Persistent Deciduous Teeth

Retained Baby Teeth

Persistent deciduous teeth are a very common dental problem seen in puppies and young dogs. The condition occurs when the baby tooth and the adult tooth are present at the same time. A baby tooth may not be exfoliated if the permanent tooth does not erupt directly underneath. The canine teeth and the incisor teeth are most commonly affected.

Persistent deciduous teeth are most frequently seen in the toy breeds; Miniature Poodles, Yorkshire Terriers, Maltese, Miniature Schnauzers, Pomeranian and Dachshunds. The condition is seen less frequently in the larger breeds and cats.

Persistent deciduous teeth are a problem when they cause displacement of the permanent teeth. Due to the location of the deciduous teeth, the permanent teeth cannot erupt normally. Persistent deciduous teeth often lead to malocclusion. The resultant malocclusion may subsequently cause trauma to opposing teeth or oral soft tissues. Persistent deciduous teeth also cause overcrowding which may result in serious periodontal disease.

The dental x-ray to the right shows the deciduous as well as the permanent canine teeth.

Dental x-rays should always be obtained prior to any surgical extraction. Dental x-rays allow examination of the deciduous as well as the permanent tooth providing a more thorough evaluation of potential problems during the surgical extraction.


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