Our Blog

September 2018
17: Monthly Focus: Cancer Awareness - Lonestar's Story
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30: Labour Day 2018
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09: House-training your puppy
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21: Keeping Your Dog Safe This Summer
14: Happy 10th Anniversary, Westbridge Veterinary Hospital
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18: Congratulations friends of dogs and cats everywhere!
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28: Parasite Prevention
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11: Dental disease is a real and serious issue
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01: Thank you for your support in the 2017 October Farley Foundation Fundraiser!
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14: The difference dental care can make
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30: Raccoon Rabies reported in Hamilton, Ontario
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25: Our new, state of the art, Ultrasound machine
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09: Fun and Delicious Fundraising for the Farley Foundation
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01: Veterinary Technician Specialties in Dentistry!
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18: The Internet at its Best
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02: Ways to a Happy, Healthier Pet
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03: A New Way to Save Your Pet's Teeth!
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26: Veterinary Dentistry in San Diego!
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22: The 15 Steps to Your Pet's Dental Cleaning!
15: January and February are Dental Months, and We Have a Contest to Celebrate!
09: Baby Teeth in Puppies and Kittens
06: An Update on Dr. Hylands
December 2013
27: Dentistry in New Orleans!
17: Wishing Dr. Hylands a Safe and Uneventful Recovery
13: The Holidays are Here!
04: A Potential Mandible Fracture - A Tale on Missing Teeth
October 2013
10: Fundraising for Farley
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11: Tried and True, For Humans Too!
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20: Therapeutic Laser's Beneficial Effects on Arthritis
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25: 5th Annual Pet Education Day and Open House!
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29: We've Brought 'Light' into our Clinic!
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February 2013
21: Small Dogs Require Big Dental Care!
08: Missing Teeth in Your Pets - Should You Be Worried?
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13: Periodontal (Dental) Disease in our Pets
December 2012
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November 2012
15: Farley Month a Huge Success!
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27: Possessive Aggression in our Dogs
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September 2012
20: Litter Boxes - Everyone's Favourite Task!
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14: Exercising Your Pets in the Summer - Heat Stroke
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28: Non-Invasive Diagnostic Imaging - Ultrasound Case Study
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19: Non-Invasive Diagnostic Imaging - Ultrasonography
May 2012
23: A Logical Approach to Unwanted Barking
07: Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug Use in Companion Animals
April 2012
21: Wellness Examinations Help to Maintain Your Pets Health
10: OVC Pet Trust Animal Cancer Centre Needs Your Help!
01: Heartworm Disease in Ontario
March 2012
19: A Dedication to a Great Man and an Dedicated Veterinarian
February 2012
06: Why Anesthesia-Free Dental Care is Wrong, Cruel, and Medically Inappropriate
January 2012
16: The Why's and What's of Dental X-ray
09: Cats Are a Unique Species, with Unique Dental Disease
05: Six Easy Steps to Brushing your Pets Teeth!
02: Dental Awareness Months!
December 2011
21: Chocolate... Good for you?
November 2011
11: Farley Month was a Huge Success!

A Potential Mandible Fracture - A Tale on Missing Teeth

Posted: 2013-12-04

Westbridge Veterinary Hospital, an Animal Clinic in MississaugaFlorence is a playful, happy ball of fur. At six years old, this little Shih Tzu seemed like she didn’t have a care in the world. But… brewing literally below the surface was a serious medical problem.

When puppies are young, their adult canine teeth (fangs) usually erupt around 4-5 months of age. For some reason Florence’s never appeared. At our hospital it is our policy to count all the pup’s teeth when they are in for their spay or neuter. This way they are relaxed and we can have a really good look in the mouth. Florence had her spay procedure elsewhere and we suspect this was never done.

At six years of age Florence was presented to our hospital to get her teeth cleaned. At Westbridge, this includes a full dental examination and general anesthetic to allow us to perform dental radiographs of the whole mouth and to thoroughly clean the teeth above and below the gum line. (Note that tartar visible on the top of the tooth is not where dental disease lies! Rather, it is the plaque and tartar underneath the gumline, which is why general anethesia is required for a proper cleaning.)

The radiographs were astounding.

Dental Radiograph from Westbridge Veterinary Hospital, an animal hospital in MississaugaBoth of her lower canines were lying completely incased in bone. Because of this impaction, the roots were growing towards the bottom of the lower jaw, and there was a very real risk of spontaneous jaw fracture (break). The bone over top of the roots was becoming dangerously thin – you can see on the radiograph to the left that there is literally only millimeters of bone surrounding the big canine root, which is what is seen at the very left of the image. Interestingly, as if we didn’t already have enough to support the importance of dental radiographs, we also found another unerupter tooth, which is the small horizontal tooth immediately to the right of the canine root. Left untreated, this could form dangerous bone cysts that could easily fracture the jaw and damage other surrounding teeth.

Post-extraction radiographs at Westbridge Veterinary Hospital, an animal hospital in Mississauga.Thankfully the owners allowed us to painstakingly remove the impacted canine teeth and place a gum flap over the area. While Florence wasn’t experiencing any discomfort that the owners could appreciate, these teeth were ticking time bombs that would eventually be a problem, and potentially a very serious one.

The moral of the story is that missing teeth in any aged dog may be indicative of a serious hidden problem. Dental radiographs allow us to see what is hidden, and help pets avoid painful dental conditions.


This blog entry was written by Westbridge Veterinary Hospital, an animal clinic (vet hospital) in Mississauga dedicated to providing high quality, modern veterinary care to our beloved pets and their families.

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