Retained Baby Teeth in Dogs

Veterinary reviewed by: Michele K.

Retained Baby Teeth in Dogs - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

Veterinary reviewed by: Michele K.

Retained Baby Teeth in Dogs - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

What is Retained Baby Teeth?

Retained baby teeth is a condition specific to where the eruption of a permanent tooth occurs, which would normally occur when the canine is three to seven months of age, but the baby teeth stay in place. The oral issues that arise can be severe, and include abnormal positioning of permanent teeth, accidental bites that may disrupt and injure the dogs palate, an abnormal jaw position, or in severe cases, an inability to eat without pain. Early recognition is dependent on you, the owner, and is key to avoiding severe damage. Be sure to seek out the help of a veterinarian in order to avoid permanent damage.

A retained or persistent deciduous (puppy) tooth for an adult dog can lead to oral diseases if it cannot fall out naturally. Common problems include a visually abnormal jaw position, overcrowding in teeth, palate biting, and difficulty biting or chewing. Although it can be an issue for older dogs (ex. boxers, bulldogs, pugs), it's more common among smaller breeds (ex. Maltese, Pomeranians, Poodles, and Yorkshire terriers).
Youtube Play

Retained Baby Teeth Average Cost

From 72 quotes ranging from $300 - $800

Average Cost

$350

Symptoms of Retained Baby Teeth in Dogs

Outside of obvious visual proof that the jaw sits abnormally or both teeth clamped together, other symptoms to look for with retained puppy teeth in dogs include:

  • Food collections in the gap of the teeth
  • Gingivitis
  • Overbite
  • Periodontitis
  • Premature loss of adult teeth
  • Pus cavity forming under teeth
  • Strenuous time eating food
  • Tartar deposits
  • Tooth decay
Types

There are four types of teeth that should be in a pet's mouth in the upper and lower jaw area:

  • Canine teeth - holding and tearing food
  • Incisors - cutting and nibbling food
  • Molars - grinding food
  • Premolars - cutting, holding, and shearing food

Puppies start out with 28 deciduous (temporary or "baby" teeth). As they grow into adult dogs, there should be 42 permanent teeth. The puppy teeth, or milk teeth as they are commonly referred to will start to fall out between 14 and 30 weeks of age. It's not uncommon for a dog to swallow the "tooth buds" from baby teeth while eating, but sometimes pet owners may find the crowns of these teeth around the dog's play or sleep area.

arrow-up-icon

Top

Causes of Retained Baby Teeth in Dogs

Malocclusion is a genetic abnormality that leads to some teeth not fitting together comfortably to chew or when a dog's mouth is closed. While 85 percent of dogs have some kind of oral disease at the age of four or older, baby teeth abnormalities are more likely linked to smaller dogs and usually at earlier ages.

arrow-up-icon

Top

Diagnosis of Retained Baby Teeth in Dogs

When a pet owner notices that a dog appears to have deciduous teeth next to adult teeth, it should be made a priority to contact a veterinarian. Pet owners should keep track of the progress on a dog's teeth during the first seven to eight months, in addition to daily dog teeth brushing to keep the mouth clean. A veterinarian may delay a potential extraction process until spaying or neutering the animal due to general anesthesia that will be needed to examine or extract the teeth.

Veterinarians may complete X-rays of the dog's mouth to determine whether stubborn teeth are not coming out in a timely manner and whether adult teeth are growing in. Looking for signs of pain may prove to be more difficult since dogs will more often than not either mask the pain or just grow used to it. This is why veterinarians do a complete examination of the mouth.

arrow-up-icon

Top

Treatment of Retained Baby Teeth in Dogs

If/when deciduous teeth show no signs of falling out naturally, a veterinarian will more than likely recommend having the baby teeth extracted. Fractured, or retained teeth, may also need to be removed. 

While some dogs will genetically have an overbite, the tooth extraction process is also used to fix that if possible. Long upper jaws are necessary during the nursing years, but as a dog grows older, the lower jaw should have a growth spurt in which adult teeth grow in, too. If lower teeth get caught behind the upper teeth, the lower jaw cannot close properly. A veterinarian may recommend getting rid of a few lower baby teeth to correct the issue so the jaw can expand naturally. This will also get baby teeth out of the way so adult teeth can grow in.

Depending on the dog's teeth, a special plate (i.e., braces) or tooth shortening may also be useful to help along in the process for adult teeth to grow into the dog's mouth correctly.

arrow-up-icon

Top

Worried about the cost of Retained Baby Teeth treatment?

Pet Insurance covers the cost of many common pet health conditions. Prepare for the unexpected by getting a quote from top pet insurance providers.

Recovery of Retained Baby Teeth in Dogs

Extraction, along with any procedures to fix gums, should heal within six to eight weeks. If all teeth did not grow in naturally within approximately three months, then they should be able to grow in within a few weeks after the extraction process.

If a dog has trouble eating during the healing process, a feeding tube may be necessary. Frequent dental preventive care is recommended until all teeth grow in correctly.

Tooth decay and cavities are rare in most dogs, but cleaning a dog's teeth each day is recommended either way. 

arrow-up-icon

Top

Cost of Retained Baby Teeth in Dogs

The treatment corresponding to retained baby teeth is dependent on if tooth extraction is required. Tooth extraction costs on average $250 and can go upwards of $1000 depending on how complicated the surgery is, how difficult the extraction is, and if additional teeth need to be extracted. If your dog is also getting his teeth cleaned, which is suggested by most veterinarians when a dentistry event is taking place, the average cost will be $312 - $360.

arrow-up-icon

Top

Retained Baby Teeth Average Cost

From 72 quotes ranging from $300 - $800

Average Cost

$350

arrow-up-icon

Top

Retained Baby Teeth Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

dog-name-icon

dog-breed-icon

Siberian Husky

dog-age-icon

Eleven Months

thumbs-up-icon

2 found helpful

thumbs-up-icon

2 found helpful

Has Symptoms

Teeth

My Huskies adult on his Bottom hasn't grown to his adult teeth

Sept. 29, 2020

Owner

answer-icon

Dr. Michele K. DVM

recommendation-ribbon

2 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. Some dogs take a little bit longer to have their adult teeth come in, and that maybe what's going on with your dog. Without being able to see your dog's teeth, is difficult to say if you need to be worried or not. If you are concerned, it would be a good idea to make an appointment with your veterinarian, as they can look at your dog's mouth, assess his teeth, and see if things are not going normally. I hope that all goes well for him.

Oct. 3, 2020

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

dog-breed-icon

Australian Shepherd

dog-age-icon

Six Months

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

Has Symptoms

Redness

My puppy's cabine tooth is loose, though it is loose, it seems to be poking through his gum at the top. No bleeding but redness and what seems to be decay from the part that is poking through

Sept. 24, 2020

Owner

answer-icon

Dr. Sara O. DVM

recommendation-ribbon

0 Recommendations

SO sorry to hear about your dog. Your puppy should lose this tooth about 6 months of age. If this spot is still there then, your puppy many have to lose this K9 tooth. This may also just be a small infected part of the gum that we see when puppies are teething and goes away once these teeth have fallen out. If this is still there once the K9 tooth falls out get your vet to look at this area and see if he needs any dental procedures done.

Sept. 25, 2020

Was this experience helpful?

Retained Baby Teeth Average Cost

From 72 quotes ranging from $300 - $800

Average Cost

$350

Need pet insurance?
Need pet insurance?

Learn more in the Wag! app

Five starsFive starsFive starsFive starsFive stars

43k+ reviews

Install


© 2022 Wag Labs, Inc. All rights reserved.