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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2020

Dental disorders in sows from Swedish commercial herds

Malmsten, Anna; Lundeheim, Nils; Dalin, Anne-Marie;


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.


Dental disease; Sow; Sweden

Published in

Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica

2020, volume: 62, number: 1, article number: 27
Publisher: BMC

Authors' information

Malmsten, Anna
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Clinical Sciences
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Animal Breeding and Genetics
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Clinical Sciences

UKÄ Subject classification

Animal and Dairy Science
Clinical Science

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