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Baby Tooth Blues

12 week old Bingo has a tooth problem which we often find in new puppies. It can be easily missed so we need to be examining our puppies carefully. 

One of her baby teeth is coming up in the wrong direction and causing a painful mouth.

Bingo came in to Pittwater Animal Hospital at 12 weeks old for her Free New Puppy Health Check and saw Dr Trudie Vestey. Our vets always examine puppies mouths very carefully.

Bingo’s left canines were growing in perfect position.

Left Lower Canine Tooth sitting in normal position.

However, her right lower canine was sitting too deeply in the mouth and digging painfully into the roof of the mouth.

Right Lower Canine Tooth digging into the roof of the mouth.
Painful ulcer in the roof of the mouth

This orthodontic disorder can cause a variety of problems.

  • Pain makes it difficult to examine the mouth
  • This chronic pain can also cause behaviour changes
  • Often the adult teeth will follow the path of the deciduous (baby) teeth causing life long orthodontic problems with the pain and discomfort that follows.

Bingo was booked in very quickly to have the problem tooth removed. On the day of the procedure she was cared for by Dr Jill King.

  • Bingo had a sedative and pain relief on arrival.
  • An intravenous catheter was placed and a blood test performed.
  • Bingo was then safely anaesthetised.
  • The right lower canine was extracted. This is a particularly delicate procedure.
    • It is extremely important not to damage the adult lower canine still hiding below the gum line.
    • Deciduous teeth are extremely fragile and fracture easily.
    • Two thirds of the tooth is buried below the gum line which make extraction of the tooth with root intact extremely difficult. (If the root is retained, as a baby tooth it will thankfully resorb.)
Tooth extracted intact!
  • Bingo was given a pain relief injection before she woke up.
  • The nursing team at Pittwater Animal Hospital monitored little Bingo very carefully after her anaesthetic. She went home that afternoon with more pain relief to be given in her food for the next three days. (All our inpatients are sent home with pain relief if required at no extra cost.)
  • A full explanation of aftercare was given when Bingo was discharged.

Bingo will be much happier without that painful tooth problem.

As the adult lower canines start to erupt we will encourage Bingo’s owners to have her play with a ball toy slightly wider than the width between her lower canines. Tug-toy play with a ball is very helpful. This will encourage the adult teeth to sit wider in the mouth and can hopefully avoid further orthodontic problems.