Persistent deciduous teeth

From Dog
Persistent maxillary deciduous canine tooth in a dog[1]

Deciduous teeth (temporary, milk teeth), which are normally shed in dogs at 3 - 6 months of age, are termed persistent if they are still present as the permanent tooth erupts.

This dental disease primarily affects the canine teeth, but can also affects the incisors, premolars or carnassial teeth. Persistent deciduous teeth may occur bilaterally or unilaterally, depending on cause.

Causes include:

In most dogs with persistent deciduous teeth, incorrect eruption path results in failure of the permanent tooth to dislodge the deciduous tooth, leading to deformation of the angle of the permanent tooth, resultant malocclusion, dental overcrowding, traumatic pulpitis and a predisposition to debris accumulation, resulting in infections, gingivitis and periodontitis.

Diagnosis is usually based on visual inspection of teeth and radiographic findings which exclude other causes such as odontodystrophy, nutritional secondary hyperparathyroidism and oral tumors[4].

Treatment usually involves extraction of the deciduous tooth.


  2. Lewis JR et al (2010) Dental abnormalities associated with X-linked hypohidrotic ectodermal dysplasia in dogs. Orthod Craniofac Res 13(1):40-47
  3. Gracis M et al (2000) Dental and craniofacial findings in eight miniature schnauzer dogs affected by myotonia congenita: preliminary results. J Vet Dent 17(3):119-127
  4. Niemiec BA (2008) Oral pathology. Top Companion Anim Med 23(2):59-71