How Many Teeth Do Dogs Have?

How Many Teeth Do Dogs Have?
Photo by Jay Heike

How many teeth do dogs have? Do dogs and humans have the same number of teeth? Do they lose their “puppy teeth” the same way humans do?

These are the things you’ve been wondering about. So here’s a breakdown of how many teeth dogs have as puppies and adults, as well as whether or not it’s typical for them to lose teeth.

How Many Teeth Do Dogs Have?

The number of teeth your dog has depends on its age. For example, a puppy has 28 deciduous teeth, commonly known as milk teeth, that appear two weeks after birth and are typically fully developed 8-10 weeks later. Dogs, unlike young children, lose their first teeth fast due to their rapid growth.

The incisors are the first teeth to fall out, usually about four months of age, followed by the canine teeth, which usually fall out around 5-6 months.

Finally, the premolars and molars will appear between 5-8 months, resulting in 42 permanent adult teeth. A veterinarian will need to extract puppy teeth that do not fall out.

A dog’s permanent teeth appear at 4 to 5 months of age, and it takes roughly 2 to 3 months for all 42 adult teeth to replace their puppy teeth.

However, you are unlikely to discover 28 baby teeth strewn about: it is highly usual (and perfectly healthy) for dogs to swallow their puppy teeth while eating or teething.

If your dog is 6 or 7 months old and still has any deciduous teeth, you should take him to the doctor right away; these are known as retained deciduous teeth and can cause major complications if not removed straight away. In addition, retained teeth, especially in tiny dog breeds, can lead to overcrowding and tooth loss.

An adult dog should have 42 teeth, 20 on top of their jaw and 22 on the bottom. The majority of dogs have the same number of teeth. However, chow chows, one of the world’s oldest breeds, have an extra set of molars, giving them 44 teeth.

Not all dogs develop all 42 teeth! Teeth may become caught by bone or gum tissue for unknown reasons. Tibetan Terriers, Wheaton Terriers, Maltese, and Havanese are more prone to this illness.

If your adult dog has less than 42 teeth, it may have lost or damaged a tooth. This frequently occurs when they have materials in their mouth that cannot be broken, such as stones or thick sticks. 

If you realize your dog has a damaged or missing tooth, we recommend contacting your veterinarian, who should be able to assist you.

Types Of Dog Teeth

Each type of dog tooth (incisor, canine, premolar, and molar) serves a specific purpose. Here’s a rundown of what each type of tooth accomplishes and where they’re found:

1. Incisors

Incisors are the teeth in the front of a dog’s mouth. The upper and lower jaws each have six incisors. 

Dogs primarily use their incisors to grasp objects such as food, but they are also used for chewing and grooming. These teeth are relatively tiny and contain one root per tooth in dogs and cats.

2. Canines

The canine teeth are the longest in the front of the mouth, resembling “fangs.” Dogs’ mouths contain four canines (2 on the upper jaw and two on the lower jaw). 

To better hold items, these teeth are well-developed and slightly curved. Canine teeth have only one root per tooth as well.

Premolars

The premolars are located just behind the canines. How many teeth do dogs have? Adult dogs have 16 premolars, eight on top and eight on the bottom.

These teeth are used for cutting and crushing food. Premolar teeth can have one to two roots that secure them in the mouth.

3. Molars

Molars are the back teeth of a dog’s mouth. They can resemble premolars in appearance.

How many teeth do dogs have? The upper jaw has four molars, while the lower jaw has six. Molars crush food into little pieces that are easier to chew and digest. They might have three to one root that holds them in the dog’s mouth.

Canine Dental Extraction

Canine dental extraction ranks high among the most common veterinary surgeries. One of the primary reasons for tooth extraction in dogs is periodontal disease, also known as severe gum disease. Periodontal disease is very common, especially among older dogs.

Periodontal disease is one of the most common reasons a dog requires tooth extraction. This is because bacteria infect and weaken the periodontal ligaments, which connect each tooth to its underlying bone in the event of periodontal disease. 

Once this attachment is compromised, the infection can spread deeper, resulting in abscesses or pockets of infection between the tooth and bone. Eventually, the tooth will lose its bone anchoring, lose in its socket, and fall out.

Because many teeth have many roots, each of which may be affected differently, extremely sick teeth can resist loss and remain firmly rooted as long as only one root is generally healthy. The longer a bad tooth is present, the longer an infection can exist.

A dental extraction is critical. Once a diseased tooth is extracted and the area is cleaned of contaminated debris, the dog will be free of the infection.

Periodontal infections are not only unpleasant and unpleasant to the senses, but they also put major organ systems at risk of infection if bacteria from diseased teeth reach the bloodstream.

Apart from periodontal disease, a canine dental extraction may be required in the following circumstances:

  • Fractures that expose the tooth’s pulp eventually result in infected roots and painful abscesses.
  • Deciduous teeth, often known as baby teeth, should be extracted if they do not fall out on their own to make place for healthy permanent teeth.
  • Oral trauma: If a bone in the mouth fractures, teeth extraction may be required
  • Oral tumors: Tumor treatment may include extraction of surrounding teeth.
  • Orthodontic abnormalities: Teeth that are not supposed to be there.

How to Maintain Your Dog’s Oral Health?

We’ve dealt with the question, “how many teeth do dogs have?” Next is how to maintain your dog’s oral health. Maintaining your pet’s oral health is critical to its overall health and enjoyment of life. 

By three years, nearly 80% of dogs have dental problems. Please schedule an appointment with a veterinarian as soon as possible if you notice your dog is losing teeth, has loose or wiggly teeth, or has gradually deteriorating breath.

Even though it appears that your pet has only lost one tooth, they may have other unhealthy teeth in their mouth that are causing discomfort and would benefit from removal.

Don’t put off seeing your veterinarian for a dental exam until your pet isn’t eating. Instead, use your pet’s annual exam to address your dog’s teeth and overall dental health before an issue arises.

Regular brushing, consistent oral health checkups, and dental cleanings, as determined by your veterinarian, will ensure dental and periodontal health.

Also, make sure to use dog toothpaste; human toothpaste frequently contains substances like xylitol, which is hazardous to dogs.

Hard chew toys are another choice for dental hygiene and a fantastic alternative for dogs who do not accept brushing.

There are additional aspects to consider regarding the dental health of a small-breed dog (25 pounds or less). For example, small dogs’ jaws are smaller than those of their medium- and large-sized friends, but they must fit the same 42 teeth into that smaller space. 

This causes overcrowding, creating an environment conducive to periodontal disease (gum inflammation and infection).

Periodontal disease is the most frequent dental health problem in dogs, but it is more prevalent and often begins much sooner in smaller dogs.

Furthermore, some small brachycephalic breeds, such as French bulldogs, may have undersized teeth, sideways teeth, or even misaligned jaws, which makes gum disease more prevalent and tooth care more difficult.

Therefore, it is critical to establish a daily dental health practice to prevent periodontal disease and its associated diseases.

Tooth decay can be caused by poor oral hygiene, which can lead to foul breath, discomfort, and even tooth loss. More importantly, the oral disease has been connected to other health issues, such as heart disease.

The bacteria that cause gum disease can enter the bloodstream and cause inflammation in the heart and other organs such as the kidney and liver.

Conclusion

This article has answered your question, “How many teeth do dogs have?” Puppies, like children, begin with temporary teeth that gradually fall out to make place for adult teeth.

These 28 temporary teeth, also known as milk teeth, appear two weeks after birth and are usually completely grown 8-10 weeks later. Adult dogs, on the other hand, have a total of 42 teeth.

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