What to do About a Dog Tooth Abscess


Do you think your dog might have a tooth abscess, or have they officially been diagnosed with one? What should you do about it? Is there anything you can do at home to help, or is surgery the only solution?

Below, you’ll find information about the various methods of treatment and management you can try for your dog’s tooth abscess. This information is not intended to replace advice given to you by your vet, but it can help you get started in understanding what to expect when treating your dog’s tooth abscess issue.

Dog Tooth Abscess

Go to the Vet

If you notice your dog’s tooth has an issue, and if you feel like that issue could be an abscess, it’s very important to talk to the vet as quickly as possible. Sometimes, you may notice swelling under your dog’s eye. Tooth abscesses never heal on their own and will require medical intervention—and probably surgery—to correct.

Your veterinarian will examine your dog’s mouth visually first to determine if an abscess could be the issue. If your dog needs a thorough dental exam, your pet may need to be put under anesthesia to allow the vet to get a closer look. This situation will vary depending on your dog and your vet both.


If your dog is diagnosed officially with a tooth abscess, your vet will likely recommend complete removal of the tooth. In some instances, if medically appropriate and financially feasible, trying to save the tooth may be an option. This will require, however, referral to a veterinary dentistry specialist to assess if a root canal is the right way to go.

Sometimes, however, your dog’s tooth may already be so far gone to decay that extraction is the only solution. If this is true of your pet, then your vet will need to put your dog under anesthesia and remove the entire tooth, including the root. There are instances where other conditions such as heart disease may delay surgery but your veterinarian will help you determine if this is the case for your pet.

Manage the Condition at Home

After your dog’s surgery, you’ll need to keep up with their dental health and wellness needs at home. You will need to plan to do the following:

Give Your Dog Pain Medication and Antibiotics

If you give your dog pain medication after surgery it will prevent them from hurting too badly while they heal, and it will also cut down on the risk of infection from their damaged tooth too.

Keep Up With your Dog’s Teeth Brushing Needs

You should continue to brush your dog’s teeth after their mouth has fully healed. Do not try to brush their teeth until they are finished healing entirely from the surgery and given the okay by your pet’s veterinarian. After that, however, keep their teeth and mouth clean and healthy by brushing regularly on your own at home.

Follow Up With your Veterinarian

Your veterinarian will likely want to examine your dog’s mouth to see how their healing following the surgery. Don’t skip this step—it’s an important part of ensuring your dog’s recovery is going properly.

Keep Up With Dental Health

If your dog has already had one tooth abscess, they may be at a greater risk of future, similar problems. Your veterinarian will likely want to perform a regular full mouth check-up on your dog, which may or may not require anesthesia, depending on your pet and vet.

Additionally, your dog will need to receive regular teeth cleaning from the vet. Even if you’re keeping up with her brushing needs at home, regular dental cleanings from a professional will help reduce the risk of abscesses in the future significantly. This type of cleaning is also a good chance for your vet to check for signs of reoccurring problems or new issues in your dog’s mouth. Talk to your vet for more information about dental cleanings in the office.

Contact Orlando Vets if Your Dog Has a Tooth Abscess

You should always take your dog to the vet for any condition that looks like it might be a tooth abscess. This type of injury of the mouth can be very dangerous, especially if it is left untreated for too long. It can lead to severe infection and may increase your dog’s risk of heart disease, too.

Your veterinarian can give you specific advice about your individual dog’s needs. With the help of this guidance, you and your vet can choose the right treatment method for your dog moving forward. For more information or if you would like to schedule an appointment, contact Orlando Vets by calling one of our locations.

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