Extra or Missing Teeth
It is not uncommon to notice missing teeth when examining otherwise healthy looking dogs' and cats' mouths.
|The picture shows a dog with Missing upper premolar teeth..|
The image below is another example of missing teeth shown by the blue arrows.
It is obviously important to rule out possible past dental disease. Is there a record of previous extractions? Is there a possibility of FORLs having led to the loss of tooth crowns? Radiography is usually invaluable in helping to diagnose these cases.
In the cases where the tooth genuinely appears to be missing it is important not to just ignore it. The tooth may be trapped in its eruption - or may have other developmental abnormalities. These may lead to the development of a large cystic structure - this can expand and cause jaw fractures to occur.
As a rule all missing teeth should be radiographed.
Extra (supernumerary) Teeth
Extra Teeth (or supernumerary teeth) should be differentiated from Retained Temporary / Milk Teeth. If they are genuine extra teeth - they may require extraction if they lead to crowding of the teeth - which would result in the encouragement of periodontal disease.
|The picture shows a dog with a supernumerary incisor. The "extra" tooth is identified as "2?" on the image.|
The image below shows that the problems can occur in cats as well. The "double" tooth is arrowed. The close proximity means that periodontal disease is inevitable. One of the teeth needs to be removed. Which one would you extract?
As a rule all extra teeth should be carefully evaluated.
Did You Know?
Spot the Lesion
Colour changes to the tooth and pimple to the gum - a tooth root abscess.