Tooth Dislocation or Sudden Loss in Dogs

PetMD Editorial
Oct 05, 2010
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Tooth Luxation or Avulsion in Dogs

Tooth luxation is the clinical term for a dislocation of the tooth from its normal spot in the mouth. The mutation can be vertical (downward) or lateral (on either side).

In vertical luxation, the tooth may move up (intrusion) or down (extrusion) in its bony socket. In lateral lunation, the tooth tips to the side. Lateral luxation usually occurs due to an injury that has pushed the tip of the tooth to one side. Vertical luxation is related to the dislocation of the root of the tooth. A tooth is called avulsed, meaning that it has been torn suddenly from its spot, if it has been luxated completely from its bony socket.

Symptoms and Types


In cases of intrusion, the affected tooth appears shorter than normal. In extrusion, the tooth appears longer than normal and can be moved both vertically and horizontally when touched. In case of lateral luxation, the upper part of the tooth is found deviated on the either side. It may be overlapping a nearby tooth to some degree. In cases where there is avulsion of the tooth, the tooth is found to have become completely displaced from its bony socket. This is most often as the result of an injury to the mouth, or to an infection at or near the tooth.


  • Trauma or injury, such as road side accidents, falls, or fights
  • Dogs with chronic tooth infections are at higher risk


You will need to give a thorough history of your dog's health, onset of symptoms, and possible incidents -- such as recent injuries -- that might have preceded this condition. Your veterinarian will conduct a complete physical examination and will closely look into your dog's mouth to evaluate the complete set of teeth. The close physical examination will enable your veterinarian to see if the tooth is luxated or avulsed and whether it can be saved. The most important diagnostic test is radiographic imaging of the tooth arcade, i.e., mouth cavity. X-ray films will be placed into the oral cavity to take an X-ray of the affected teeth. Typical changes will enable your veterinarian to precisely diagnose and treat the condition.

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