Discolored Teeth in Dogs and Cats

As a pet owner, it can be alarming to see a discolored tooth in your pet’s mouth, but don’t panic if you notice discoloration in your pet’s teeth. Pet tooth discoloration happens for a number of different reasons, and it is always best to bring your cat or dog to a veterinary dentist for regular exams. Dr. Tony Woodward at Montana Pet Dentistry and Oral Surgery  has decades of experience treating discolored teeth in dogs and cats, and he’s the only board-certified veterinary dentist in Montana. 

What Causes Pet Tooth Discoloration?

Discolored teeth can be caused by developmental problems, use of certain medications, trauma, infection, or excessive wear. Developmental problems may cause areas of soft, thin, brownish enamel. These teeth are sensitive and the rough areas of missing enamel can accumulate calculus (tartar) very rapidly.

Most discolored teeth that have been damaged by trauma are already dead and require treatment When a traumatized tooth dies, the inner sections of the tooth (known as dentin) soak up blood, which stains the inside of the tooth, causing discoloration. The tooth will gradually change color from pink to purple and eventually to a brownish or beige color. 

Occasionally, treatment with antibiotics in younger patients may cause discolored teeth.

Does My Pet’s Discolored Tooth Cause Pain?

Any discolored tooth has the potential to be uncomfortable, and should be examined and radiographed by a veterinarian well-versed in dental pathology. Failure to treat discolored teeth in pets may result in severe discomfort, damage to the root, and damage to the bone around the end of the root.

Treatment for Discolored Teeth in Pets

Studies have shown that a high percentage of discolored teeth are dead. If these teeth go untreated, areas of severe bone damage form around the end of the root. Unfortunately, pets rarely show signs of these painful lesions and it can take years for these teeth to fall out on their own. To prevent any unnecessary pain and suffering for your pet, it is best to bring them to a veterinary dentist for treatment. 

Fortunately, many discolored teeth can be treated. Dental radiographs of these teeth can be taken and used to tell whether or not treatment is possible. Specific treatment options vary depending on the cause of the problem.

Looking for a Veterinary Dentist in Bozeman?

Dr. Tony Woodward is the only board-certified veterinary dentist in all of Montana, and has extensive experience treating discolored teeth in dogs and cats. Dr. Woodward works on site here in Bozeman to handle all of your dog’s dental needs. If you notice any discoloration in your pets teeth, all you need to do is call our Bozeman office and schedule an appointment.