This is a great photo of a retained baby tooth from a puppy that we’ve taken out as it didn’t come out naturally when puppy’s underlying adult tooth pushed through. Look at the length of that root! If left in situ, these milk teeth lead to tooth cramming in the mouth which, in turn, can cause the adjacent adult teeth to protrude at unusual angles. Retained milk teeth also encourage plaque build up, when food gets trapped between the retained baby tooth and the dislodged adult tooth, and this can progress to painful tooth decay later down the line.
Retained milk teeth are more common in small breed dogs. A puppy’s baby teeth should have dropped out by 6-7 months of age, so if your puppy is coming in to be neutered this is an ideal opportunity for us to check the mouth and remove retained teeth whist puppy is under anaesthetic. It’s something we’ll look for too at 6 month age checks and when we carry out a vet health check at puppy’s annual vaccinations. Removal of problematic retained milk teeth helps support good long-term dental health!