Content continues after advertisement

Vitality of Discolored Teeth in Dogs

Kendall Taney, DVM, DAVDC, FAVD, Center for Veterinary Dentistry & Oral Surgery, Gaithersburg, Maryland

Sign in to Print/View PDF

In the literature

Feigin K, Bell C, Shope B, Henzel S, Snyder C. Analysis and assessment of pulp vitality of 102 intrinsically stained teeth in dogs. J Vet Dent. 2022;39(1):21-33. doi:10.1177/08987564211060387


FROM THE PAGE...

Intrinsically stained teeth are a common finding in dogs and exhibit discoloration within tooth hard tissues, unlike extrinsically stained teeth, which have discoloration on the tooth surface. Causes of intrinsic staining include amelogenesis imperfecta, dentinogenesis imperfecta, tetracycline ingestion during tooth development, dental fluorosis, tooth resorption, hyperbilirubinemia, pulp necrosis, injury, and aging.1 

Intrinsic staining can indicate pathology or injury that may affect tooth health or vitality. Determining appropriate treatment can be challenging, as many patients do not have radiologic or clinical signs that can definitively predict tooth vitality.

This prospective study analyzed clinical, radiographic, and histopathologic characteristics of 102 intrinsically stained teeth. There was no evidence of coronal injury (eg, fracture, displacement, mobility) in 55 (53.9%) out of 102 teeth. On histopathologic analysis, 85 (87.6%) of 97 intrinsically stained teeth were nonvital. Radiographic evidence of endodontic disease and periodontal disease was present, respectively, in 58 (57%) and 49 (48%) of 102 intrinsically stained teeth; 29 (28%) had evidence of tooth resorption. Only 19 (18.6%) of 102 intrinsically stained teeth were radiographically normal. All teeth with radiographic evidence of periapical lucency had pulp necrosis. Incisor teeth were most commonly affected, but all tooth types (ie, incisors, canines, premolars, molars) were discolored. 

A previous study found that 92.2% of intrinsically discolored teeth were nonvital based on gross appearance of the pulp.2 The current study is the first to histopathologically confirm pulp death, and results verify that a high percentage of intrinsically discolored teeth are nonvital; however, normal contralateral teeth were not histologically evaluated for comparison.

...TO YOUR PATIENTS

Key pearls to put into practice:

1

Tooth discoloration is a common posttraumatic complication caused by pulpal hemorrhage. Hemolysis of RBCs follows pulpal hemorrhage, and more profound discoloration can occur when hemolyzed RBCs combine with putrefying pulpal tissue.3 Transillumination can help demonstrate increased opacity of an intrinsically stained tooth, but subtle changes can be difficult to detect with the naked eye.

2

Intrinsically stained teeth are likely nonvital. In this study, most (87.6%) intrinsically stained teeth were histopathologically confirmed to be nonvital, which is consistent with results of a previous study.2

3

Nonvital teeth are likely to develop endodontic and periodontal disease and should be treated quickly with exodontics or endodontics.

 

4

Radiographic signs may support a diagnosis of nonvitality but are not definitive.3,4 All teeth with radiographic evidence of periapical lucency also had pulp necrosis in this study.

 

References

For global readers, a calculator to convert laboratory values, dosages, and other measurements to SI units can be found here.

All Clinician's Brief content is reviewed for accuracy at the time of publication. Previously published content may not reflect recent developments in research and practice.

Material from Clinician's Brief may not be reproduced, distributed, or used in whole or in part without prior permission of Educational Concepts, LLC. For questions or inquiries please contact us.

Podcasts

Clinician's Brief:
The Podcast
Listen as host Alyssa Watson, DVM, talks with the authors of your favorite Clinician’s Brief articles. Dig deeper and explore the conversations behind the content here.
Clinician's Brief provides relevant diagnostic and treatment information for small animal practitioners. It has been ranked the #1 most essential publication by small animal veterinarians for 9 years.*

*2007-2017 PERQ and Essential Media Studies

© 2022 Educational Concepts, L.L.C. dba Brief Media ™ All Rights Reserved. Terms & Conditions | DMCA Copyright | Privacy Policy | Acceptable Use Policy