An abscess is a localized collection of pus in a cavity formed by the disintegration of tissue. A pus is formed when bacteria enter the body and white blood cells gather to fend it off. This battle produces pus which can be covered by a layer of skin. When skin grows over an infected area that contains pus, an abscess is formed.
A dog’s tooth is composed of the inner pulp which provides nutrition and nerve supply to the tooth and the dentin or middle layer. The dentin is covered by enamel on the crown or top part of the tooth and it is covered by cementum in the root of the tooth. The root portion of the tooth sits in a bony socket of the jawbone and is held in place by the periodontal ligament which attaches the cementum layer to the bone.
A tooth root abscess is the accumulation of infection or pus in the bony socket. The carnassial tooth or fourth upper premolar is most commonly affected.
Abscesses occur for a variety of reasons, cause extreme pain, and can be treated with much success. If left untreated, however, bacteria can spead into other areas of the mouth, causing serious medical conditions.
One or more of the following signs are present in dogs suffering from an tooth root abscess:
A visibly broken tooth
A strongly discolored tooth
An inability to chew
Increased presence of plaque on teeth