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What are Tooth Dislocation or Sudden Loss?

Dislocation or sudden loss of teeth in canines is usually caused by trauma to the mouth area. Partial dislocation of the tooth is called luxation and full dislocation out of the socket is referred to as avulsion. Luxation can present vertically (up or down within the socket) or laterally (movement is from side to side). Luxation and avulsion are both urgent conditions that need veterinary intervention without delay. 

Trauma to the mouth is the most common cause of dislocation of the teeth. Luxation and avulsion are both urgent conditions. Any damage or irregularity of the teeth should be investigated by your veterinarian as soon as possible. 

Tooth Dislocation or Sudden Loss Average Cost

From 367 quotes ranging from $200 - $2,500

Average Cost

$850

Symptoms of Tooth Dislocation or Sudden Loss in Dogs

Although the loss of a tooth is fairly easy to spot and a tooth that is significantly loosened may be simple to identify, some forms of tooth dislocation are more difficult to see. If a tooth gets dislocated upwards (intrusive luxation) it will appear shorter, but may not appear to be loose in the socket at first glance.

  • Discoloration of tooth
  • Pain or tenderness in mouth
  • Movement of (adult) tooth in socket
  • Bleeding in mouth
  • Difficulty chewing or eating
  • Excessive or abnormal drooling
  • Swollen gums
  • Missing tooth
  • Displacement of tooth

Types

  • Avulsion- Complete displacement of the tooth from the tooth socket.

  • Concussion- Damage to the structures supporting the tooth without displacement or increased movement of the tooth. A concussed tooth will be tender to touching or tapping, and may exhibit bleeding from the gums.
  • Extrusive luxation- Tooth is still attached but exhibits partial displacement out of the socket.

  • Intrusive luxation- Tooth is attached but has been pushed deeper into the socket
  • Lateral luxation- Tooth is attached but an eccentric displacement of the tooth is present.

  • Subluxation- Damage to the structures supporting the tooth that causes abnormal loosening, but no displacement.
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Causes of Tooth Dislocation or Sudden Loss in Dogs

Sudden loss or displacement of a tooth is almost always due to trauma to the mouth area. This can be due to falls, blows to the face, disputes with other dogs, car accidents, or biting down on inappropriately hard material, such as stone or metal. Infections of the teeth and gums can weaken the teeth and increase the chance that they will become displaced or broken. 

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Diagnosis of Tooth Dislocation or Sudden Loss in Dogs

This type of damage is often referred to a veterinary dentist for both diagnostics and treatment. The veterinarian that is working with you will need information regarding any injuries to the mouth, when the symptoms first started, and if there is any history of previous infection in the mouth or periodontal disease. A thorough examination of the teeth and jaw, as well as x-rays of the affected area, are essential for a full diagnosis. Your veterinarian will likely be able to determine what type of dislocation is present from the physical examination, but the x-ray is needed to check for additional damage to the socket and jaw. X-rays can also help determine if there are any underlying causes that need to be addressed. The underlying conditions that may be revealed by x-ray could include the aforementioned tooth infections or periodontal disease, as well as rarer conditions such as osteoporosis or bone cancer. 

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Treatment of Tooth Dislocation or Sudden Loss in Dogs

Avulsion, luxation, and concussion are all urgent matters and you should contact your veterinarian as soon as you are aware of the problem. Your veterinarian will either have you come in or will make a referral to a veterinary dentist. 

If the tooth is concussed or luxated, keep your dog calm and quiet while you contact your veterinarian. Your veterinarian may have you realign the tooth in the socket if it is possible and safe to do so. This will protect the root from drying out and help to prevent further damage to the socket. 

If the tooth is completely removed from the socket, pick the tooth up without touching the root. If there is dirt or debris present you may rinse the tooth in lukewarm water for just a few seconds, any longer than a few seconds could cause additional damage to the tooth.  Do not attempt to dry the tooth off or to wrap it in paper or cloth. When it is possible, reinsertion of the tooth into the socket will best protect the roots from drying out, otherwise putting the tooth in a small amount of milk or saliva will keep the roots viable for a short time. 

It is often the case that the tooth may be reinserted, but time is of the essence. Successful replantation of avulsed or luxated teeth usually has the best prognosis the more quickly it is addressed. Oral surgery under anesthesia is generally required to replace or reposition the tooth. Various wires or splints may be used to hold teeth in place while healing. If the tooth cannot safely be reinserted or repositioned, your veterinarinan will make sure to remove any damaged tooth fragments that may be in the socket and suture it closed if warranted.

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Recovery of Tooth Dislocation or Sudden Loss in Dogs

The first 24 hours after oral surgery you will want to ensure that your dog is kept calm and quiet to speed recovery. Your pet is likely to be groggy and you will want to remove obstacles and hazards in your home. Be cautious with pet to pet interactions during this time, as disorientation and temporary changes in odor can cause conflict even with pets that normally get along. 

How long the splint needs to stay in place depends on the severity of the damage to the tooth and to the alveolar socket. Splints may be removed as soon as 7 to 10 days in the case of minor damage, or they may need to stay in place for 4 to 6 weeks in the event of fractures in the jawbone or tearing of the support structures of the tooth. While the splint is in place chewing should be restricted, and your canine companion will be put on a soft food diet until the tooth has stabilized. The area around the splint will also need to be flushed clean with water at least twice daily while it is in place.

Once the tooth is reattached another x-ray will be taken to check progress, and a root canal will most likely be required to remove any necrotic pulp in the tooth.

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Tooth Dislocation or Sudden Loss Average Cost

From 367 quotes ranging from $200 - $2,500

Average Cost

$850

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Tooth Dislocation or Sudden Loss Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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Ask a Vet

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Australian Shepherd

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Three Years

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

From Tooth Pulled Out

My dog was playing with his ripe toy and all of a sudden one of his front smaller teeth was on the ground. After examination there is a clear hole where that tooth should be. Is this something to be concerned about?

Aug. 2, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. I think this is something to be concerned about, yes. At 3 years old, those are permanent teeth. It may not be a problem that that tooth is missing, but it would be best to have it examined by your veterinarian to make sure that there is not a broken tooth root or some problem. I hope that all goes well for your dog.

Aug. 2, 2020

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Goldendoodle

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16 weeks

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Unknown severity

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pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Bleeding Around Tooth

We were playing with him with a toy up and down and I let go he chewed on the toy with his mouth closed and when he let go on the toy there was blood on it. When we looked in the mouth he was bleeding around the tooth. He doesn’t seem to be in any pain, he’s drinking water and I gave him a spoon ful of soft food but i don’t want to feed him if it’s an open wound. It bled a decent amount at first but it doesn’t seem to be bleeding enough to deep anymore. I can’t get a photo of the tooth he won’t sit still

July 28, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. He is at the age when he would normally be losing his baby teeth, and one of them may have fallen out during the play time. If that is the case, it is quite normal. Since I cannot see his mouth, it would be a good idea to ask your veterinarian to look at his teeth at his next preventive care appointment, as they can make sure that a permanent tooth was not damaged. I hope that all goes well with him!

July 28, 2020

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delphie

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teckel

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10 Years

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Fair severity

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Fair severity

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Seems Fine,

Hi my Delphie (teckel female) lost one of her canine front teeth in a fight, the tooth came out completely, and anti bio tics were prescribed by the vet, she is fine now but the vet suggests to have surgery to remove any roots left, is this necessary.

Sept. 9, 2018

delphie's Owner

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Olivia

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Chiweenie

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5 Months

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Moderate severity

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Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Discomfort

My 5 month old dog, Olivia, chewed through a live electrical cord a week ago, this past Thursday, and I took her to the vet the following day, and the following week. I noticed the past couple days she has been using her paws to wipe her mouth after she eats her soft food. I thought because of the damage she had already done to the side of her mouth that that may be the reason she was doing so, because she might have a little food stuck in the area of her snout. I looked at her tonight after she was done eating, and she has a tooth that is moving from side to side (towards the inside of her mouth and out), and keeps trying to fold under inside her mouth. It is not trying to completely detach at the moment, but my vet told me after she developed the trauma, to feed her soft dog food until she was completely healed. Is there anything I can do for her tooth, as I don't have the money to go back to the vet so soon?

July 8, 2018

Olivia's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1611 Recommendations

Olivia is at an age where her baby teeth are going to be falling out normally, and that may be a normal baby tooth. It has been a couple of weeks since her trauma, I think, and I wouldn't expect damage to a tooth to show up now, necessarily. As long as she is eating and drinking and acting normally otherwise, you should be able to keep an eye on that tooth, and it should fall out within a couple of days if it is a normal baby tooth. If it is causing problems or she seems painful, you may need to have a quick recheck for her to make sure that she is okay.

July 8, 2018

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Mav

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Bernese Mountain Dog

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10 Months

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Mild severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Bleeding

Our dog was just running outside and when he came back his tooth was hanging from his mouth. It is completelyoutbod the gums, just hanging on by a tiny piece. What are our options?

Jan. 20, 2018

Mav's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1611 Recommendations

Thank you for your email. Without seeing Mav, I can't see whether the tooth is a deciduous or permanent tooth. If would be best to have him examined by your veteirinarian when they open, to look at the tooth tht was damaged, assess whether the tooth broke or fell out, and whether it seems that there may be damage to his permanent teeth. They will be able to let you know more whether you need to worry or not once they see which tooth has been dislodged. I hope that all is fine with his mouth.

Jan. 21, 2018

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Kilo

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Pitt bull

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7 Years

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Mild severity

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Mild severity

Has Symptoms

None

I have a 7 year old Pitt bull name kilo & he loves 2 carry a horseshoe around bitting on it. So we put all the horseshoes up now he gets rocks & blocks an bites on them. There is no way I can put all the rocks & blocks up. Lol.. his k 9 teeth r half gone & his jaw teeth r almost 2 the gum line.....

Tooth Dislocation or Sudden Loss Average Cost

From 367 quotes ranging from $200 - $2,500

Average Cost

$850

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