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208 Breeds, 422 Health Conditions  |  Find a Vet

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Condition Overview

Cavities are not common in dogs. When present, they usually form at the gum line and are related to periodontal disease. They can also occur on the crown of a molar.


Cavities appear as a black spot on the tooth. Cavities are painful and eventually lead to root abscesses.


Information needed.


Diagnosis is made by a veterinary exam of the teeth.


The quickest and easiest way to treat a cavity is to extract the tooth. The cavity can be filled and the tooth can be saved, but most vets do not have the supplies and the equipment to fill cavities and will refer the dog to a vet that specializes in dentistry.

Root canal therapy is also being done for dogs who have deep cavities that expose the tooth pulp. Root canals are fairly common today and can be especially useful for dogs with fractured canine teeth.


Keeping your dogs teeth clean with a regular tooth brushing schedule may help in the prevention of cavity formation. Be sure to use only pet approved toothpaste.


Please contact your veterinarian if you have questions regarding cavities.

Show Sources & Contributors +


Dog Owners Home Veterinary Handbook

Publisher: Wiley Publishing, 2007

Website: http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/

Authors: Debra M. Eldredge, Liisa D. Carlson, Delbert G. Carlson, James M. Giffen MD

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