Knowledge on dental disorders in commercial sows is limited although such conditions may have important animal welfare implications. In a pilot study, the dental and periodontal health of 58 sows (Landrace*Yorkshire-crosses) from 8 Swedish commercial pig herds, slaughtered at one abattoir, were investigated.
The oral cavity was inspected and abnormalities were recorded on a dental chart modified for pigs. Dental abnormalities, absence of teeth, supernumerary teeth, tooth fractures, signs of caries, and malalignment were recorded.
The study revealed that 19% of the sows had supernumerary teeth and 59% of the sows missed at least one tooth. Periodontitis, calculus and malalignment were observed in 33%, 45% and 17%, respectively. Tooth wear was very common both in incisors (total 83%) and in premolars/molars (total 84%). One or more tooth fractures (between 1 and 6 per sow) was found in 41%. Signs of caries was found in 9%. In order to assess oral health, three indices were used: calculus index (CI), periodontal index (PDI) and tooth wear index (TWI). Severe periodontitis, tooth wear in incisors and tooth wear in premolars/molars were found in 7%, 34% and 35%, respectively.
With respect to animal welfare, the etiology and the effects of the disorders on health, stress and pain need to be investigated.
Link to the publication
Malmsten, A., Lundeheim, N. & Dalin, A. Dental disorders in sows from Swedish commercial herds. Acta Vet Scand 62, 27 (2020).