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Lets talk Persistent Deciduous (baby) Teeth

Like humans, dogs & cats have two sets of teeth in their lifetime – their baby teeth and their adult teeth.

Sometime, the baby teeth are stubborn and do not fall out on their own and this can be called a “retained” or “persistent” deciduous tooth.

When this happens, the baby tooth occupies the place in the mouth that is meant for the permanent adult tooth, forcing the adult tooth to erupt in an abnormal position.

Belle the 6 month old Maltese is a great example of why this is a problem. As you can see pictured here, she had a number of retained baby teeth which had caused her adult teeth to erupt in the wrong place, or even prevent them from being able to erupt at all creating a painful, swollen gum.

The dental x-rays taken show the adult teeth erupting beneath the retained baby teeth, with no where to go, causing serious overcrowding.

Retained deciduous teeth can cause a number of problems if left untreated including pain and discomfort, issues with the development of their jaw/bite and excessive plaque and tartar build up with food being prone to lodge between additional crowded teeth.

Our team is trained to detect retained baby teeth as soon as possible, but if you notice any “overlapping”, doubling up of the teeth as they come through or swelling of the gums please bring your puppy/kitten in for a free dental check ASAP.

These teeth need to be surgically removed as soon as possible so the adult teeth may come through properly and avoid long term issues!

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