Retained Puppy Teeth
A retained or persistent deciduous (baby) tooth is one that is still present despite the eruption of the permanent tooth (between three to seven months of age). This can cause the permanent teeth to erupt in abnormal positions, resulting in an incorrect bite pattern (or how the upper and lower teeth fit together when biting or chewing). Retained deciduous teeth may also cause overcrowding of teeth, accidental bites into the palate, or an abnormal jaw position.
As with most oral issues, early recognition and immediate dental care is essential to prevent permanent damage. Unfortunately, it often goes undiagnosed until later in life.
Retained deciduous teeth are more common in dogs, though it does occur in cats. It often affects smaller breeds of dog, including the Maltese, Poodles, Yorkshire Terriers, and Pomeranian.