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Teeth.JPG

My 4 yr-old golden seems to have an issue - her lower middle teeth appear to have dropped forward and are disappearing into her gums (see image).
She doesn't play tug-of-war or chew rocks etc. so not sure what might be causing this or how serious it may be (or not?). Our vet wants to do dental x-rays to determine if problem is caused by gingival hyperplasia but I don't want to put her through this unless this is absolutely necessary? Her gums seem pretty healthy and she has her teeth brushed regularly although there's a small amount of tartar/plaque build-up on the rear teeth. We give her beef bones on occasion and feed a quality dry food with limited access to treats. As far as medications go she is up to date on all her shots and we use Advantage Multi/Advantix for fleas/ticks and heartworm prevention. Additionally, she is treated with Apoquel but only during the summer months for environmental allergies.

Any thoughts on the cause/prognosis and whether it's worthwhile or not to be having x-rays done?
 

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Does she also have an undershot bite?

They look like dropped incisors to me. I think of hyperplasia as gums that are too big- if you took away the gums at her lower incisors (as if it were too big) the incisors are still not in the right place. When I've seen hyperplasia photos the teeth are in the right place and the gums have swallowed them up. Plus in a breed that has a dropped incisor issue, wouldn't it be weird if only the lower incisors were affected by the hyperplasia?
 

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Does she also have an undershot bite?

They look like dropped incisors to me. I think of hyperplasia as gums that are too big- if you took away the gums at her lower incisors (as if it were too big) the incisors are still not in the right place. When I've seen hyperplasia photos the teeth are in the right place and the gums have swallowed them up. Plus in a breed that has a dropped incisor issue, wouldn't it be weird if only the lower incisors were affected by the hyperplasia?
Thanks for the quick response....and yes, my breeder believes she also has a slight undershot bite.
I'm curious as to whether this is a problem at this stage but more importantly, not wanting to needlessly exposing her to both anesthetic and x-rays that may not be of any help to her?
 

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Thanks for the quick response....and yes, my breeder believes she also has a slight undershot bite.
I'm curious as to whether this is a problem at this stage but more importantly, not wanting to needlessly exposing her to both anesthetic and x-rays that may not be of any help to her?
I'm not a vet- but most of my dogs in one line do develop dropped incisors ...
and they look mostly like your dog's (not the undershot but the incisors). I've seen hyperplasia in photos, it looks nothing like your dog's mouth. Just checked and yes- google images has pics that about half of which look like the pics I have seen in real life. There are some really freaky ones on there too- but the ones where the dog's mouth looks normal except for the gums- those look like the pics I've seen.
Veterinary dental radiographs take a special machine- I live in a fairly big town, we have plenty of vets- but only one here has the right machine to do dental rads. I live about 45 min from UF though, and they have a good dentist. Does your vet have specialized equipment to do them? If he does, and can do them with slight sedation, it might give you some comfort... but I've never even thought to do radiographs on my dogs- I expect this one line to get dropped incisors eventually.

Your girl's lower canines look off to me too- but it might be the photo. Take another!
 

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So, I would see a dentist for this bite- because the lower canine is going to get chipped or the upper outer incisor will get chipped- she's definitely an undershot bite and there should be a nice fit for the lower canine between the upper canine and the upper outer incisor- which it appears is striking the lower canine.
I wouldn't worry so much about the lower incisors dropping but I would worry about the malocclusion because of the integrity of her teeth downline possibly being impaired. She might be a candidate for upper braces and those upper incisors would be where they ought in 6 mo or so and no longer messing w the lower canine.
 

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Same issue!

I just was googling this issue and found your thread. My 5 1/2 yo golden boy looks as if he has the exact same thing going on. He two front lower teeth have always been smaller than the others. I started noticing a few months ago that they just started disappearing and now all I can see is a bit of white tooth just below the gum. Was at the Vet today and he wasn’t concerned and suggested xrays to see what was there. I’m I touch with Max’s breeder who tells me she thinks it’s dropped incisors. In this pic you can still see the two teeth but now I see no teet above the gum. I really don’t want to have him sedated just for xrays that will confirm this. Anyone with suggestions on what I should do about this I would really appreciate your input! Thank yOu!
 

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Dropped incisors aren't a huge big deal, they're ugly to look at but very common in the breed. Your dog doesn't look also undershot, as the dog in the prior post was but I can't really see his bite in the pic just can project where his teeth are by the jaw.Close his mouth and take another photo and post that!
 
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