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Anyone who has ever looked inside a dog’s mouth might wonder, “How many teeth do dogs have?” Some of their teeth look different from human teeth, so it’s natural to wonder if they have more teeth, fewer teeth, or the same amount in various forms.
Adult dogs actually have 42 teeth, which is 10 more than people have. Read on to learn all about your dog’s teeth and how to make sure they stay healthy.
Temporary Puppy Teeth
Puppies are born without any teeth. Over the first three to five months, they have a set of temporary teeth, or puppy teeth, that come in. The primary teeth to grow in are the incisor teeth. They are the top and bottom six teeth in front of the mouth. They grow in when the puppy is between three and six weeks old.
During this same period, the canines will come in after the incisors. There are two on the top and two on the bottom. Finally, they get three premolars on each side of the top and bottom. All of these teeth grow in during the first three to six weeks of the puppy’s life, and these are all of the temporary puppy teeth.
You should take care of your puppy’s teeth right from the beginning. You can start brushing your puppy’s teeth right from the beginning so that it becomes a part of its routine. They even have doggy tooth paste to encourage this habit.
Puppy teeth can start falling out as early as eight weeks of age. On average, the front six teeth on the top and bottom, the incisors, are pushed out by the adult version growing anywhere from 8 to 16 weeks of age.
The canines fall out next, and adult canines replace them at around 16 weeks old, and the premolars should fall out around 24 weeks. The adult teeth continue growing in, which includes adult versions of the 28 puppy teeth, as well as four additional premolars and ten molars. By eight months, the puppy should have all 42 of its adult teeth.
What Is the Function of the Different Types of Teeth?
Each type of tooth has a different function, and they are all critical to the dog. The teeth are broken down into categories by type: incisor, canine, premolar, and molar. Take a look at what each does and where it is found inside the dog’s mouth.
Incisor: Adult dogs will have six incisors on the top and six more on the bottom. They are located in front of the mouth and are smaller than average teeth. Dogs use them for grooming themselves or for grabbing food or a toy. They do chew with them, but usually just softer foods. These teeth are not used for tearing up meat.
Canine:Adult dogs have four canine teeth, two on top and two on the bottom. One appears just behind the last incisor on each side. These teeth are longer and sharper than the incisors, and they look like fangs. Dogs use these teeth to grip food and other objects.
Premolar: The next group of teeth is the premolars. Dogs have eight on top and eight on the bottom, and they lie just beyond the canines on each side of the mouth. Dogs use these teeth to shear and grind food.
Molar: Finally, the molars are the last group of teeth. Dogs have four on the top and six on the bottom, and they are divided evenly on each side. They are also used for grinding food. Dogs grind the food down to pieces that they can easily swallow and digest. One particular molar is called the Carnassial tooth. This tooth is stronger and allows the dog to shear, crush, and hold food.
Can Dogs Regrow Teeth That Fall Out?
Some animals, such as sharks, do regrow teeth that fall out, but dogs are similar to humans in that they do not. If they lose an adult tooth, it is gone forever. They do lose all 28 of their puppy teeth, and the adult teeth grow in behind them. However, to make sure that your dog’s teeth last, you need to take care of them.
Do Dogs Get Cavities?
Although it is possible for dogs to get cavities, they rarely do. If your dog does get a cavity, it can be filled by a dog dentist or vet. Sometimes a damaged tooth needs to be removed, and often the dog just lives without it. Luckily, dogs can have soft or wet food to help them eat well when they are missing teeth.
Dogs do not normally get cavities because they usually eat a diet that is low in sugar. The bacteria in dogs’ mouths are different from humans, and they have different shaped teeth. Human teeth often have problems because they are so close together, whereas dog’s teeth are spaced further apart. However, if your dog has a problem, your vet will be able to recommend the procedure it needs.
What to Do When Your Dog Has a Loose or Damaged Tooth
If your dog has loose or damaged teeth, you should schedule a visit with your vet. It is crucial to either have the tooth extracted or repaired. It can be excruciating to have a compromised tooth still in the mouth, so it is essential to go to the vet to find out what your dog needs.
Dogs’ teeth can become damaged or loose for several different reasons. If your dog experiences trauma to the tooth from chewing on something or being hit in the mouth, it will damage the tooth. Certain types of bones are too hard and can lead to tooth fractures. You should make sure that your dog has toys, bones, and food that are specifically made for dogs.
Besides, your dog’s teeth can be compromised by periodontal disease or tooth decay. In addition to loose teeth, your dog might have bad breath. Certain breeds are more prone to tooth decay, such as greyhounds. It is essential to have your vet take a look at it because a rotten tooth can be painful and a source of infection.
Periodontal disease is gum disease, and a lot of older dogs experience this, especially if they haven’t had regular dental care. Periodontal disease can lead to your dog losing teeth, and it can also be painful. If your dog has any teeth that are loose or if you suspect an infection, you should have your vet take a look. You can make a plan together.
Symptoms of a Dental Problem
Dental problems are dangerous, and they can lead to more significant issues if they are not addressed. Your dog might develop bad breath, but if an infection is left unchecked, it can develop into more prominent infections that may reach your dog’s vital organs.
When you are looking at your dog, you can keep an eye out for the following symptoms:
- Excessive drooling
- Blood in your dog’s saliva
- Loss of appetite
- Red, swollen, and bleeding gums
- Bad breath
- Broken teeth
- Yellowish-brown tartar near the gums
- Cysts and tumors
Some of these symptoms are easier to fix than others. For example, if your dog has a yellowish-brown plaque on its teeth, you can schedule a cleaning to take care of it before it becomes a bigger problem. In addition, you can treat any of these issues and take care of them as they come up. Your dog will be healthier and happier, and you can avoid a serious problem with an infection later on.
How to Care for Your Dog’s Teeth
There are a few ways that you can take care of your dog’s teeth, and proper care will lead to fewer problems in your dog’s life. One thing you can do is brush your dog’s teeth with a toothbrush and toothpaste that is made specifically for dogs. You can also buy specialized treats or toys that help to reduce bacteria and plaque build-up.
It may take some time for your dog to get used to having its teeth brushed. Go slowly, and do a little at a time if your dog seems nervous or upset. Let your dog smell the toothbrush and make sure that the dog becomes comfortable with the process. Supplement the tooth brushing with toys and treats that promote dental health.
You should also have a professional cleaning at your vet’s office every year. Your vet will help you set a plan to make sure that your dog has the cleanings it needs to keep its mouth healthy. Your vet might take x-rays and look for any disease or infections.
Another way to protect your dog is to make sure that you are feeding it a proper diet with good nutrition. Some dog foods are made specifically to promote oral health.
If you wanted to know, “How many teeth do dogs have,” you now know that they have 42. There are four different types of teeth, and they all have essential roles in your dog’s mouth. Caring for your dog’s teeth is important because oral health problems can lead to other health issues.