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Do Puppy Teeth Need to Be Removed?

Posted on: August 21st, 2012 by

Hi. I’m Doctor Fiona Caldwell and I’m a veterinarian at Idaho Veterinary Hospital. I’m answering questions from Pets Best Facebook page today. This question comes from Aidan who writes, At what point should you have puppy teeth pulled if the adult ones are trying to come in or can’t come in me or came in and the baby teeth are still there? This is pretty common. This happens a lot, especially in smaller breed dogs.

Most pets should have all of their adult teeth round about six to seven months of age. If the baby teeth are still there and the adult teeth are present as well the teeth should probably be pulled. That puts you around seven to eight months of age it would be time to have these baby teeth pulled.The reason is that the baby teeth, when they’re next to the adult teeth, can trap bacteria and food and cause plaque and tartar buildup and eventually cause damage to the adult tooth.

If the baby teeth are there and it doesn’t look like an adult tooth ever came in, this can happen sometimes. Dogs are born without the permanent tooth and it just never erupts you need to talk to your veterinarian about this. There may be no harm in leaving that baby tooth there. It’s got no adult tooth to trap food or bacteria to and the pet could go on and do really normal.

If the baby tooth falls out and an adult tooth doesn’t come in you could potentially have radio graphs, x-rays done to see if the tooth is in there. It probably still wouldn’t change what you would do, M this is a cosmetic thing. That tooth may just never come down. For show dogs and that type of thing this can be a problem but just for the average pet this shouldn’t really be a problem for them. They’ll still be able to chew their food and do normally.

If you guys have questions for me feel free to post them for me on the Pets Best Facebook page.

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One Comment

  1. Matthew Lemmons says:

    I applaud Dr. Caldwell for taking time to speak about the oral health of our pets. It is good to read that she recommends extracting deciduous teeth when the permanent tooth has erupted.

    However I need to point out a serious point she is mistaken about. When an adult tooth does not erupt, it is not just a cosmetic concern. Unerupted teeth frequently result in a condition called a dentigerous cyst. These cysts destroy surrounding bone and teeth and can lead to major oral surgery if not treated early.

    Matt Lemmons, DVM
    Dipl. American Veterinary Dental College

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