Last Updated on December 17, 2019
©The Spruce Pets
We may not know everything about our furry friends but we sure do know that their pearly smile is what brings us joy every day! This also vouches for our hard work to keep our dogs’ teeth clean and healthy which should be every dog parent’s top priority.
Unfortunately, according to veterinary studies, dental disease is one of the most common disorders among dogs and the chances of your dog developing it are as high as 80%.
Starting from the age of two, your dog may develop periodontal diseases that affect the periodontal ligament, gums, and alveolar bone.
So, as their carer, you should brush and floss their teeth on a daily basis. If your dog’s gums bleed or teeth become loose, you should get them checked by a vet as soon as possible to ensure the early treatment of any hidden diseases.
To keep your dog’s smile healthy and shiny, you should know some important facts about them.
Table of Contents
#1 – Your dog experiences two sets of teeth
Similar to us, dogs go through two sets of teeth during their lifetime, puppy teeth, also known as milk teeth, and permanent teeth or “adult teeth.”
Puppy teeth are numbered at 28 and come in when your puppy is around three or four weeks of age. The first set of teeth is sharp enough to allow your pup to explore objects by mouthing and chewing on them.
When your dog reaches four months of age, their milk teeth fall out and adult canine teeth begin to grow. This set is made up of 42 teeth including molars, compared to humans’ measly 32 teeth!
#2 – Each of your dog’s teeth has a function
Your dog’s teeth are composed of four categories: Canines, premolars, molars, incisors.
Each of these categories has a special function and they’re as follows:
● Canines, or fangs, are used to grip things, tear food like meat, lock onto and chew bones.
● Premolars are the sixteen teeth in your dog’s upper and lower sides of the jaw, located just behind the canines. Their function is to tear and chew heavy food.
● Molars are the teeth (10 in total) that are behind the premolars and whose function is to grind down hard food such as dry dog kibble.
● Incisors are the twelve small teeth at the front of your dog’s mouth that are used for scraping and picking up items.
#3 – Your dog bites harder than you!
Obviously, a dog’s bite force is stronger than that of humans but not as hard as we think it is.
Although the strength of a bite force depends on which dog breed we’re talking about, the average bite force of a dog is around 230-250 pounds per square inch (PSI) which is comparatively stronger than a domestic cat’s and weaker than a gorilla’s.
In contrast with dogs, the average bite force of humans is around 162 pounds PSI. How cute!
#4 – Dogs rarely get cavities
Unlike you, your dog doesn’t have to worry a lot about cavities!
The bacteria in dogs’ mouths are very different from the bacteria in human mouths which include mutans streptococci—the species that causes cavities (AKA tooth decay)—by turning sugar into acid.
Dogs don’t consume as much sugar as we do, so only in very rare cases do they get cavities. Your responsibility as a dog parent is to avoid giving sweet treats to your dog!
#5 – Losing permanent teeth isn’t normal
Just like humans, dogs lose teeth when they grow old. But, if your dog is much younger than 7 years of age and their teeth are loose or are actually falling out and their gums are bleeding, you should take them to the vet immediately for a check-up as it may be a sign of gum disease.
Pay attention to your dog’s gums as you brush their teeth and make sure that the dog toothpaste is a good one.
Your dog’s oral hygiene and dental health is an extremely important part of their overall health, so make sure to take good care of them!