Many of our pup parent readers ask us: “Do puppy teeth turn black?”. The answer is that it is quite normal, but you need to understand the reasons behind it. We explore more in our article below.
If you are a pup parent like me, then you might have faced puppy tooth discoloration just like I did. In a study conducted with 71 dogs, 84 of their teeth were discolored in various shades of purple, pink, tan, and even grey.
There are two types of discoloration in dogs- intrinsic and extrinsic. Extrinsic discoloration of the puppy tooth happens on the surface. In contrast, intrinsic discoloration is often a symptom of a deeper internal malaise.
Intrinsic discoloration in the puppy tooth can be due to internal injuries, blood seeping into the tooth structure, or the death of pulp tissue.
Many may not know why puppy tooth discoloration and have questions like Do Puppy Teeth Turn Black? This article will talk about the answers to similar questions, and we will also talk about different discoloration issues.
Do Puppy Teeth Turn Black?
Yes, puppy teeth turn black. The reason for this intrinsic staining of the puppy tooth are:
- Pulpitis- because of Injury or trauma to the teeth.
- Fractures causing an infection inside the puppy tooth.
- Presence of excess bilirubin in the dog’s blood.
- Any health condition which may result in the improper development of enamel or dentin.
The most common reason for pulpitis is trauma to the tooth, leading to a fracture. This trauma can be because of chewing hard objects or a blow to the jaw. It can also be because of cavities.
Routine examination of the tooth. When light is focused on the black tooth, uneven illumination will show some issue with the tooth.
If it is reversible pulpitis, then it can be addressed using vital pulp therapy. This will keep the remaining tissue alive. In the case of Irreversible pulpitis, you can address it with a root canal treatment or tooth extraction.
Sudden trauma or internal tissue break because chewing hard food can cause a fracture in the puppy’s tooth. It will result in the death of pulp tissues leading to the seeping of the blood into the teeth structure from inside.
Diagnosis and treatment
When you notice a broken tooth, take the puppy to the veterinarian, who will diagnose the problem and do the necessary treatment.
Excess bilirubin in puppy’s blood
The reason can be toxins, infectious diseases. The red blood cells are destroyed, and bilirubin is blocked from moving in the body when it happens. This can result in the discoloration of teeth in the puppies.
The veterinarian may suggest supplements or medications address this issue in the puppies. The supplements include vitamins milk thistle, zinc, vitamins C, K, and E. These medications may vary based on the intensity of health issues in the puppy.
Improper development of enamel
The reason for the improper development of enamel can be Enamel hypoplasia. When this takes place, the tooth’s outer layer will not develop properly. Teeth may appear pitted and rough. Further, the puppy is prone to infections, gum disease, and abnormal root development leading to discoloration of the tooth.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Dental X-rays will help in identifying the intensity of the issue. If there is internal pulp damage, then root canal therapy will be employed on the puppy. Teeth extraction is one of the treatments for serious issues because of improper development of enamel.
Do puppy teeth turn brown?
Yes, puppy teeth can turn brown. The reasons are extrinsic, which can be plaque or tartar buildup. Bleeding gums will indicate plaque buildup in the puppy. If your dog’s gums are bleeding, it may be an indication of this.
The discoloration of the teeth indicates that the teeth are dead inside because of damage to the pulp. Radiographs of the teeth will help in diagnosing and treating the teeth.
Most common treatments for brown teeth include brushing teeth with a toothbrush and paste for the puppies, changing dog diet, and pet treats that address plaque on the teeth.
What are the common treatments for discoloration of puppy teeth?
The common treatments employed to address discoloration of puppy teeth are Endodontic therapy and Tooth extraction. Either one of these methods is employed depending on the type of tooth and severity of the infection.
Also known as root canal therapy, this method includes the removal of damaged pulp from the tooth. The damaged pulp inside the tooth is removed, and the inside of the tooth is cleaned, and then it is filled with a dental material, and the tooth is sealed.
If the infection is severe and cannot be treated, the veterinarian will extract the teeth. They will suggest some pain relievers for some days, but if the puppy seems to suffer long after the medication, you will have to meet with the veterinarian immediately.
What can be the other discoloration issues one may face in the puppy tooth?
Reasons for extrinsic discoloration:
- Tartar and Plaque stains
- Food stains
- Stains from medications
- Stains from bleeding of gums
- Stains from metal
The tooth may turn brown or yellow because of the above reasons. Extrinsic discoloration is all about the surface staining of the tooth because of an external source.
Reasons for intrinsic discoloration:
- Systemic infection
- Health conditions wherein enamel and/or dentin do not develop correctly.
- Trauma or injury to the tooth
- Excess bilirubin in the blood
The tooth may turn Purple, Pink, Gray, Blue, or Black for the above reasons. Intrinsic discoloration is all about the internal health issues of the puppy.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is my puppy’s tooth grey?
The puppy’s tooth goes grey when the pulp tissue of the tooth bleeds. The tooth will start discoloring, and it will first change into a pink color.
The bacteria growing in the tooth cause pain and spread infection towards the bone, causing discoloration. You can identify the differences in the dog when it stops between its food or when it whines while eating as the gums may hurt while chewing.
Even if none of the symptoms are shown, the vet must treat the dog immediately.
Can puppies have rotten teeth?
Yes, puppies can have rotten teeth. This can be because of two reasons: any trauma to that area or periodontitis.
Periodontitis is a medical condition that happens when the plaque will build up, causing swollen gums called gingivitis. Once gums swell, the site is exposed to the bacteria, and the teeth will decay and fall off.
When should I worry about my puppy’s teeth?
It will take six months for the puppy’s baby teeth to fall off. When fallen off, most of the teeth will be on the floor or swallowed by the puppies. If any of these do not happen or some teeth did not fall off, you should immediately meet a veterinarian.
Puppy Teeth Can Turn Black, And You Should Get It Checked Out As Quickly As Possible
Most of the dogs may not display the signs of dental issues. If you notice discoloration of the tooth or stained enamels or fractures, you have to take the puppy for treatment.
As the puppy may hide the dental issues, it is your responsibility to address these discoloration issues at the earliest to mitigate their pain! So regular checkups with the veterinarian will help address the issues and treat these painful conditions.