Teeth overcrowding is not usually diagnosed during puppyhood where the process of deciduous teeth removal and replacement happen. Most owners only take notice that there is something wrong with the teeth alignment of their dogs when the teething stage is already done because they see that there are so many teeth assembled. Puppies age 3 to 7 months experience this and such is the reason why they play bite and don’t seem to stop chewing on anything they see. Teething stage can be stressful and painful for pups at the same time. It is important for an owner to recognize the problems as early as possible so the veterinarian can manage the misalignment or address the pain and swelling in the oral cavity.
When baby teeth are not removed in time for the eruption of the permanent teeth, it results to overcrowding. This is commonly seen in small breeds of dogs such as the Yorkshire Terrier, Maltese, Pomeranian and Poodles. When your pup is around 3-7 months old, check his or her gums weekly for any inflammation, pain and moving baby teeth. Watch out for eruptions of permanent teeth behind, infront or beside the baby teeth. Other problems that usually occur with overcrowding are bad breath, swollen gums, bleeding, or an oronasal fistula – a passage connecting the mouth and nasal cavity that usually seen at the root of the fourth premolar on the upper jaw. Though overcrowding is usually associated with a genetic predisposition, there is no scientific evidence yet that is fully proven to support the cause of overcrowding. One of the first things that your vet may do is to run an xray on the teeth to determine which one is the deciduous and permanent. Then you will be presented a plan that indicates which will be removed and retained upon surgery. Take note that teeth surgeries are bone surgeries that require a deep plane of anesthesia. Your dog must be healthy – with no kidney and liver problems before he or she is subjected to this type of surgery and depth of anesthesia. After the surgery, give your pet soft food and restrict the movement and exercise to allow full healing of the gingival tissues. You will also be prescribed pain, antibiotic medications and oral rinse. The main goal is to allow maximal healing and prevent bacterial proliferation and contamination of the wound.