Your pet’s doctor will examine the teeth at each visit. We urge you to examine the mouth and teeth at least monthly because important things are happening in the mouth this first year. Look for chipped, broken, movable, discolored, extra teeth, missing teeth, unusual gum tissue and for foreign objects stuck between teeth.
In the picture above, the red number 1’s are retained baby teeth. See how the permanent teeth, blue number 2’s have been pushed inward and when they fully erupt, they will poke into and damage the roof of the mouth. The green “x” is a baby incisor to be removed.
These numbers are true for most pets:
- 28 baby (deciduous) teeth erupt between 3 and 6 weeks of age.
- 42 permanent teeth arrive between 4 and 7 months by pushing the baby teeth out. (Between 4 and 7 months, you may see baby teeth fall out, or find them on the floor or see some bleeding gums where they have fallen out)
Teething: Teeth pushing through the gums are painful and the pain is reduced by chewing on objects. Rawhide chews and soft toys seldom cause damage. Do not allow real bones, hard plastic chews and cow hooves as they often fracture or break teeth.
Retained Deciduous Teeth: Occasionally a permanent tooth will erupt beside a baby tooth, and the baby tooth can crowd the permanent tooth into the wrong position resulting in malocclusion or a bad bite.When a baby tooth (deciduous) tooth and the accompanying adult or permanent tooth can both be seen, the baby tooth should be removed quickly. You do not want the baby tooth to deflect the permanent tooth into an incorrect position. Also, when two teeth occupy the space meant for one tooth, food accumulates between them and periodontal disease and discomfort occur. Removing baby teeth typically requires anesthesia so the the baby tooth can be removed completely.
A red #1 baby tooth is pushing the blue #2 permanent tooth forward.
The retained baby tooth has been extracted.