Dogs have a total of 10 molars: four on the top jaw and six on the bottom. Abnormal molar development in dogs is an oral health issue that occurs when the upper or lower molars do not develop as they should. While this condition can occur with any breed of dog, it is most common in small dogs or those that have extremely short muzzles.
Understanding Abnormal Molar Development in Dogs
Common Symptoms of Molar Problems in Small Dogs
The symptoms that your dog will display if it experiences abnormal molar development depend on the nature and severity of its condition. However, there are several symptoms that you will want to watch for, and if you notice any of them, you should take your pet to a veterinarian right away.
- Receding and/or Bleeding Gums
- Inflamed and/or Painful Gums
- Absence of One or More Adult Molars
- Small, Cone-Shaped Molars
- Dilaceration (Molars Growing at the Wrong Angle)
- Curved Molars
- Obvious Bone Loss in the Jaw
- Root or Pulp Exposure
- Difficulty Eating or Refusing to Eat
Main Causes of Molar Problems in Small Dogs
Abnormal molar development can occur due to a variety of reasons. However, one of the most common reasons for the condition is a lack of space in the dog’s mouth. This most often occurs in toy breeds or other dogs that have short muzzles such as Bulldogs, Boston Terriers and Boxers.
Trauma to and infections of the mouth can interfere with proper molar development in dogs as well. Additionally, hairless dog breeds are susceptible to a condition that is known as ectodermal dysplasia, which causes their molars to be cone-shaped and smaller than normal.
Typical Treatments of Molar Problems
Treatment methods for abnormal molar development will be determined after a thorough examination of your dog’s mouth and a dental X-ray. Depending on your pet’s condition, treatment may include various antibiotics, analgesics, tooth extractions, Consil administration and pain relievers.
Abnormal molar development is a common health condition that occurs most frequently in toy breed dogs and dogs that have short noses. It is characterized by a variety of abnormalities including missing, angled and cone-shaped molars. Fortunately, when treated right away, this is a condition that can be easily treated.