When you count the number of teeth in your pet you may find there are more than you expected. You might also see that some of them are crooked…..or that some adjacent teeth look exactly the same. If you see this make sure you ask your veterinarian about your observations. Some of these issues lead to oral health problems and can be treated or prevented.

The following are examples of too many teeth in dogs:

The long thin tooth in the image to the above left is a retained baby tooth. You can see on the X-ray to the right that it’s root is very long. Do not try to break these off as it will be painful for your puppy. The tooth needs to be removed surgically. This is not an easy extraction. All the root needs to be carefully removed.

The teeth to the left are extracted baby teeth. Notice how long the roots are. They are three times as long as the crown that you see in the mouth. Anesthesia is needed. Extraction which takes time to do may require the gums to be cut and bone to be removed. Sutures would be needed and local anesthetic blocks. Pain medication is also needed.

The puppy with the teeth to the right has retained lower canine baby (primary) teeth. These teeth need to be extracted as soon as possible. They should not be there. They prevent the adult canine teeth from moving into their correct position and end up biting the gums or hard palate above. This is painful and causes many problems. If you see this call for an appointment.

For more information please refer to Healthy Mouth, Healthy Pet: Why Dental Care Matters. Available at Amazon, AAHA and VIN book stores.