Common Problems – Fractured Tooth

Best Mates, Common Problems

A surprisingly common finding at routine veterinary health checks is a fractured tooth.

By Dr Maddie Rowe B.Sc. DVM. 

This often occurs in dogs that are given bones as a part of their diet, or who like to chew on hard objects. In most instances, the tooth is able to produce a protective layer called ‘dentine’ over the fracture to prevent future tooth-sensitivy or infection.

However, in some instances, such as where the fracture is too deep or a large chunk of tooth is lost, the pulp is exposed and an infection develops. If left untreated, the infection can spread up the tooth root and into the facial sinuses, resulting in swelling of the face, pain and occasionally a very sick dog.

Treatment involves removal of the fractured tooth and an extended course of antibiotics. To prevent these nasty complications, veterinarians will often recommend immediate removal of fractured teeth.

The following case study tells the story of a dog called Mary who presented to Fur Life Vet Echuca with a very swollen face, and an equally concerned owner!

Mary is a little camera shy so we have used a model in her place!


Mary, a 10 year old female fox terrier, presented in early Autumn 2020 for a swollen right cheek. The owner reported that the swelling had appeared overnight, but Mary was still happy in herself and eating normally.


A large, firm swelling was present under the right eye, in the region of the maxillary facial sinus. Mary did not react to the lump being touched.

Eyes and nose: Normal

Teeth: One of the upper, right molars (known as the ‘canine’) was fractured, exposing the underlying tooth pulp, which was soft and yellow.  The other teeth were unremarkable.

Lymph nodes: The submandibular lymph nodes were slightly enlarged. Elsewhere on the body, the lymph nodes were within normal range.

Otherwise: physical examination was unremarkable.


Given the presence of a fractured tooth directly beneath the swelling, the assessment was made that the swelling was likely as a result of tooth root infection and a secondary sinus infection. Other potential causes included an insect bite, or nasal lymphoma.

The owner was informed of the possible causes for the swelling and agreed to a dental. The owner also elected to sign up to the Fur Life Vet Best Mates Program, as it included pre-anaesthetic bloods, a scale and polish and unlimited consults, which in this instance resulted in large savings for the owner.


Mary was started on strong antibiotics (ones that can penetrate bone), and booked for extraction of the fractured tooth.

Pre-anaesthetic bloods were performed before the surgery in order to detect any abnormalities which could impact her safety under the anaesthetic. Fortunately, the bloods were completely normal.

During the dental, the fractured tooth was examined more closely, and sure enough, the tooth roots were rotten. The rotten tooth was extracted and Mary was sent home on antibiotics, pain relief, and instructed to eat soft foods for minimum 10 days.

Post-Operative Examination

Two weeks following the dental, Mary returned for a dental recheck (complimentary, as part of the Best Mates Program). Fortunately, the swelling had completely disappeared and her teeth were looking great!

The owner was instructed to start brushing Mary’s teeth and to avoid feeding hard foods, such as bones, in future.

Find out more about Best Mates.

How to enter

Simply share a photo on your Facebook page of your dog rugged up for winter or enjoying the winter sunshine and use the hashtag relevant to your state.

What you can win

There will be three prizes in total – one for QLD entrants and two prizes for entrants from VIC, NSW and TAS combined prize. Each prize includes a winter pet pack to the value of $100.

Click on your state to reveal the hashtag you need to use to enter!

QLD Residents

Share a photo of your dog enjoying the winter sunshine or snoozing in their favourite winter clothes and tag #furlifevetQLD

VIC Residents

Share a photo of your dog rugged up for winter or snoozing warm inside in their favourite winter clothes and tag #furlifevetVIC

NSW Residents

Share a photo of your dog rugged up for winter or snoozing warm inside in their favourite winter clothes and tag #furlifevetNSW

TAS Residents

Share a photo of your dog rugged up for winter or snoozing warm inside in their favourite winter clothes and tag #furlifevetTAS

Terms & Conditions

Information on how to enter and prizes form part of these conditions. By participating, entrants agree to be bound by these conditions. Entries must comply with these conditions to be valid.

Entry is open to Australian residents that meet the competition requirements outlined below during the Competition period 1 June 2022 – 31 August 2022. Employees and their immediate families of the Promoter and its agencies associated with this competition are ineligible to enter.

To enter, each entrant must, during the Entry Period, upload a photo of their pet rugged up for winter or snoozing warm inside in their favourite winter clothes to social media (on their personal profile) and use the hashtag corresponding to the state they are in (e.g. #furlifevetVIC, #furlifevetNSW, #furlifevetQLD, #furlifevetTAS).

Winner of the competition will be determined by:

  1. Appropriate photo uploaded (photo of their pet rugged up for winter or snoozing warm inside in their favourite winter clothes to social media (on their personal profile)
  2. Relevant hashtag used (state residing in: #furlifevetVIC, #furlifevetNSW, #furlifevetQLD, #furlifevetTAS)
  3. Number of likes (photo with highest number of likes at end of competition period with all other criteria completed will win)

The competition will close for entries Wednesday, 31 August 2022 at 12:00pm [AEST]. Failure to meet any of the competition requirements will deem entry invalid and will not be eligible to win.

There will be three prizes in total – one for QLD entrants and two prizes for entrants from VIC, NSW and TAS combined.


Competition requirements:

Entrants must be a current client of a participating Apiam/Fur Life Vet clinic.

Entries must be received by the Promoter during the Entry Period. Entries received after 12:00pm [AEST] 31 August 2022 not be accepted.

The competition commences at 00:01 [AEST] on 01/06/2022 and closes at 12:00 [AEDT] 31/08/2022.

Queensland prize includes a pet pack to the value of $100.00.

Victorian, New South Wales, and Tasmanian prize includes two separate pet packs to the value of $100.00.

All taxes (excluding GST) which may be payable as a consequence of receiving a prize are the sole responsibility of the winner.

The Prize is not transferable and is not redeemable for cash.

The Promoter assumes no responsibility for any failure to receive an entry or for inaccurate information or for any loss, damage or injury as a result of technical or telecommunications problems, including security breaches. If such problems arise, then the Promoter may modify, cancel, terminate or suspend the competition.

If the prize becomes unavailable for reasons beyond the Promoter’s control, the Promoter may substitute a prize of equal or greater value.

The winner will be notified by email on or by 10/09/2022.

Entrants consent to the Promoter using their name, images submitted, pets name, comment, and/or voice in the event that they are a winner in any media for an unlimited period of time without remuneration for the purpose of promoting this competition (including any outcome), as well as any other communications outside of this competition, and/or promoting any products manufactured, distributed and/or supplied by the Promoter. If you are not willing for these uses or disclosures to occur you cannot participate in the competition.

Further, entrants agree that the Promoter has an unrestricted, irrevocable, transferable, divisible right and licence to use and modify their entry for the purposes of the Promoter’s business including for promotional purposes without the payment of any further fee or compensation.

If requested by the Promoter, the entrant agrees to sign any further documentation required by the Promoter to give effect to this arrangement. To the extent permitted by law, entrants unconditionally and irrevocably consent to any act or omission that would otherwise infringe any moral rights in their entry. Entries remain the property of the Promoter. Details from entries will be collected and used for the purposes of conducting this competition (which may include disclosure to third parties for the purpose of processing and conducting the competition) and for promotional purposes surrounding this competition. By entering this competition entrants consent to the use of their information as described and agree that the Promoter may use this information, or disclose it to other organisations that may use it, in any media for future promotional purposes without any further reference or payment to the entrant.

By entering this competition, entrants consent for the Promoter to use entrant’s name, email address, phone number which entrants submitted to enter for the purposes of administering and operating the competition. Entry is conditional on the Promoter acquiring the aforementioned information. All personal information collected by the Promoter will be handled by the Promoter in accordance with the Promoter’s privacy policy (PRIVACY) Entrants have the right to access their personal information, request correction of any errors and/or obtain a copy of the Promoter’s privacy policy by contacting getvetchecked@furlifevet.com.au.

The Promoter is Apiam Animal Health Pty Limited (ACN: 604 961 024) at 27-33 Piper Lane East Bendigo, 3550, Victoria, Australia.

You may also like …

Best Mates

Did you know that a Best Mates Membership includes:

  • Unlimited FREE consults
  • FREE Desexing or Dental
  • FREE Vaccinations
  • DISCOUNTED professional services, nutrition and merchandise!

Plus more ...

Share This