A closer look: Dentigerous Cysts in Dogs
Dentigerous cysts are a common oral condition in dogs and treatment generally carries a favorable prognosis. Treatment is most effective and least invasive if the cyst is caught early.
It is important to note that a ‘missing’ tooth may actually not be missing and could be unerupted. It is always best to have missing teeth investigated to rule out an unerupted tooth. Retained deciduous (baby) teeth may also occur in association with dentigerous cysts, especially in brachycephalic and toy breeds.
Connect with a vet to get more information
Minor dentigerous cysts may have no symptoms, other than an apparently missing tooth.
Brachycephalic and toy breeds have jaw deformities and dental malocclusions that predispose them to a variety of conditions, including dentigerous cysts. These make diagnosis of dentigerous cysts more challenging.
Small and brachycephalic dog breeds, especially Boston Terriers, Pugs, and Boxers, are at a higher risk for formation of dentigerous cysts.
Dentigerous cysts are caused by an unerupted tooth (a tooth that does not grow up and out of the gumline).
In many cases there are no symptoms other than an apparently missing tooth, and the cyst can be missed in regular oral exams. Counting all the teeth is necessary to identify if any are missing.
Some swelling may be present in early stages.
Testing and diagnosis
Diagnosis starts with oral examination. Additional tests may include:
- Fine needle aspiration of cyst
- Dental X-rays
Steps to Recovery
Treatment is fairly straightforward and requires extraction of the unerupted tooth and removal of any cyst tissue. If the cyst is more severe, it may require bone grafting to repair damage to the surrounding area.
Dentigerous cysts are effectively cured with surgery and the prognosis is excellent.
This condition is not preventable but can be treated effectively if caught early. Dentigerous cysts are not contagious.
Are Dentigerous Cysts in Dogs common?
Dentigerous cysts are a common dental condition in dogs.
- Extraction of the unerupted tooth
- Removal of any cyst tissues
- Bone graft