Virginia Veterinary Dentistry Because pets suffer dental pain, too!

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Small Bites of Info
Common Conditions
Gum Disease
Broken Teeth
Discolored Teeth
Retained Teeth
Enamel Defects
Red Painful Mouth
Stomatitis - Cats
Stomatitis - Dogs
Resorbing Teeth
Resorption - Cats
Resorption - Dogs
Oral Growths
Gum Overgrowth
Home Dental Care
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Cavities (Dental Caries)


Cavities, as we know them in people, are not common in dogs and are quite rare in cats. Many "holes" in teeth are assumed to be "cavities" but they are, in reality, the opened pulp chambers of broken teeth. Other "holes" are due to the reabsorption of tooth structure. These resorptive lesions are very painful and should be evaluated promptly. When cavities do develop, they result from bacterial decay of the tooth structure. The decay usually starts in the pits and fissures on the flatter surfaces of molars in dogs. Cavities found early can be drilled and filled just as in people. If the decay has extended into the pulp, then a root canal procedure must be done to salvage the tooth. Often the problem is not discovered until major tooth destruction has occurred and extraction is the only option.

Virginia Veterinary Dentistry
 Charlottesville, Virginia
Copyright © Virginia Veterinary Dentistry, 2006