Aug 30 2011

Breed Predisposition to Oral Disease: Spotlight on The Boxer

The Boxer currently ranks as one of the most popular dogs in the United States. They are instinctive guardians that love to be with their people. They are also well known for multiple oral health problems. The most common oral health concerns for Boxers are: supernumerary teeth, impacted teeth, dentigerous cyst, gingival hyperplasia, fibromatous epulis and attrition. Some of these conditions are genetic in nature and cannot be prevented. Treatment depends on the severity of the problem.

Supernumerary teeth:

  • What are supernumerary teeth?

    • teeth which appear in addition to the regular number of teeth
    • the most common supernumerary teeth are the maxillary incisors and first premolars
    • adult dogs should have 42 adult teeth
  • What causes supernumerary teeth?

    • extra adult tooth buds
  • Can extra teeth appear for other reasons?

    • Deciduous teeth are the first teeth a puppy gets. Sometimes they fail to leave when the adult teeth erupt.
    • Tooth gemination happens when one adult bud tries to split into two. The result in one tooth which appears to have two crowns.
    • Odontomas are tumors that happen when a tooth is forming. They create small unusually shaped teeth.
  • What effect do these teeth have?

    • crowding, rotation and displacement of teeth which predisposes to periodontal disease
  • How is it diagnosed?

    • Step 1: count the teeth
    • Step 2: take dental radiographs even if there are 42 adult teeth; sometimes extra teeth are impacted
  • How is it treated?

    • If the extra teeth are likely to cause periodontal disease then the offenders should be extracted.
    • If no adverse effects are likely then no treatment is needed.
Supernumerary second premolar

Supernumerary second premolar


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