1887

Rodents: dentistry

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Abstract

As a result of the increasing numbers of guinea pigs, chinchillas and other small rodents being kept as private pets, dental disease is being observed more frequently in veterinary clinics. Incidence of oral cavity disease is approximately 30-80%. It varies both between species and within a species with age. A wide range of local and systemic conditions that affect the mouth have been described in rodents, including hereditary, infectious and metabolic diseases, trauma, electrical accidents and neoplasia. The diagnosis of dental disease in small mammals is complicated due to the anatomical structure of the oral cavity and special mechanics of the jaw movements. Being able to recognize variable anatomical and physiological variations, to understand disease pathophysiology and assess even minor changes will help in optimal treatment of many commonly seen conditions. This chapter considers Anatomy and physiology; Clinical signs; Oral cavity examination; Dental disease; Therapy and Prevention.

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Figures

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8.2 Oblique occlusal plane of the cheek teeth in a guinea pig.
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8.3 Perioral saliva staining in a chinchilla due to excessive salivation.
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8.4 Endoscopic oral cavity examination in an anaesthetized guinea pig.
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8.5 Extraoral dental radiography with the use of a portable X-ray unit.
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8.6 Incisor malocclusion due to traumatic fracture and mandibular osteomyelitis in a rat. Periosteal mandibular reaction is present radiographically. The reserve crown of the left mandibular incisor is affected.
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8.7 Endoscopic views showing malocclusion in a guinea pig before and after cheek teeth occlusal adjustment. Note that the animal is in dorsal recumbency in (c) and (f).
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8.8 Endoscopic view of the cheek teeth in a chinchilla. Right and left maxillary arcades showing different occlusal surfaces, widening of the interproximal coronal spaces and spike formation on last two molars (arrows in (b)).
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8.9 Slightly oblique lateral radiographic view of a degu skull. Severe cheek teeth malocclusion with apical elongation, particularly of the third maxillary cheek teeth, may be seen.
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8.10 Elodontoma in a prairie dog (post-mortem specimens). The abnormalities and irregularities of the new dentine and enamel on the incisor labial surface may be seen (arrowed).
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8.11 Impacted hairs around the gingival sulci causing periodontal inflammation in a guinea pig. Endoscopic views before and after periodontal pocket flushing with chlorhexidine solution.
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8.12 Lateral radiographic views of the left hemimandible in two chinchillas. Note the healthy cheek teeth , compared with cheek teeth with osteoresorptive lesions, apical elongation and variable crown size.
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8.13 Dental caries in a rat. The crowns of the mandibulary right M2 and M3 are missing. The tooth most commonly affected by dental caries in myomorph rodents is the second molar (endoscopic view here shows the left mandible).
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8.14 Lateral view of a hamster (inverted image). The tooth crown of mandibular M2 is missing due to dental caries.
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8.15 Periodontal abscessation and suspected osteoresorptive lesion in a chinchilla. Dental radiographs show probing of the abscess cavity and proving the communication with the apical parts of the right maxillary premolar and first molar.
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8.16 Cheek pouch eversion in a Russian dwarf hamster, due to the presence of a foreign body with cyst formation.

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