 4991
Experience:  Over 14 years of clinical veterinary experience
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My name is ***** *****, and i have a Bichon that has a back

Customer Question

Customer: My name is ***** *****, and i have a Bichon that has a back tooth that is just hanging. Actually clicking and he works his tongue as if trying to get it out. Can I give him valium and pull the tooth? i thought it would come out by itself but is just hanging by what is possibly the root on one side? I't really bothering him and don't have acess to a vet until next week? What can I safely do?
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: I thought for sure it would come out by itself as he really kinda of works his mouth and tongue, like he's trying to work it out. Looks as though it's just hanging by skin, but not real sure.
JA: OK got it. Last thing — JustAnswer charges a fee (generally around $19) to post your type of question to Dog Veterinary Experts (you only pay if satisfied). There are a couple customers ahead of you. Are you willing to wait a bit?
Customer: will get back I guess
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Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 11 months ago.

Hello, I am really sorry to hear about your girl's loose canine tooth and while I understand the temptation to try and pull it, I don't advise it.

Even though it seems loose there may be a piece of one or several root(s) that are cracked and if you try and pull it that piece will remain leading to an abscess. That will be very difficult to treat. Sometimes we even see small pieces of the root end up in the nose.

Because this is a premolar or molar tooth it has several roots and these roots are relatively long and end up very near the nasal cavity. When one or more of those tooth roots becomes damaged enough to loosen, the amount of healthy tissue between the nasal cavity and the root socket gets compromised due to inflammation and infection. If the tooth is removed we may end up with an oronasal fistula, or an opening between the nose and mouth. This allows bacteria and food debris from the mouth to enter the nose and we can see horrible infections and bone loss secondary to that.

Your veterinarian can take dental radiographs, making sure the entire tooth and all of its roots, are removed, and that the socket is thoroughly debrided and cleaned out, then stitched closed. This will minimize the chances of a bone/jaw infection and/or an oronasal fistula forming.

I advise letting your veterinarian take a look. It may not be as loose as it seems or there may be more than a loose tooth going on.

Rarely a tooth loosens because a tumor, either in the mouth or nasal cavity, weakens the bone around the tooth and allows it to become infected and damaged and subsequently loosen.

My final concern is that we never pull a tooth without placing a endotracheal tube so that any chunks of infection, tooth pieces or blood don't end up in the lungs, which would predispose to developing horrible pneumonia.

You have no way of protecting his airways as home.

Best of luck with your fellow, let me know if you have any further questions.