Bad breath? We need to look further!
These tumors and growths were found either during a routine physical exam or during a dental cleaning.
The arrow points to a place where a tumor was removed with a laser during a routine dental cleaning. The tumor was in a position that was not easily seen during a physical exam.
Many patients do not allow the owners or veterinarians to do a thorough examination of their mouths.
It is important to train pets to allow people to look in and examine their mouth so that early identification of abnormal tissue is discovered early.
The white arrows point to a tumor growing around the teeth. There is a benign tumor of the gingiva called an epulis that is relatively common and looks very similar to this mass. This was not an epulis, it was a malignant tumor that eroded the bone of the jaw.
Unfortunately, until the tissue is sent off to a pathologist to be identified, you cannot assume that a growth is benign or malignant.
The growth on the bottom of the tongue was another incidental finding during a routine dentistry. It was removed easily with the laser.
This appears to be a large fleshy mass. It was very uncomfortable for the dog and painful to the touch. During the exam, it was very firm and it was actually a bony mass.
This pet was born with a misaligned bite. The lower canines should be on the outside and behind the upper canines. A person in this situation would have braces. Did you know that animals can get braces too?
If caught early, some relatively simple steps could be taken to try and re-align the mouth.
This young dog had a bad odor coming from it's mouth. Looking at the mouth, the teeth looked "fine"~ nice and white. Radiographs or xrays of the teeth revealed a cracked tooth. Once the crack was examined under anesthesia large amounts of pus came out of the tooth. The pus, was the cause of the odor. The fractured tooth was removed and the odor was gone. Fractured teeth can be removed or have root canals and crowns, just like people! This pup liked to chew ice, a common cause of fractures in teeth.
This premolar was infected and removed. You can see the bone loss due to excessive tartar build up. Dogs do not tend to get cavities, however tartar build up leads to bone loss. Dental cleanings without anesthesia only removes the visible plaque off of the teeth. Once the plaque is removed, if the tooth surface is not properly cared for more damage can occur. Unfortunately, the unseen plaque above the gum line continues to damage the fragile bone holding the tooth in place. The result is loose teeth and shedding of bacteria into the bloodstream.
Here you can see how all the teeth are affected. There is barely enough bone to hold the teeth in place.