Tooth root abscess’ are severe infections located around the root of a tooth. They can affect any tooth within the mouth and are most commonly related to fractures following trauma. Tooth root abscess’ may not initially be obvious as the infection occurs around the root within the bone of the jaw. You may note pawing at the face, chewing on one side or drooling. In some cases pus discharging from around a tooth may be seen and in really severe cases you may see swelling on the face – just like your pet has been hit with a golf ball!
Whilst a clinical examination can provide some clues, the only way to fully assess is under anaesthesia and after taking radiographs of the jaw bones and the teeth within.
If there is minimal changes to the bone itself, it is in fact possible to perform a root canal and save the tooth. This is a referral procedure. Severe infection will result in bone loss around the tooth, a mobile tooth and mean that saving the tooth is unlikely to be a possibility. Extraction in these cases is the best option.
Prior to assessment under anaesthesia, pain management as well as antimicrobials may be useful to reduce the discomfort suffered by your pet as well as the damage to the jaw.