‘THE SHARK MOUTHED DOG’

Harley, a 6 month old female Yorkshire terrier, was brought into our Leith Walk Surgery for routine neutering. However on clinical examination prior to her general anaesthetic, it was found she had two rather than one rows of teeth at the front of her mouth.

The green arrows are pointing to some of the retained teeth

The green arrows are pointing to some of the retained teeth

Harley’s mouth resembled that of a shark’s mouth with their multiple rows of teeth! So what was this abnormality? Harley had retained deciduous (baby) teeth.

The green arrows are pointing to some of the retained teeth

So what’s the problem with a few extra teeth? A retained 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 (how the upper and lower teeth fit together when biting or chewing). Retained deciduous teeth also cause overcrowding of teeth, resulting in food entrapment and subsequent periodontal disease. Therefore retained deciduous teeth should be removed as soon as possible, taking care not to damage the underlying permanent tooth bud. These teeth have normally fallen out by the time of neutering at 6 months and therefore this is the time we normally remove these teeth as the procedure can be carried out under the same anaesthetic.

Harleys removed teeth

Harleys removed teeth

Harley has 12 retained deciduous teeth removed all together. This was done under general anaesthetic so she was none the wiser for her ordeal.

Harley snuggled in a comfy bed after the dental surgery

Harley snuggled in a comfy bed after the dental surgery

Harley snuggled in a comfy bed after the dental surgery