« Get a Second Opinion. | Main | Bug-Eyed Dog is Bug-Eyed no more. »

July 27, 2007


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


I have a 6 month old Chihuahua puppy and I just noticed over the weekend that his permanent teeth are coming in sort of behind his "baby teeth". I'm taking him to the vet this week to have it looked at, but I have a feeling he's going to need at least a few teeth pulled. Is this common in small breed dogs? I've never heard of it before this.



This is pretty common. We used to wait until the dog was having some other procedure to take these out. Unfortunately, by that time, the permanent teeth are probably in the wrong place. If those permanent teeth are half-way in and the baby teeth are still feeling solid, those baby teeth should be extracted right away.

Thanks for reading.


I know that with dogs, retained deciduous teeth are a concern around 6-8 months of age. Is the same true with kittens? I've been checking my kitten's teeth every week or so, but it's been about 10 days since I last looked, and today I noticed his upper adult canines are in about halfway, and the babies haven't fallen out. He was neutered about 3 weeks ago, so it's too late have them pulled when that gets done, and I'd hate to have to put him under again this soon just for those two teeth.


The situation would be similar, but I do not recall ever having seen a cat with retained deciduous teeth. Lowers would be more of a concern than uppers. As the permanent teeth continue to emerge, check for mobility of the baby teeth. If you can wiggle them, I think you'll not have a problem.

Thanks for reading and writing.


Hi Doc
I have two 6 month old kittens. I have not noticed my female losing any of her teeth but I was checking my males mouth and noticed that both canines adult teeth are growing in but the baby ones haven't fallen out. The adult ones are barely coming in(I can see them) so will he lose the baby one still? Or should I take him to the vet?


Hello, Cherie,

If you can just barely see the tips of the permanent fangs showing, it's too soon to get worried. If the baby teeth are still present when the permanent fangs get more than halfway in, then you would wish to have those baby teeth extracted.

Not sure what "halfway" is? You may have to go to your veterinarian in that case, just to check.

The problem is much less common in cats than in dogs, so you probably won't have to worry about it.

Thanks for reading and writing.


My toy poodle pup is going on 7 months old, his adult teeth are pretty much out, but his baby teeth are still solid. what should i do?


Hello, Mike,

This is not an emergency, but you should make an appointment with your veterinarian to get the retained baby teeth extracted. The sooner this is done, the fewer problems you will have.

Thanks for reading and writing.


I have a 20 week old boston terrier who is quite small for his age (only about 6 lbs). His ears began curling backward at about 14 weeks of age, and therefore I thought that he had begun teething. (They later restraightened out at about 17 weeks). However, when I took him to my vet about a week ago, she noticed that his BABY teeth (especially the incisors) had completely erupted yet! She also noticed that his adult molars were starting to come in. She was concerned about the fact that his baby teeth hadn't even fully erupted yet at this age. How likely is it that I may have a puppy who does not have adult teeth under his deciduous teeth? What other dental problems can I expect due to his delayed development?


Hello, Heather,

I'm no dental expert. Dental X-rays would be needed to see what's going on there. With that information, your regular veterinarian would then be able to consult a veterinary dental specialist.

Your dog may just be a "late bloomer" or there may be significant developmental abnormalities. Sometimes deciduous (baby) teeth need to be extracted early.

Without dental X-rays, you just won't know.

Good luck.


My partner and I have a very outgoing 5 month old male kitten. I found one of his baby teeth on the floor the other day and decided to check out the rest of his teeth.

When I looked, I noticed he had double canine teeth on the top row of his teeth, on both sides. I was wondering if this will cause him any problems, as both teeth seem to be about the same size. I was also wondering what we should do about this and whether we should act now, or wait a month or two to see if the problem resolves itself?


Hello, Kathryn,

The top teeth cause less problems than the bottom canine teeth. If the bottom canine teeth are double, it usually makes the permanent fangs come up into the roof of the mouth.

With double top fangs, the permanent fang can come in too far forward, leaving less room for the bottom fang. Even if the teeth are meshing together okay, those two teeth being in the space meant for one will accumulate a lot of debris and tartar, causing gum disease that need not take place.

If the bottom canine teeth are coming in okay without interference, then there is no urgency in dealing with the top teeth. If there is interference, then the retained baby teeth should be extracted as soon as possible to allow the other teeth to find their normal spots.

If no interference, then I'd watch for a few weeks. Those baby upper canine teeth may go ahead and loosen. If you have double teeth a month from now and the baby tooth isn't loose at all, it should be extracted by your veterinarian.

Thanks for reading and writing.


Hi Doc!

Quick question...
I had one of my chihuahuas upper canines (baby tooth) removed when she was spayed yesterday. No adult tooth had started to come in, but she has all her others. Is there a chance she might not have an adult tooth come in? And how long will it take to not bother her? Or heal completely? She is 11 months and Im feeding her canned dog food until it seems to feel better. Im giving her baby tylenol for her tummy as well... Thanks so much!!



Hello, Kari,

Most permanent teeth erupt by the time the dog is six months old. It is possible that there just is no permanent tooth there, but it may be up under the gums and misdirected. A dental X-ray is the only way to tell.

After removal of a baby tooth, most dogs will be free of pain in just a few days. By the time you finish treating her post-op pain for the hysterectomy, her tooth will probably be fine, as well.

Sorry I couldn't be of more help. Talk to your veterinarian about this.

Pharmacy Drugstore

Congratulations on your page, it is really interesting

no prescription needed

hey really nice site,.. i like your writting style


My vet removed my 6 month old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel's upper canines when he neutered him last week. They cauterized the gums after extraction. This was on Friday. On Sunday, I noticed that the gum on the left side was eroded and very angry looking. I took him back to the vet the next day and he debrided the area and removed a small bone chip (my regular vet did not do the surgery, an associate did). He said to keep an eye on it and that it should heal pretty rapidly. The gum does seem to be healing but you can see the entire tooth up to where the lip meets the gum line. The gum is entirely gone above 3/4 of he tooth. Will this grow back?


Hello, "Mom",

I have difficulty advising you, in that I cannot see the patient. I am afraid that I may not be accurate in mentally visualizing what you describe.

If indeed the root of the permanent canine tooth were exposed, you would actually have had to remove bone as well as gum tissue. It seems very unlikely that bone would have been destroyed during the extraction of the baby tooth.

I would recommend that you have your veterinarian recheck the area in a few days. It is possible that things are not as bad as you fear. Quite frankly, most pet-owners are not used to looking at surgical sites, and often mis-estimate (both better or worse) the severity of the problem.

If the situation actually IS as bad as you make it sound, it is very possible that some grafting surgery would need to be performed.

You really need to let your veterinarian re-examine the dog in a few days.

Good luck.

los angeles porcelain veneers

I agree with this there are lots of good reasons to take dental X-rays when you're working on a pet's teeth, but I'm only going to talk about one of them today,Keep posting!



My yorkie is about 3 yrs old and has a baby tooth ontop of his left botton fang...its loose! Will it fall out by itself? Also its very discolored which really worries me but he doesn't seem to be in any pain!? Should I just let it fall out?


Hello, Monica,

The discoloration could be some tartar accumulation, but since the tooth is loose, it has no root attachment and is dead. This would also cause discoloration.

The tooth itself is not painful (like a toothache), but since it is loose, when it gets moved around, that probably hurts the gums a little bit.

If it is obviously loose and moving around, it will probably come out eventually on its own. However, if it has been there for three years, there may be some damage to the gums around the permanent tooth.

I would advise you to let your veterinarian check out the dog's mouth.

Thanks for reading and writing.


Hello! I was wondering if you could give me some advice. My doxie is over a year old now. She has two canines growing in the same spot- (One baby and one adult) The vet-tech told me not worry about it when I had her spayed, but now she is digging at it and I think it's causing her a lot of pain!? Should I get her in as soon as possible or is this not a serious matter? Thanks!


Hello, Jamie,

I think that the original advice you received is pretty standard, and what most folks would have said ( including me).

However, since the the dog seems bothered by it, that changes the situation. The dog's discomfort is the game-changer here.

I do recommend that you make an appointment to get her mouth checked and get the problem handled.

Good luck.


Our 6 month old cat was neutered today. When I picked him up the vet showed me where his LOWER canines are growing into his upper jaws. He referred me to a specialist in a neighboring state. I am very anxious. Will the problem be correctable and will I be able to afford the procedures. The first office visit will be $135. Has anyone ever heard of this? I would some insight.


Hello, Patty,

I have not seen this in cats. It is not uncommon in dogs. Many dogs (especially toy breeds) fail to shed the deciduous ("baby") canine teeth. They occupy the space needed by the permanent teeth, forcing the permanent teeth to come in at a wrong angle. This can cause the lower canines to come up into the roof of the mouth, rather than out into the groove between the upper canine teeth and out incisor teeth, where they belong.

With the help of a dental specialist's advice, I have successfully (on ONE dog) created an acrylic plate across the roof of the mouth. A wedge shape was part of the plate. As the dog closed his mouth, the wedge would force his canine teeth toward the place they needed to be. This is much less complicated than "braces", but is still a pretty big deal.

As the teeth began to move, I would have to reshape the plate to keep them moving to where they needed to go. This would involve light anesthesia while I added acrylic, or removed it with a dremel tool.

If you don't get this fixed those teeth poke him in the roof of the mouth, which is constantly painful. The teeth could be extracted, I suppose, but I would follow the advice of the dental specialist.

Good luck.


Thank you for your quick response and for sharing you expertise. Yogi's lower canines are actually poking into his upper gums. I asked about extracting the lower canines and my vet is concerned about it being a complex procedure which could possibly result in breaking the lower jaw. He also mentioned doing a pulp....? I will post again as soon as I learn more. Again, thank you for your post.


We went to a veterinary dental specialist today to have Yogi evaluated. Yogi will have surgery next Wednesday. The least invasive solution will be to cut away part of the upper gum. As the gum heals, it will accommodate his misplaced lower canines. The other two procedures both require two surgeries. One adds a temporary "cap" that extends the canine teeth and will help them clear the gum area. The last alternative will be to break off the teeth and fill them. Number three does not sound like a good alternative to me (too much chance for infection, lost fillings, etc.)

Anyhow, your site is a huge blessing. Most of my friends think I am crazy to spend this much money on "a cat" but not only does he bring joy to our lives, he is our responsibility and deserves to live a quality life free of mouth pain.


Yogi's surgery was successfully completed yesterday. The doctor was able to cut out enough upper gum tissue on both sides of his mouth to make room for the misplaced lower canines. The doctor told me that everything fits. (Yogi hasn't let me peek inside his mouth long enough to see how his teeth fit, but I will try this afternoon during his nap time.)

Again, I want to thank you for creating this site. I have been quite stressed over this whole dental issue and your input helped significantly as we waited.


Hello, Patty,

Thanks for the update. I'm glad to hear that Yogi is doing well, and also glad that you feel I was helpful to you.

Best wishes.


My 7 month old german shepherd puppy has all her adult teeth in. However, she has two incisors on the bottom middle that seem smaller then the rest.
Will these grow in proportion or could there be a problem.



Hello, Mary,
Once the teeth are erupted, they don't really grow in size. They just finish growing/erupting all the way into the mouth, above the gum-line. They aren't going to get any bigger in diameter.

I am concerned that these may be deciduous incisors that failed to shed. I would recommend that you let your veterinarian take a quick look at the dog's mouth. Dental radiographs may be necessary to determine if these are preventing the permanent teeth from erupting.

Good luck.

Seattle Dentist

I agree. Dental X ray is proven to works on pets teeth.

Linelle Lane

My 5-mo. old kitten has shark mouth: upper baby fangs + adult fangs side by side. When I read this, I freaked out and called the vet. They told me not to worry and if the baby teeth hadn't come out by 7-8 months, they should be extracted.


Hello, Linelle,

No need to freak out. The biggest problem is if the lower fangs appear to be heading toward the roof of the mouth instead of the groove between the teeth where they belong.

At five months, they may still come out on their own.

Do watch to see where those bottom canine teeth are headed.

Thanks for reading and writing.



My 2year old yorkie x pomeranian still has 2 of her baby fangs (she did have a third until a few weeks ago but my partner knocked it and loosened it by accident) her breath smells terrible and between the adult teeth and the baby teeth she gets a sort of rank smelling grey almost fabric type goop, I do brush her teeth but it still gathers and her breath seems to smell worse than ever! Do you think this is due to these remaining baby teeth and should I have my vet take a look at them


Hello, Toni,

When those baby teeth are not shed, you have two teeth occupying the space of one. They are very close together and catch a lot of crud.

This will eventually produce significant gum disease, in addition to the odor.

Those baby teeth should be extracted by your veterinarian, and the other teeth checked for plaque and tartar under the gum-line.

The longer you wait, the more chance that there will be damage to the permanent teeth in their attachment to the gums.

Thanks for reading and writing.


Hi Doc,

Thanx for such a quick reply, I will call my vet tomorrow and arrange to have Flossy looked at (I'm in the UK so it 's too late to call him now) I will keep you updated!


My Malichon has two sets of lower canine teeth both baby teeth have retained on the bottom, He is 6 months old and Im not sure if they will come out on there own or not. What should I do? Should I wait to see if the will fall out or should I take him to his Vet?


Hello, Rose,

If these teeth do not feel loose, then I would recommend removal. Leaving them in place can cause the permanent teeth to erupt in such a way that they wind up bumping other teeth or the roof of the mouth. This is constantly painful.

See your veterinarian.

Thanks for reading and writing.


Hi! I have an almost 7 month old kitten. I am almost positive her baby teeth have never fallen out, but it doesn't look like her teeth are needing to fall out. Is there any way to really tell if they are their baby teeth? (And she was not happy when I was checking her mouth a minute ago. I have a wonderful bite on my finger now.)

Also, I have an almost 6 month old chihuahua puppy, and we have started calling him shark dog because he has so many double teeth. Do you have any advice about this? It would be much appreciated.

Thank you so much!


Hello, Tia,

If you don't see any doubling of teeth in the kitten, then you don't need to worry about it.

In the shark dog, having those baby teeth on top of the permanent teeth causes a lot of crud to get caught. If you don't have the teeth bumping into one another (and being painful), you will get premature gum disease because of all the debris that gets caught.

Those baby teeth should be extracted. If you're planning on having him neutered, that could probably be done under the same anesthetic, depending on how many they are.

Talk to your veterinarian about this. It's not harmless.

Nancy Owens

Hi Doc, I love this web site!
I sold a pup with narrow canine jaw, my vet didn't catch it on the exam, and owners vet said to pull the baby teeth. Is this the best thing to do? And can I call around and get prices for the job to save some money or do I need a specialist?


Hello, Nancy,
I'm not such an expert that I can make that call without seeing the pet.

Generally speaking, if the permanent tooth is erupting, the baby tooth needs to come out. You should not have two teeth in one spot.

Extraction of the baby teeth should not require a dental specialist.

If the pet is so young (less than four months) that no permanent teeth should be erupting yet, then I would seek some more information as to the necessity of extracting teeth at this point.

I really cannot give you more specific advice in my ignorance of the data, and without seeing the dog.

I hope this is helpful to you.


Hi doc, i just took my 7week old stander poodle to the vet for his first set of vaccine and the veterinary noticed his bottom fangs were growing into his roof of his mouth.the doc said this is really serious, all i was thinking was $$$$ how much is going to cost me now. Can u you tell me is this a serious problem im facing and is it going to be expansive? Thank u


Hi Doc,

My mini schnauzer is approx 6.5-7.5 months old. It appears all of his adult teeth are in. Many of his baby teeth were slow to come out, but they all have except for one. It is on the top and is inside of the second molar from the back. It dangles and kind of hangs and rubs against the corresponding molar. It's discolored and smelly. Will I probably need to have this removed surgically or might it still fall out on its own? I wiggle it daily but nothing improves.



Hello, Sue,

It is always difficult to make an accurate assessment without seeing the pet.

From your description, it sounds like the remains of the baby tooth crown are still sort of stuck to the gums, even though the roots have dissolved and are now gone.

It will probably fall out on its own before too long. You can keep wiggling it if the dog doesn't mind too much.

If it just keeps hanging there, let your veterinarian take a look at it.

Braces in Fort Collins

This is very enlightening especially that I am leaning towards having a pet soon. Kudos for sharing!


My 5 month old border terrier jumped up and knocked one of his incisors (I think, it's the tooth just in front of his biggest fang) this morning. I'm pretty sure that it was an adult tooth, but we couldn't find it. It wasn't such a hard knock -he was jumping up to say hello and his tooth banged my tooth- mine was sore but no blood, however he was bleeding. If it was an adult tooth, can anything be done?
Many thanks!


Hello, Karen,

That must have been one heck of a knock.

Your veterinarian should be able to tell you if the remaining teeth are baby teeth or permanent teeth (as we would expect at that age). That would be one way to tell what type of tooth was lost.

If you cannot find the tooth, then we don't know if it was knocked out or broken off (and of course, you can't re-implant it if you can't find it - re-implantation is pretty iffy anyway, unless the tooth is carefully handled and the procedure done right away).

If knocked completely out, the gums will heal, even if not sutured (though faster if sutured). If broken off, the root needs to be extracted.

No way to tell without a dental X-ray, so that's what is needed. Not an emergency, but should be handled as soon as it is practical.

Thanks for reading and writing.


My kitten is about 3 or 4 months old. It's hard to tell as I found her in a back alley when she was around 5-8 weeks old. Her adult bottom fang has seemed to grow in now, but I've just noticed that her baby fang is now sitting to the side of her gums. It's not in the way of the adult fang and it doesn't bother her. I can't tell if its loose cause she doesn't like her mouth being touched as any cat doesn't. I have an apointment with the vet on Sept 17 for her vaccines. Do you think it'll fall out? Since she is only about 3-4 months still?


Hello, this is an edit to the above. The bottom baby fang fell out but I just checked all her other teeth and noticed the baby upper fang is still there next to the adult fang. Should I just wait it out?


Hello, Elizabeth,

I believe I would wait on it, if the teeth appear to be in normal alignment. I have never seen a cat with retained baby teeth (very common in toy breed dogs). It will probably fall out like the bottom one did. If not, it can be extracted later. The top one doesn't cause nearly the problems that the bottom one does.

Thanks for reading and writing.

Detra'na Brown

My cat broke his tooth but it hasn't fallen out yet it jus sticks out and its really loose I can move and wiggle it he's still playing and chewing on things but it hasn't came out. So can I pull it out? Or what should I do?? I need help!!


Hello, Detra'na,

If it is so loose that the cat would let you pull it out, that would probably be okay. I am worried that if you try this you may get bitten, as it may hurt the cat when you try.

I am concerned that there will be part of the tooth root still in his gums. That will need to be removed, as it would be very likely to abscess later.

If you do get the tooth out, save it so that your veterinarian can see it. He/she may be able to tell if the whole tooth came out.

This will need some attention from your veterinarian


how do you know if the tooth is a baby tooth or an adult tooth coming in. pup is 6 months old and a gsd


the tooth is very white and you cant wiggle it


Hello, Janis,

The adult teeth are larger in diameter, and not so sharp.

If you would like to send photos to me, go to the www.kennettvet.com and us the "contact us" page.


Hi, I have a 1 year old chihuahua, and her adult teeth are in but still have some baby teeth in. The top is a clear two sets of teeth (adult and baby in front) the baby teeths are shrinking, will they fall out on their own or will I need to take her asap to a vet? As for her bottom, there are a few baby teeth but they look like crowded. I'm getting worried, as I didnt pull it out when she got spayed only because she had over 10 baby teeth at top, and 10 at bottom. So I waited, and some has fallen out on their own but not all. With all this said, my friend who has my puppys father, she said the father's baby teeth did not all fall out until about 14 months. And his teeth are fine. Should I wait?


Hello, Poi,

If they feel loose and wiggly, then they will probably come out. Most of the time (despite your friend's experience), if they haven't come out on their own by now, they are unlikely to do so.

When they are all doubled up like that, they catch a lot of junk and cause gum disease. You really could be compromising the long term health health of her permanent teeth.

I would have them extracted. With the exception of the fangs, the rest of them have pretty small roots, so it should be a relatively quick procedure with rapid healing.


Thanks for your quick response Doc. Majority of her baby teeth are loose, and some are shrinking. I will be taking your advice and going to take them out! thanks!

Tonnie Bland

My 7 month old Norwich male lost a lower tooth nect to his canine today. The tooth was small and may have been a baby tooth. I do not see an adult tooth coming in. Could an adult tooth still come in?


Hello, Tonnie,

Sometimes there is no adult tooth developing, which would be a birth defect.

Sometimes it is there, but just doesn't come in. I would be surprised if it erupted later than this.

Also, it is possible that there isn't supposed to be a tooth there. Not seeing the dog's mouth, it is hard to say.

Your veterinarian can examine the mouth, and even take dental X-rays if needed to see what the situation is. Sometimes you really cannot tell without an X-ray.


Hi, I have a 5yr old Yorkie and I found a small molar in my bed last night. I can't see anything out of the ordinardy in her mouth and she appears to have all of her teeth. When she was about 6months old she had doubles of all her fang teeth that I had pulled right away. Could this be a late permanent tooth?


The two things that are most likely are: gum disease has loosened a permanent tooth and it fell out, OR there was another retained baby tooth that finally fell out on its own.

I would recommend that you ask your veterinarian to examine your dog's mouth. If she has gum disease, you want to get it handled as soon as you can so that you don't lose more teeth.

Also, if there is that kind of gum disease, it affects the whole body health status of the animal. It's not dramatic, but it is a constant drag on the system.


hi I almost a 8 month old cat and just noticed the other day hes eating kinda funny. he wouldnt eat much of the dry cat food he would stop after couple bites so I got him canned foods and he ate alot more but he still looks like hes chewing little funny.could this be because hes growing in his adult teeth yet?


Hello, Brittany,

At 8 months of age, all of the permanent teeth should be in already.

You should let your veterinarian examine your cat's mouth. He could have a damaged tooth, or have something lodged in his cheek.

Good luck.


Hello. I have a 6-month-old yorkie, and I've noticed that his adult teeth are growing in while he still has baby teeth. The baby teeth are mostly in the front of his mouth, but it looks like they're making his adult teeth grow in crooked. A few of them are wobbly, so I was wondering if I should wait a few more weeks or if I should take him to the vet.


Hello, Angie,

It would be good to let your veterinarian evaluate him. The baby incisors (the tiny teeth across the front) won't be much of a problem. The baby fangs need to come out. They can cause the permanent teeth to malocclude, causing pain, growing into the roof of the mouth, and so forth.

Elizabeth Leng

If a dogs puppy teeth are crooked, does that have anything to with how the adult teeth will look?


Hello, Elizabeth,

If the puppy teeth are crooked, there may not be enough room for all of them. If so, then there is unlikely to be room for all the permanent teeth when they come in.

While we don't routinely extract these permanent teeth early on, if they are all crowded up and turned crooked, they usually are lost to gum disease later in life. Many of these dogs are "flat faced" and their jaws just aren't long enough for all those teeth. A normal dog (wolf type) has a long, skinny nose, not a short flat one.



My 8 month chihuahua Tia has Retained deciduous teeth & her adult teeth are all in fully grown (all four fangs).

I have called my vet & booked her in for next week, but I am a nervous wreck. Shes 4 1/2lbs in weight & im worried about her going under.

My 16 year old rescued shihtzu has had problems all her life & had to have all but 4 removed, & been in a terrible state with hers.

I guess Im just looking for a bit of reasurance, as shes my baby x


Hello, Jacqueline,

I can appreciate your fears about anesthesia. We all have them. If anesthetic were good for you, you wouldn't lose consciousness.

The procedure is relatively short, even with all four baby teeth to remove. Usually around five minutes or so per tooth is required.

The anesthetic can be pretty light if we block the nerves to the area with local anesthetic. That numbness controls the pain.

I wouldn't have a problem with anesthesia just because she is small. With all our patients we would just have to monitor her carefully while she is under.


I have a 8 month old Pomeranian and she has retained her 2 top fangs. We went to the vet today and I asked about them (not her appt) and they suggested pulling them. They are more clear and discolored then her adult fangs and I was wondering is it still possible they will fall out on their own. They are not loose at all but are discolored a little like they might be dying. Should I try and wiggle them and see if I can get them to loosen. I hate to put her under if I can avoid it.

Everything is lining up ok so no discomfort as far as I can tell.


Hello, Jamie,

If they do not feel loose at all, they probably still have their entire root. The root is twice the size of the tooth you can see. You are unlikely to be able to "wiggle them loose". You might break them off, making extraction of the root rather more complicated.

The anesthesia will not have to be very deep, and the procedure will be pretty short.

If you don't do this now, you can be sure that where these two teeth are jammed so close together that they will accumulate a lot of crud.

You can wait until she needs her teeth cleaned later in life, but you may have some irreversible changes around the permanent teeth if you do.

If you are planning on having her spayed, the teeth could be extracted at that time while she is already under.



I have a 5 month old kitten and I just discovered retention of the deciduous canines in the mandible. The deciduous teeth are wiggly and there is redness around the gums indicating they might come out on their own. The adult teeth are halfway in already. Should I wait a couple of days to see if the deciduous teeth come out on their own? If the teeth do come out on their own, how likely is it that the adult teeth will correct themselves?


Hello, Vanessa,

If they are wiggly, they will come out on their own.

If they felt solid, immovable, that would be a different story, and I would have them extracted at this point.

Since they are wiggly, I predict they will be out in a day or so.


Since he's been teething, I routinely check my mixed-breed puppy's mouth. All has been well - baby teeth disappearing and adult teeth coming through the gums practically overnight. Today I suddenly noticed what looks like another tooth ready to pop through the gum - only it's not the gum - it's toward the center of the roof of his mouth, behind his front teeth! He already got his adult front teeth, first, in fact. I've heard of this in humans, but dogs? He is probably a shih tzu mix, with something a bit larger - he's about 20 lbs. has a regular (wolf-type, as you put it), slightly upturned nose and an underbite. He wasn't due to go back to the vet for almost a year. Our rather pricey vet has a dental vet specialist who cleans teeth, etc., so I'll take him in, of course, when whatever this is grows in, probably in a day or two. Just wondering if you've seen this before and how extensive the surgery would be.


Hello, Joanne,

If the teeth have come in the wrong spot, several things are possible. One is that they won't be so close together that they catch junk, and that they won't bump other teeth. Then it's a big "so what?".

If they are doing either one of those things, then the tooth will probably need to be extracted. Not a huge deal.

Good luck.


Thanks for the reassuring advice. I usually don't panic but my husband also thought it look like a tooth. Today it's looking less white, so less like a tooth ready to erupt. I'm now hopeful that it's just a normal part of the ridge behind the teeth in the roof of the mouth that just got bigger all of a sudden (everything on this puppy gets bigger every day!) - I guess time will tell.


Hello, Joannae,

If it's a fleshy bump in the center, just behind his little middle front teeth (the incisors), it is probably the incisive papilla, a normal structure.

What's it for? Don't know.


Just looked again to make sure and now I'm positive that's what it is! Never noticed it when the teeth were coming in, in any other dogs I've had - but my last two have been Irish Wolfhounds and it was probably a lot smaller in relation to the rest of their mouths. In this little guy it looked big compared to his front incisors. Thank you again so much - you've saved me much worry. Btw, this is a great site - very informative, informal and interesting.


Hello, I have a white miniature Schnauzer puppy who was born July 25, 2014 - Should I be concerned he don't have his incisor teeth and only has two of his top canines? I keep reading that the incisors are the first to grow. Could there be something wrong with my puppy?


Hello, Cheekees,

That would make him about six weeks old, when the puppy normally would have a full set of baby teeth erupted.

Some puppies (especially toy breeds) are late bloomers.

I wouldn't get too upset at this point. Give him another couple of weeks.

He should be seeing his veterinarian for his first vaccinations soon (after weaning, six to eight weeks of age). Let your doctor check him over.


I have a teacup Chihuahua that will be 1 in a week and her top fangs on her left side haven't come back in. She eats fine but should I be worried?


Hello, Jolie,

I wouldn't really be worried about this. Sometimes there is no tooth there, and sometimes it is impacted and not erupting through the gums like it should.

You cannot tell which without a dental X-ray, which requires anesthesia (just because they won't hold still with a film in their mouth otherwise).

If she feels okay, I wouldn't be worried.

Keira Connor

I have a multi poo about 7 months old, all her teeth are in except 1/2 of her bottom teeth are missing. Could they come in later?


Hello, Keira,

Toy breeds are often "late bloomers". They could definitely come in later.

It is also possible that some of her teeth just haven't developed. If they don't come in over the next few months, then a dental X-ray would tell you what is going on.


I'm sure you have gone over this before, but my 4 year old Chihuahua has a tendency to chew/suck on my fingers. Today I noticed his bottom right tooth was missing. He still keeps trying to nibble on my fingers though I'm keeping them from him due to germs. Should I be worried more and take him to the vet? He is still eating and acting normal, but I don't know of his comfort level.


Hello, Kerry,

I think the most important thing would be a good check-up to determine whether there are other loose or damaged teeth that need help.


Hi,I have a yorkie-poo that's almost 7 months old. It's been about a month since I've noticed his adult teeth have fully grown in with his 4 baby fangs still there. The other day he was playing and his rope pulled one of them loose and it fell out within hours because he kept licking at it. So now he has 3 retained teeth instead of 4. The tooth that fell out doesn't look like it's broken and also that part of his mouth doesn't seem to be infected, but is there anything I should worry about? I'm planning to have him nuetered and to get the other three pulled out at the same time as soon as possible. Also, I've looked on many websites and they've explained everything well, but I haven't been able to find anything helpful about what current symptoms puppies face because of retained teeth. Like if they chew more, have trouble eating, and how it affects their mood, behavior, and habits. Any information you can give me would be greatly appreciated.


Hello, Destinee,

The bottom baby canine teeth can cause the permanent teeth to go up toward the roof of the mouth, rather than out into the grooves where they belong between the upper teeth.

When those begin to impact the roof of the mouth, it is painful.

The upper teeth tend mostly to catch a lot of junk because the teeth are too close together.

You really should have them extracted.


Thanks for your advice. I'm going to try to get them removed as soon as possible. Do retained teeth cause puppies to chew more than when they are just teething? He chews all the time and and likes to chew on people's fingers even when he's just being petted. How does it affect mood, behavior, and habits?


Hello, Destinee,

I doubt that the teeth have any bearing on the dog's behavior, etc.

You really shouldn't allow the dog to put his mouth on your body or clothing. Licking is okay, but not the mouthing. That "I'm not really biting you" stuff is no good.

David T.


Our Yorkie, age 1 1/2, has a retained deciduous canine right behind her adult canine in the upper left jaw. I've kept the "food trap" between them very clean. Vet never suggested it was an emergency and figured that down the road there will be a time she will actually need to have a dental/ clean and could have an extraction done at that time.

Much to my surprise - over the last few days the deciduous tooth (behind the adult tooth) - changed color, started wobbling, and now looks like it's just hanging on by a tiny bit of skin. (There's also just a little bit of blood.)

Our dog has absolutely zero discomfort with the tooth as far as I can tell - lets me touch it, no prob eating, etc.

I have a call in to our vets and waiting to see if she wants me to bring our Yorkie in - but it sounded like this wasn't an obvious emergency for them so I'm waiting to hear back.

In any case, my question - how common/ uncommon is it for a retained deciduous tooth to fall out this late (age 1 1/2 years!)? Have we lucked out and avoided an extraction? (This is her only retained baby tooth).

Thanks! I enjoy your website!


Hi! I've got a five year old beagle basset mix, and it looks like she still has her baby teeth n back, and the adult teeth are trying to push their way up. We sort of discovered this when she refused to eat anything "hard". We live in Mexico, and finding a vet who knows anything about this is difficult.


Hello, David,

You're right, it is unusual for it to come out on its own after that length of time.

On the other hand, I doubt that it will be a problem. It is certainly not an emergency.

Your veterinarian is the person best equipped to advise you about your dog. I suspect that no action will be needed, though.


Hello, Phil,

You may be describing this accurately, but it's hard for me to visualize.

It's hard for me to believe that a five-years-old dog is suddenly having trouble with teeth coming in. I would be much more concerned that something else is going on, possibly a broken tooth.

Sorry I can't do a long-distance remedy for you.

Maz ford

Hello, we have a 10 month old Working Lakeland cross JRT, I have spoken to our vet twice now regarding his baby tooth that is still present with his adult tooth in front of it. They said it was fine and not to worry. He has just been in under a general anaesthetic for a lump removal off his back leg, so they could have done it then as he was under. It's not very fair on the little man going under again, is it likely to come out on its own now or do you think it will need removing?


Hello, Maz,

You don't say which tooth it is. The biggest problem with an upper tooth would be just catching a lot of dirt because the teeth are so close together, and this does lead to gum disease.

A bottom baby canine tooth (fang) can make the permanent fang come up in the wrong place and be painful.

If it has not come out by 10 months, it probably won't come out on its own. The teeth will need cleaning at some point, and it can be extracted then.

I don't know how long the patient was anesthetized for the other procedure, or what other factors may have been involved, so I cannot say whether that would have been a good time to extract the tooth.


Hello , my dog is 5 yeas old and her teeth has not fallen out before . Today , we got hit on the jaw and one of her teeth fell out . The teeth was already shaking . Will it still grow ?

The comments to this entry are closed.