I have done a lot of skulls. Some with beetles, some with masceration. Occasionally I will have one that, when I take it out, will be missing several teeth, have some missing bone, or have some deterioration. For example, recently I did a boar skull by leaving it in a double bag for two weeks. After two weeks maggots had cleaned it. However, after the two weeks I noticed that at least five teeth were missing. I checked the bag over and over and no teeth. When I defleshed it I was sure no teeth fell out. What could it be? Is it possible for teeth to fall out on their own? The boar has a very shallow gumline with the teeth not in very well.
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If they were in the skull when you started they have to be there somewhere!
They will fall out, but they won't rot away or be eaten by beetles or maggots.
the teeth being not being there, but I don't remember the teeth being there either. I flesh it enough to separate the bottom jaw from the top, but don't remember whether the teeth were there or not. I have had other times when part of the head was crumbly and formed a large hole in the skull, but this time I don't remember what happened to the teeth. Could that many have fallen out while the pig was alive? I can probably find some teeth that will work, but the holes the teeth came out of are unusually shallow with no side gum-bones to hold them in place. It will be difficult to glue them back in.
Examine the sockets. If they are deep and clean and have sharp rims around the top the teeth were and are still there somewhere. If they look like the socket are worn and shallow the teeth were broken off or fell out in life. The socket will be your clue.
Pamela Anderson. OOOPS, sorry, didn't finish reading the question!
Scott, the "shallow gum line" indicates an older animal. It's natural for animals to lose some teeth through ageing or damage. They may have been gone. Also teeth can slip out in the cleaning and often do. it's possible for teeth to end up in the nasal passage or even the brain cavity through washing the skull or even get there with the aid of gravity depending on how the skull is laying. Most teeth that I have lost happened during the soaking or washing stage. No matter how careful I have been it can still happen every once in a while. Enjoy, Aaron H.
for confirming what I suspected.