Both males and female pigs possess modified upper and lower canine teeth or tusks, however, the tusks of the male retain an open root that allows these teeth to grow throughout life. Tusks can become long and extremely sharp and trims may be necessary to prevent injury to humans, other animals, household furniture, flooring, or even the pig itself. This brief article discusses relevant anatomy, equipment needed, potential complications, sedation, and step-by-step advice for successfully completing this clinical technique.
Reptile dentition tends to be relatively uniform with a simple, conical shape. Most reptile teeth are loosely attached with the dental attachment most superficial in acrodontic species. Tooth loss and replacement is a normal occurrence in reptile species with pleurodont dentition, which includes snakes, and many lizards. Take special care when handling reptiles with acrodont dentition as teeth will not be replaced when infected or fractured. Additionally, periodontal disease is common in captive lizards with acrodont dentition such as bearded dragons and chameleons. Periodontal disease is an insidious condition. As plaque formation builds and gingivitis worsens, many reptiles will continue to eat. The owner may not observe problems until disease is quite advanced. Feeding lizards an unnatural, soft diet is believed to promote plaque development and the development of periodontal disease.