Last Updated on October 16, 2021 by Marco
Anxious about your pet’s puppy baby teeth not falling out? Check out our canine teeth guide for the what’s, why’s, and helpful tips!
The animal world is a fascinating place and so much like our own in many ways. It is surprising just how much we have in common with our faunal friends!
For example, most people not deeply familiar with canines often ask – do dogs have baby teeth? This article aims to tell you all you need to know about what to expect in the department of puppy oral health.
Puppy baby teeth not falling out, a natural process known as exfoliation, can cause worry in some pet owners. However, retained puppy teeth are far more common than one would think, and they are easily dealt with.
Puppy Teeth Not Falling Out Aka Exfoliation
If you’ve been wondering – are puppies born with teeth? The answer is they’re not. Pups begin sprouting them around the age of three weeks. By six weeks or so, they display all their deciduous teeth, which are 28 in number, regardless of the breed.
These are sometimes called needle teeth or wolf teeth due to their pinlike appearance. These baby teeth fall out to be replaced by 42 sharp and permanent successors. Molars are not part of the primary teeth set and only erupt when the adult teeth do. Most canines tend to begin losing their deciduous teeth and growing adult ones around three months.
During this time, a dog owner might see tiny teeth littering the place the puppy frequents, as well as embedded in whatever it chews on. Mostly, however, a puppy will swallow them while gobbling down its food. That’s completely normal and does not hurt your pet. If a mutt has not lost all its primary teeth by six months of age, it is unlikely to lose them without external help.
When a pup is about to lose its tooth, the root dissolves and is assimilated into the surrounding tissue. With the root gone, the crown will easily fall on its own. A failure in this root resorption process results in the retention of the baby teeth.
This can lead to later dental problems if not tackled. Incisors and canines have the greatest tendency to be retained, but this can happen with any puppy tooth. It is an inherited trait, so dogs with retention problems are likelier to pass it on to the next generation.
Possible Risks Of Canine Baby Teeth Retention
Plaque, Deterioration, and Infections
Milk teeth in animals, just as in humans, are weak as they are meant for babies who don’t need to test their endurance. If a dog does not lose them, their rough activities and the necessity to bite and chew their food can cause tooth fractures.
Cracked teeth are no fun, and it’s not easy when these baby teeth also lead to oral health issues. Enamel deterioration is commonly observed when the superfluous teeth graze against each other and weaken them.
Like children who avoid a good brushing routine, puppies can also develop plaque which can calcify into tartar buildup. The extra teeth growing in close quarters can trap food particles, increasing the risk of bacterial growth.
Puppy baby teeth not falling out can also mean quite a cramped space in that doggy’s mouth! This is especially true for smaller breeds with the same number of teeth as dogs with larger mouths but lesser elbow room. With little room to grow in the correct position, the permanent teeth may very well be malpositioned and crowded.
A permanent tooth’s tendency to erupt in an irregular path can also be why the baby tooth does not fall out. This is because an adult tooth following the correct route would push out and automatically remove the primary one.
Learn more about: How Many Teeth Does A Chihuahua Have; Chi Dental Care
This crowding of the teeth can hinder jaw development and lead to other conditions such as malocclusion – a dental condition where the teeth are misaligned. That’s why the overbite results in the lower teeth hitting and hurting the roof of the mouth and tongue.
If left untreated, this can promote painful infections. One of the ways vets handle it is by extracting the canine teeth of the mandible, so the pointy milk teeth don’t injure the palate.
If an adult dog is seen with the same complaint, crown height reduction, and vital pulp therapy may be called for. This procedure shaves off the offending teeth’ tops, shortens them, and saves the dog from further suffering. Follow-up x-rays should be performed to assess the success of the process.
What To Do About Baby Puppy Teeth Retention?
You should contact a veterinarian specializing in dental care to prevent unnecessary discomfort or pain for your pet. Have your dog periodically inspected by an expert to stay updated on how many primary teeth it still has left.
Toy breeds are likelier to face dental issues than bigger dogs. So if you own such a dog, make sure to have it regularly inspected by a vet to nip any potential problems in the bud. Retained teeth need to be removed very skillfully without damaging the gum or the permanent ones. Anesthesia eases the extraction process, and the doggy is put on analgesics for the few days it takes for its gums to heal.
That’s why it’s best not to delay the procedure for too long. It should be planned no later than when the dog is around nine months old so the crooked permanent tooth may shift to the right spot. Often mutts with a neuter operation have the retained teeth extracted under the same shot of anesthesia.
The vet will likely conduct x-ray scans to confirm that the procedure is successful. Neglecting to remove the long roots of the milk teeth can result in later inflammation or infection. A vet can also guide you about the most effective brushing habits for your pet, so it does not face health issues related to poor oral hygiene.
Just as in humans, oral maintenance is essential in dogs. As a dog owner, it is your responsibility to have your pet routinely inspected for potential issues. Consult your vet for effective techniques on how to manage your mutt’s mouth.