Puppies have 28 teeth while adult dogs have 42 teeth.
At birth, puppies do not have any teeth but they start to develop at around 3 to 4 weeks. At 3 to 5 months a puppy should have all 28 of its teeth. The dog teeth growth rate can vary among individuals – be slower or faster than generally expected.
Teeth of toy and small breed dogs like Terriers and Spaniels tend to have lower teeth growth rates.
Between 3 to 7 months of age, puppies will begin to lose their puppy teeth (sometimes called deciduous teeth). As the puppy teeth are shed, they will be replaced by permanent teeth.
Once all the baby teeth are gone and all the adult teeth have developed, your dog should have a total of 42 teeth. The lower jaw or mandible has 22 teeth while the upper one (maxilla) has 20.
The adult dog teeth are classified into four groups: incisors, canines, premolars, and molars. Puppies have the first three groups, but lack molars.
What are the Names of Dog Teeth?
Incisors are the teeth at the front of the mouth. They are mostly flat, very small, and have one root. Each jaw has 6 incisors making 12 in total. Their shape makes them ideal for scraping meat off of bones. Dogs also use incisors to groom themselves and to get rid of fleas, ticks, and other parasites.
Right behind the incisors, dogs have their canines on both sides. Canine teeth are long, curved, and have one root each. They are pointed giving them a fang-like appearance.
There is one canine on each side of each jaw giving a total of 4. The primary role of canines is to tear meat and grip objects. When your dog carries something, these are the teeth it uses to latch onto the object.
After the canines, dogs have a set of sharp-edged teeth known as premolars. These are very many with each jaw having 8 totaling 16. Each tooth may have 1 or 2 roots.
Premolars are used for chewing and grinding food.
These are at the back of the mouth. There are 4 molars on the upper jaw and 6 on the lower jaw. Each molar has 3 roots anchoring it to the gum.
Molars are similar to premolars in appearance and serve a similar purpose of grinding food.
Common Dog Teeth Issues
Tooth decay is damage to the enamel of the tooth caused by acids produced by bacteria in the dog’s mouth. The enamel is the hard outermost layer of the tooth.
Dogs suffer more from tooth decay than humans because they use their teeth for more than eating and drinking. Dogs use their teeth for carrying, grooming, and chewing on toys.
If not treated, tooth decay can lead to cavities (holes in the teeth), dental surgery, or even tooth extraction. Do not hesitate to take out a dog’s decayed tooth. This is because living without a tooth is much more bearable than living with an aching tooth.
This is a condition that affects the tissue that holds the teeth in place, otherwise known as the gum. Periodontal disease is usually a combination of inflammation and bacterial infection of the gum. It comes about with poor oral care. Dogs whose teeth are not regularly cleaned have a high risk of developing this condition.
The disease might cause bleeding of the gums and eventually looseness of the teeth. If untreated, periodontal disease can affect major organs like the heart, kidneys, and liver. This happens when the bacteria from the mouth get into the bloodstream and travel to different organs.
Plaque is a sticky substance that is constantly forming on the teeth. It is a combination of starches and sugars and the bacteria that live in the mouth. The plaque starts out clear but continues to solidify as time goes by.
Signs of plaque build-up include discoloration of the teeth and bad breath. If you do not clean the plaque off your dog’s teeth, it can harden to form tartar. At this point, it starts to cause other dental issues like tooth decay and periodontal disease.
Physical trauma can cause your dog’s teeth to break. The common forms of trauma pets‘ teeth face are chewing something very hard, falling down, and getting hit by a car.
Take your dog to a vet if she cracks a tooth. The vet will either extract the tooth or perform a root canal to repair the broken tooth. A cracked tooth can become very painful especially if a nerve is exposed after the break.
How to Keep Your Dog’s Teeth Healthy
- Brush Your Dog’s Teeth Regularly. Brushing your dog’s teeth every 24 to 48 hours with a high-quality toothbrush greatly reduces her risk for dental disease. The PenVinoo Dog Toothbrush Set comes with three different types of brushes to help you get the buildup plaque from everywhere in your dog’s mouth.
- Use Specially Formulated Dog Toothpaste. Avoid using human toothpaste as it is not as efficient and can contain ingredients that are potentially harmful to your dog. Vets Preferred Enzymatic Toothpaste for dogs has antimicrobial qualities to protect your dog’s oral health. The toothpaste is also peanut butter-flavored to encourage your dog to enjoy the brushing process.
- Contains natural ingredients, which provide a gentle and effective clean without damaging the enamel.
- The liquid texture can clean hard-to-reach dental spaces.
- It soothes and strengthens the gums, preventing gum diseases like gingivitis and periodontitis.
- Give Dogs Fresh Drinking Water. Staying hydrated can help your dog’s dental health improve. To make drinking water work even more for your dog’s teeth, mix in some dog mouthwash. Vets Preferred Vet-Approved mouth wash is mint-flavored to give your dog fresh breath after every use. Simply mix a little bit in your dog’s water and enjoy fresh breath and clean teeth 24/7.
- Help prevent tartar formation and protect your dog’s teeth and gums and from irreversible gum disease and countless vet visits.
- Includes xylitol which helps promote good breath, coupled with calcium that strengthens teeth.
- The antimicrobial dog mouthwash prevents bad breath, halitosis, plaque build-up, and gum diseases.
- Regular Vet Checkups. Get your dog’s teeth examined by your vet at least once a year to ensure that everything is normal. If possible, get your vet to clean your dog’s teeth professionally while she is under general anesthesia.
- Healthy Dog Diet. A bad diet increases your dog’s risk for dental disease by encouraging bacteria to multiply in the mouth. A good doggy diet should have adequate amounts of calcium and vitamin D to promote good dog teeth health.
- Use Dog Dental Treats. If your dog doesn’t like to brush her teeth, consider giving her dental treats or chews. While your dog chews the treats, they will clean the teeth. Some treats are even flavored to give your dog fresh breath immediately.