The whole world is in love with dogs, they are fascinated by them from their tails all up to the tips of their adorable noses. Their anatomy is quite unique and beautiful. Just by looking at their mouth, teeth and skull you can see hat dogs are unbelievably well adapted to meet the needs of nature’s perfectly made scavenger. However, their mouth has also been the source of a lot of misunderstandings and myths that can lead to some overall potentially serious problems. We are here to answer the most commonly asked important questions concerning the dental health and region of dogs.
First off, how many teeth do dogs exactly have?
Average adult dogs have around a third more teeth than us humans have. Grown adult dogs have 42 permanent teeth, while humans only have 32, excluding the bonus wisdom teeth that are usually extracted. While adults have 42 teeth, puppies only have 28, which is only 8 more than a human baby’s 20 milk or baby teeth.
When do puppies start to lose their baby teeth?
On average, puppies start to lose their baby teeth about 12 to 16 weeks in, and by 4 months of age almost all of their milk teeth are gone and many have been replaced by permanent adult teeth and more will start growing.
How can you tell how old a dog is by only looking at their teeth?
Well, that depends on a bunch of factors. For example, when dogs are young you can pretty much estimate their age by checking which teeth have grown in, like a puppy’s milk incisors start to grow generally between 4 to 6 weeks of age and the permanent ones will grow in place at about 12 to 16 weeks of age.
While the canines or sometimes called “fangs”, will emerge at 3 to 5 weeks of age and the permanent ones at about 12 to 16 weeks of age. So, by the time that the permanent molars are grown in, the dogs is estimated to be around 4 to 6 months of age, and generally once they hit that 6 month mark, all of their permanent teeth should be visible. After 6 months it’s pretty hard to guess a dog’s age.
Do dog’s teeth grow back if they somehow lose them?
This is a pretty commonly asked question, and it’s a complete myth. Dogs, unlike other species such as sharks, cannot grow back their lost or damaged teeth, so if they lose an adult tooth they can say goodbye to it forever as it will not grow back, just like human teeth. This is exactly why it’s really important to take good care of your dog’s, and any pet’s, dental hygiene and health, because they’re the only teeth they got.
Can dogs get cavities?
Surprisingly, dental cavities or caries are pretty rare in dogs, and this is due to many factors such as a generally low sugar diet, difference in mouth bacteria, as well as the overall shape of the teeth. However, when cavities do happen, they can be treated in pretty much the same way as human ones by drilling out the damaged part of the tooth and then filling it with a dental compound.
If it happens to be a severe case though, then endodontic procedures will be performed such as a root canal and capping. Sometimes even an extraction of the tooth is required. This is also another good reason to provide your dog with adequate dental care.
What dog breeds are prone to bad teeth ?
Dogs, no matter their size can develop any type of dental problems due to many reasons, and it tends to differ depending on the size of dog. For example, in small dogs with shorter or cramped snouts, there tend to be more issues with tartar, dental calculus build up and plaque, which can lead to gum and periodontal disease and ultimately to painfully loose teeth. Smaller breeds of dogs also may chip or even break their tiny teeth if they gnaw too hard on tougher toys.
While on the other hand, larger breeds tend to experience more traumatic injuries to their teeth and gums such as fractured tooth tips, worn tooth surfaces and even broken jaws in some cases. However, if the tooth root becomes exposed, this can result in severe pain and even death to the tooth. These breeds can also develop the same plaque and tartar build up, and the same gum and periodontal disease like the smaller breeds.
How can you tell if your dog has gum or dental disease?
You can start by lifting up your dog’s lips, and if you see dirty or even discolored teeth, in a generally ugly greenish or brownish color, you should see your vet. This is most likely plaque or tartar build up and it is usually an early sign of gum or periodontal disease.
The next step is to check the gums for any redness or swelling, you can do that by simply brushing your fingertips along the gum line and observe if the tissue becomes inflamed or bleeds, this is a surefire indicator of a serious gum infection and disease.
The last step is to smell your dog’s breath, and if it emits a foul odor, it usually indicates a bacterial infection. Simple dog breath should not be a reason to avoid your dog, as a dog with good dental and oral health should have a pleasant or at the very least a neutral scent. However, if your dog shows any of these signs, consult your vet immediately.
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