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She has a tooth in the back that is very loose, just a piece…

Customer Question
She has a tooth...

She has a tooth in the back that is very loose, just a piece of skin holding it on... How can I remove it???

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'm sorry to hear that. What is the dog's name and age?

Makayla and she is 14

Submitted: 11 months ago.Category: Dog Veterinary
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Answered in 10 minutes by:
9/9/2017
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Kara, Veterinarian replied 11 months ago
Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 19,012
Experience: Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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Hello, I'm Dr. Kara. I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian and I'd like to help. Please give me a moment to review your concerns.

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Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Kara, Veterinarian replied 11 months ago

I am really sorry to hear about Makayla's loose 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.

If 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 her airways at home.

If the tooth does fall out, or you do decide to pull it please save the tooth to show your veterinarian. That way they can evaluate the tooth and look for evidence of a root fracture, thus know where to retrieve root pieces.

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

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