Do you know that you can determine a dog’s age by looking at its teeth? Do you also know that you can evaluate your puppy’s age by assessing its teeth? Well for all this you must know how many teeth do dogs have?
Canine teeth are reflective of their carnivore nature. Dogs use their teeth to tear, shred and grind their food. Dogs like humans are diphyodont, meaning that they develop two sets of teeth. The first set called the baby teeth, milk teeth or deciduous teeth. The second set of teeth is permanent teeth. The number of teeth dog have depends on their age. Puppies have fewer teeth than adult dogs. As a responsible dog owner, it is important to know how many and which type of teeth do your dog have to take inclusive care of its teeth for happy, healthy life long health of your companion.
Deciduous teeth or milk teeth normally pops out when a puppy is about 4 weeks old. They are small and sharp. These teeth fall out and permanent teeth replace them when the puppy is about 6 weeks old. It is also possible that the deciduous teeth don’t fall and new teeth grow out. This according to the veterinary experts can cater to a host of problems. So it is advisable to seek veterinary consultation to pull out the extra teeth as early as 6 months. There are 28 baby teeth which do not include molars.
Adult Dogs’ Teeth:
There are some variations on the number of teeth adult dogs have depending upon the breed but mostly adult dogs have 42 teeth.
Types of teeth dogs have
Canine teeth can be categorized into four types.
Incisors are the first ones which replace milk teeth. An adult dog has 12 incisors, which are equally distributed on the upper and lower jaws (two on the upper jaw and two on the lower jaw).These teeth are actually meant for nibbling, gnawing and biting the food.
Canines also known as cuspids or fangs tops second on the replacement list. These are located behind the incisors. An adult dog has four canines, which are equally distributed on the upper and lower jaws (two on the upper jaw and two on the lower jaw).These are the daunting and ferocious ones which help the dog to grab and hold food in its mouth and to self-counter and defend if needed.
Pre-molars are the last ones which replace the milk teeth. These are located at the back of the canines. An adult dog has 16 pre-molars, which are divided into a set of four on either side of both the upper and lower jaws. These teeth are used for ripping and tearing the food. All the major chewing of food is done through pre-molars.
Molars are the ones which only adult dogs have. There are ten molars, two on each side of the upper jaw and three on each side of the lower jaw. Molars are actually used for crushing and grinding food.
So, how many teeth dogs have? Dependent on the age the number of teeth dogs have vary. Puppies at around 4 weeks of age develop 28 milk teeth which fall out when the puppy is at 6 weeks, molars excluded. Puppies usually begin losing teeth when they are between 4 and 6 months old. 42 Permanent or adult teeth replace milk teeth when your dog is around 6 months old.
Oral hygiene is a vital part of your dog’s overall health if neglected will cause some serious oral issues like tooth decay, chronic bad breath, Gingivitis, and Periodontal disease etc. Taking good care of your dog’s teeth will help to keep her mouth clean and on the mend.