My Puppy Doesn’t Lose His Milk Teeth – Causes and Treatment

My Puppy Doesn't Lose His Milk Teeth - Causes and Treatment

Dog guardians, especially those of small breeds, frequently go to their veterinarian with the following question: “why hasn’t my dog ​​lost his milk teeth?”. Well, this alteration, known as the persistence of baby teeth, is usually caused by incorrect birth of the permanent teeth and it requires short-term treatment to avoid future oral problems.

You ask yourself “Why is my dog ​​not losing his milk teeth? ? If so, we recommend that you continue reading this article from PlanèteAnimal in which we tell you absolutely everything about the persistence of baby teeth, its causes and what you can do.

At what age does a puppy lose its teeth?

You probably know that, just like humans, dogs have two dentitions:

  • A temporary or primary dentitioncommonly known as “milk teeth”, which is made up of 28 teeth.
  • A permanent or definitive dentitionmade up of 42 teeth.

The process of replacing primary dentition with permanent dentition begins approximately in the third month of life and ends between the sixth and seventh month of life of the animal. From this moment, the persistence of milk teeth will be considered as a pathological alteration.

Why isn’t my dog ​​losing his baby teeth?

When, after the usual period of change of dentition, the milk teeth do not fall out and the permanent teeth grow, there is coexistence of the two dentitions in the oral cavity of the dog, which results in the appearance of a double rows of teeth in dogs. It is this phenomenon that is called the persistence of milk teeth. This alteration in the change of teeth can affect any breed of dog, but it is however more common. in small breeds and dwarf breeds. The most commonly affected teeth are the canines (fangs), followed by the incisors and premolars.

The cause that gives rise to the persistence of milk teeth is theincorrect eruption of permanent teethwhich may be due to:

  • Growth of the permanent tooth in the wrong direction : which means that it does not exert sufficient pressure on the root of the milk tooth and, therefore, it is not reabsorbed. Thus, a double dentition would be observed in the puppy or the adult dog.
  • Migration of the germ from the permanent tooth : the germ of the tooth is the set of cells that form in the embryonic period to give rise to the future permanent tooth. When this germ migrates to an abnormal position, it will not grow the root of the baby tooth, which will prevent it from resorbing.
  • Dental agenesis : congenital absence of one or more teeth due to the absence of formation of the dental germ during the embryonic period. Since there is no permanent tooth, it will not press on the milk tooth and cause it to resorb.

It should be mentioned that the persistence of milk teeth must be differentiated from polyodontics. In polyodontics, a double row of teeth is also observed in dogs, but in this case it is not a question of the persistence of milk teeth, but of an excess of teeth.

What to do when a dog does not lose his baby teeth?

The persistence of milk teeth predisposes to the appearance of various oral pathologies :

  • periodontal disease : the coexistence of the two types of dentition promotes the deposition of bacterial plaque and dental calculus, leading to premature periodontal disease in dogs, with gingivitis and periodontitis included.
  • Painful malocclusion : the persistence of milk teeth prevents the correct placement of the permanent teeth, which causes an inadequate occlusion between the upper arch and the lower arch.
  • Gingival, palatal and dental trauma : Improper placement of the teeth causes repeated trauma that can injure the oral mucosa and the teeth.
  • Tooth fractures : the inadequate contact of certain teeth with others causes abnormal wear which weakens the teeth and predisposes them to fractures.

That is why, as soon as it is detected that the dog does not lose its milk teeth, an accurate diagnosis must be made by means of dental x-rays. After that, the pieces of persistent baby teeth should be removed as soon as possible, under general anesthesia of the specimen. These surgeries are often complicated by the fact that fracture of the root of baby teeth and injury of permanent teeth are common. Therefore, it is essential that the extraction be performed by a veterinarian who specializes in canine dentistry.

Extraction of baby teeth in dogs should be done as soon as possible, as the chances of the permanent teeth moving into the correct position decreases over time and orthodontic treatment will be required. In addition, the delay in extraction will gradually aggravate the consequences of the persistence of milk teeth.

Finally, it is important that you consider the following recommendations. Until your dog has completely replaced his teeth, it is important that you frequently explore his oral cavity to monitor his dental replacement and thus be able to detect any alteration in this process prematurely. If this is the case, do not hesitate to go to your trusted veterinarian as soon as possible to find a quick solution to the problem. Also, once the tooth replacement is complete, remember the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene in your dog.

My Puppy Won't Lose His Baby Teeth - Causes and Treatment - What to Do When a Dog Doesn't Lose His Baby Teeth?

This article is purely informative, on PlanèteAnimal we do not have the skills to prescribe veterinary treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to take your animal to the veterinarian if it shows symptoms of feverishness or illness.

If you want to read more articles like My Puppy Doesn’t Lose His Milk Teeth – Causes and Treatmentwe recommend that you consult the Other health problems section.


  • Castejón, A., de la Morena, M., San Román, F., Fernández, JM, San Román, F. (2016). Odontopediatric canina y felina. Clin. Vet, Peq, Anim; 36(2);79-89
  • Fernandez, JM (2014). Dentistry in the clinical diaria. Association of Veterinarians Spanish Specialists in Pequeños Animales.

My Puppy Doesn’t Lose His Milk Teeth – Causes and Treatment

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