Retained Baby Teeth

Filed Under: Dogs, Cats, General Care

If your pet doesn’t lose his baby teeth before the permanent teeth erupt, these retained teeth can cause serious problems for your pet’s dental health.

Deciduous teeth—or baby teeth—are retained when the permanent tooth erupts adjacent to, rather than directly under, the baby tooth. The retained tooth will force the permanent tooth into an abnormal position. The permanent and baby tooth will often be packed tightly together, causing material—such as food or hair—to accumulate between the two teeth. Tartar forms faster in this affected area, and may eventually cause one or both of the teeth to abscess. Halitosis is a common symptom of this problem.

Retained baby teeth are commonly seen in small breeds of dogs and in the flat-faced breeds of cats, typically the Persian and Himalayan. These baby teeth should be removed as soon as possible to prevent the malposition of the permanent tooth. In hereditary cases, the deciduous teeth may be removed before the permanent teeth erupt.

Topics: dental

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