Oct 13 2011

Breed Predisposition to Oral Disease: The Boxer Finale


  • What is attrition?

    • The wearing away of a tooth as a result of tooth-to-tooth contact
  • What causes attrition?

    • Malocclusions or “bad bites” which cause teeth to rub against other teeth
    • In Boxers the maxillary incisors usually rub on the inner surface of the mandibular canines or incisors
  • Is attrition the only cause of tooth wear?

    • Tooth abrasion is the pathologic wearing away of the tooth by rubbing
    • Aggressive tooth brushing, bruxism (grinding teeth), excessive gnawing on fur, tennis balls and kennel doors can cause tooth abrasion
    • Tooth fracture is the forceful breaking of a tooth as a result of trauma
    • Hard objects and head injury usually cause tooth fractures.
    • Tooth erosion is the loss of tooth surface caused by chemical action
    • Excessive vomiting or home made diets high in acids can cause tooth erosion
  • What effect does attrition have?

    • Slow attrition causes the teeth to become shorter, have sharp edges and turn dark in color.
    • Constant pressure may cause the pulp to become inflamed and kill the tooth.
    • Rapid attrition causes pulp exposure, pulp infection and abscessed teeth.
  • How is it diagnosed?

    • Step 1: Know that all pure bred Boxers are “designed” to have a malocclusion. Attrition is a built-in certainty that comes with the breed.
    • Step 2: Take dental radiographs to confirm that the teeth are still alive and healthy inside.
  • How is it treated?

    • If diagnosed early, inflamed pulp can be prevented by selective extraction of the teeth that are causing the trauma.
    • If diagnosed late, any teeth that are infected should have root canal therapy or be surgically extracted.
    • The worn teeth may also be sealed or restored with tooth colored fillings and metal crowns depending on how deep the attrition goes.
Maxillary incisors on mandibular canines

Maxillary incisors on mandibular canines

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