You can always rely on your dog to turn your frown upside down, but have you ever thought about your dog's pearly whites? Nothing is more charming than a doggo smile, but surely there is more to your dog's teeth than just a toothpaste ad-worthy grin.
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Dogs and humans are best friends, it's true, but they are very different when it comes to their teeth. So, if you are truly a good friend, you will want to learn everything there is to know about dog teeth. That's what best friends do, right?
Even if you don't have dog teeth on the brain, you are just going to have to grin and bear it. Check out these fascinating facts about dog teeth that are tooth cool for words.
Puppies swallow their baby teeth.
Guess the tooth fairy isn't coming for your puppy! As a puppy teethes, his baby teeth begin to fall out. According to VCA Animal Hospitals, however, it is not uncommon for a puppy to swallow his baby teeth while they're eating, and if your dog swallows his baby teeth, it is generally considered harmless and a normal part of teething.
If you have any concerns, or notice anything unusual with your puppy's chompers, do not hesitate to have a chat with your vet.
Dogs have different types of teeth, with different functions.
Just like humans, not all of your dog's teeth are the same. However, dogs do engage in a few behaviors with their teeth, like grooming, scraping, and chewing bones, that humans don't normally do. Thusly, dogs have several types of teeth: each working differently to help them thrive in their day to day.
- Small teeth at the front of the mouth.
- Used for scraping and grooming
- Four long pointed teeth at the front of the mouth
- Used for tearing (for things like food and meat) and locking down on an object (like a bone or a toy!)
- Sharp edged teeth behind canines
- Used to chew and shred food
- Teeth found behind pre-molars
- Used to break down hard foods (like kibble!)
Dogs have a lot of teeth.
42 permanent teeth to be exact. And don't forget the baby teeth! Like humans, dogs have two sets of teeth. Dogs are born with 28 baby teeth, which they lose at around 3 to 4 months of age. A dog's baby teeth are then replaced by 42 permanent teeth. Talk about a mouthful! That's a lot more than humans, who have 20 baby teeth and 32 permanent teeth on average.
Dog toothbrushes are a thing.
According to AKC, brushing your dog's teeth should be a daily affair. You can keep your dog's teeth healthy in between yearly professional cleanings by using a dog-friendly toothbrush, dental wipes, and even dental chews. These tools will keep your dog's breath smelling fresh and can aid in preventing dental disease in your pup.
Cavities in dog teeth can happen, but are extremely rare.
Nobody likes a cavity. But while tooth decay or cavities may be the most common type of dental disease in humans, this is not the case for canines. Periodontal disease is the main oral hygiene issue for our furry friends. Yearly professional cleanings and brushing daily can help keep your dog's teeth nice and healthy.
A dog's mouth is not cleaner than a human's mouth.
We all know the old myth, but a dog's mouth is no more cleaner than a human's. According to AKC, the two are hard to compare due to the different types of oral bacteria present in each species: there is a lot of bacteria in your dog's mouth that you won't necessary find in your own. And let's face it, although we're BFFs, humans and dogs behave very differently.
Dental disease is one of the most common medical conditions seen by vets.
According to VCA Animal Hospitals, 80% of dogs over the age of three have active dental disease. But while tooth decay may be one of the most common dental diseases seen in humans, the most common dental problems for dogs are periodontal disease and fractured teeth. According to VCA Animal Hospitals, periodontal disease is when an accumulation of plaque and tartar causes periodontal pockets or gum recession around the tooth's attachment. Periodontal disease is very common in dogs, so it is important to monitor signals of periodontal disease within your pet so that you can properly treat your furry friend. According to AKC, here are some signs of periodontal disease to watch out for.
Signs of periodontal disease in dogs
- Bad breath
- Yellow-brown crust around the gum line
- Bleeding gums
- Pain when eating
- Pawing at the mouth
- Change of chewing or eating habits
- Tooth loss
- Subdued behavior
- Excessive dribbling
There are a lot of interesting facts about dog teeth, but the most important fact is that they need to be cared for! Be sure to regularly brush your dog's teeth and to get them professionally cleaned yearly (or more often, if your veterinarian recommends it).
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.