Unlike the adult, or permanent teeth, the primary teeth are very thin and fragile. They are not firmly anchored in place by strong mineralized bone and can easily be broken or pulled out of position. Therefore the most common problems we encounter in this age group are traumatic injuries, sometimes self-inflicted, sometimes inflicted by well meaning owners.Puppies are very oral and like having things in their mouths. We should avoid giving them hard objects, and playing “tug of war” with them. By pulling, we can either fracture or luxate (pull out of position) the primary “canine or fang” teeth of our small furry friends.
Since the adult fang teeth are developing under the gums close by to where the baby fangs are, they can also, in turn, be damaged. This can cause them to either never erupt or to come up in an improper position. This improper tooth location can cause injury to the mouth’s soft tissue.Hard objects like “Indestructible bones”, “Hooves”, sticks and rocks can break teeth. Catching a flying saucer-like play toy in mid-air can also lead to teeth breaking. These types of injuries are very painful and usually result in the tooth dying and causing an infection or abscess of the bone. Signs of a possible oral problem include: difficulty in eating or holding objects, bleeding, or drooling. The bone and overlying gums will be sensitive to the touch, swollen, and the infection can start to drain – a condition called a “gum boil”. Pet owners should check the animal’s mouth for broken teeth on a daily basis. If any are detected, a veterinarian would immediately extract any of the broken baby teeth.