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How many teeth does a dog have?

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How many teeth does a dog have?

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If you have a dog, chances are you’ve noticed their impressive teeth at some point – but do you know exactly how many teeth does a dog have? Knowing the answer to this question can help give us an understanding of our furry friends’ mouths and the importance of dental care when it comes to maintaining your pup’s health.

In this post, we’ll dive in and uncover exactly how many teeth dogs have and why taking good care of them is essential for happy, healthy pups. Let’s get started!

How many teeth dogs have depends on their age.

Have you ever wondered how many teeth a dog has? Well, it depends on how old the pup is. Adult dogs usually have 42 permanent teeth, distributed as 20 in the upper jaw and 22 in the lower jaw, necessary for proper chewing and nutrition. Interestingly, puppies usually have 28 temporary or “deciduous” teeth, distributed as 14 in the upper jaw and 14 in the lower jaw. As puppies grow and their adult teeth come in, baby teeth are replaced by the adult set over several months, entirely replaced by adult canines when they reach 6-7 months.

While most puppies’ permanent adult teeth erupt at six months old, some breeds may take up to one year for all 42 grown-up chompers to appear. These adult “canines,” or sharp pointed teeth found in the front of the mouth, give all breeds of dogs their signature smile. After all these years of evolution, dogs have perfected their smile–42 nice, shiny teeth!

Puppies’ teeth

When a puppy is born, it does not have any teeth. At around three to four weeks, the puppy will start cutting their first set of teeth, known as milk or deciduous teeth. These teeth comprise 28 tiny little sharp points, including 12 incisors, four canines, and 12 premolars. The dog’s adult teeth will eventually replace these teeth.

How many teeth does an adult dog have?

Adult teeth, or permanent ones, are the second teeth a dog will grow. There are 42 adult teeth, including 12 incisors, four canines, 16 premolars, and ten molars. Once a dog has grown its adult teeth, it will not grow anymore.


Dogs have twelve incisors, the teeth located in the front of the mouth. The six upper incisors are the maxillary incisors, while the six lower incisors are the mandibular incisors. These teeth are used for cutting and shearing food.


Dogs have four canines, which are long, sharp teeth located next to the incisors. The two upper canines are called the maxillary canines, while the two lower canines are called the mandibular canines. These teeth are used for tearing and holding food.


Dogs have sixteen premolars, which are the teeth located behind the canines. The eight upper premolars are called the maxillary premolars, while the eight lower premolars are called the mandibular premolars. And are used for grinding and crushing food.


Dogs have ten molars, large teeth located at the back of the mouth; the four upper molars are called the maxillary molars, while the six lower molars are called the mandibular molars. And are used for grinding and crushing food.

Why is it important to know how many teeth my dog has?

Knowing how many teeth your dog has is vital to understanding their overall health and well-being. The number of teeth a domesticated canine has at different stages in its life can provide clues about the dietary habits, level of dental hygiene, and overall age and vitality of the animal.

Not all breeds have the same number of teeth; however, most dogs grow 42 permanent teeth by adulthood. Suppose your pup is missing any adult teeth. In that case, he may need orthodontic treatment or dental surgery to help his jaws function correctly.

Moreover, having too many baby or permanent teeth can indicate teething problems or crowding in the jaw, which could lead to difficulty eating or infection. Lastly, losing multiple adult teeth could signify periodontal disease, a severe condition that needs immediate care from a veterinarian. Knowing how many teeth your pet has helps you ensure they live a long and happy life!

owner brushing his dog's teeth

Why is it important to take care of your dog’s teeth?

Dental health is a significant factor in the overall health of our pets, and it’s not just an issue for adults either. Puppies, too, can suffer from dental problems such as tooth decay, tartar buildup, fractured teeth, and periodontal disease. If Left unchecked, these problems can lead to painful access teeth and painful inflammation. Taking steps to help protect your dog’s dental health from an early age will help keep them happy and healthy and save you vet bills in the future.

Some of the dental problems that can affect your dog if left without the proper care

Plaque and tartar buildup.

One of the most common problems with dog teeth is plaque and tartar buildup. Plaque is bacteria that accumulates on teeth, while tartar is hard plaque that leads to gum disease, tooth decay and bad breath if not removed.

Gum disease.

A gum infection can happen when plaque and tartar are not removed. Red, inflamed gums, bleeding gums, and bad breath are all symptoms of gum disease. Tooth loss can be a result if Gum disease is left untreated.

Tooth decay.

Tooth decay is another problem when plaque and tartar are not removed. The bacteria in plaque produce acid that eats away at the enamel of the teeth. Symptoms of tooth decay include cavities, tooth sensitivity, and bad breath.

Periodontal disease.

Periodontal disease in dogs is the term for a set of oral conditions that affect the structures around the teeth, such as the gums and ligaments. The disease can begin with an accumulation of plaque and tartar on the tooth surface, resulting in inflammation of the supporting tissue that causes pain, infection and loss of bone and gum tissue. If left untreated, the disease can spread to other parts of the mouth and internal organs, causing more severe illness.

Bad breath.

Bad breath is often a symptom of other dental problems such as plaque and tartar formation, gum disease, or tooth decay. However, it can also be caused by other factors, such as eating certain foods or not brushing regularly.

How to take care of your dog’s teeth.

Caring for your pup’s teeth is essential to maintaining their overall health. Ensuring their regular cleanings and checkups with a veterinarian is the best way to ensure their dental health.

At home, you can brush their teeth daily using toothpaste specifically made for dogs – human toothpaste is not recommended – and establish a dental hygiene routine that works best for you and your pup.

Be gentle but thorough when brushing and flossing. Ensure all teeth surfaces, including the back molars and gums, are attended to remove plaque buildup and reduce the chances of periodontal disease.

Additionally, try incorporating dental chew toys into your pup’s exercise regime, as this helps keep their mouth healthy by removing plaque around the gum line. Regular care can help your pup have healthier teeth and gums!

How many teeth do small dogs have? Things to consider.

Small dogs have 42 teeth, just like medium and large dogs. Caring for the teeth of small-breed dogs can be quite a challenge. While many larger breeds have wide-set eyes, giving them room for large and robust molars, smaller breeds tend to have more condensed skulls with shorter snouts.

Most small dogs have crowded mouths, making daily hygiene critical to their oral health. Some petite canine companions include Chihuahuas, Papillons, Pomeranians and Shih Tzus, boasting different dental concerns due to their size.

For example, Shih Tzus are known to be particularly prone to gum inflammation due to having such deep pockets between their back molars and lined gums. To keep these tiny smiles healthy, owners must understand their pet’s needs and brush regularly with toothpaste formulated especially for animals.

Picture of MiM


I decided to create this blog because I wanted to share the joys of being a dog owner with others, as well as provide valuable insights on how best to take care of our beloved four-legged friends.


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