Puppies are born without teeth and get their puppy teeth between the 6 and 8th week of life and grow 28 teeth (called deciduous or baby teeth). The first teeth to emerge are the incisors at 2 to 3 weeks, followed by the canines and the premolars. Puppies do not have molars. The upper and lower canines are at the back of the mouth and are larger teeth, with the upper and lower incisors in the middle.
Info on Puppy Teeth: Puppy Teething
Puppy teething continues on and off for several months just like in humans. Unfortunately like humans it can be painful or uncomfortable for your dog. You can tell when your dog is teething from her increased chewing and biting on everything imaginable.
Teething is something all puppies must go through. You can help to relieve your dog's pain by using drops such as Pet Alive PupTeeth.
Losing Puppy Teeth
Your dog will be losing puppy teeth between the age of 3 to 7 months. Like humans, the adult teeth push the puppy teeth out.
Puppy Age - Teeth that Fall Out and Grow
- 3 Months: Puppy Incisors begin to fall out
- 4 Months: Adult Canines and Molars start to come in
- 6 to 7 Months: Adult Molars Come In
- 7 to 8 Months: Full Adult Teeth
By month 8 your dog should have a full set of 42 teeth. In general, the larger the dog, the faster you will see teeth.
Certain breeds have fewer (Doberman Pinshers), or more teeth (spaniels, hounds, greyhounds).
Puppies are just like babies and seek to teeth to relieve the pain of the teeth breaking through the gums. You'll see your puppy drool excessively, nature's lubricant for tooth growth.
The root from the baby tooth (deciduous tooth root) should be reabsorbed by the adult tooth. If it is not, the adult tooth may produce an abnormal bite (malocclusion) and even have two sets of crowded teeth (a common problem in toy breeds). You should have a baby tooth removed if it is in the same area of the adult tooth. Removing the baby tooth early will often result in the adult tooth moving into its correct place. If the tooth is not removed, food can get trapped between baby and adult tooth resulting in periodontal disease and possibly early tooth loss.
There is a procedure called interceptive orthodontics which will correct 50% of abnormal bites. For info on puppy teeth orthodontics see dentalvet.com for great information.
A puppy should be checked at 3 or 4 months for bite problems. If baby teeth are the cause of a bad bite, pulling the baby teeth causing the problem usually allows the bite to correct itself.
Info on Puppy Teeth: Puppy Teething Pain
These approaches can be used individually or together to help with puppy teething pain:
- Numb Puppy gums with Ice: Either put ice in the puppy water bowl give the puppy a bowl of ice that is crushed.
- Freeze a washcloth: Put a wet twisted washcloth or other cloth into the freezer. Given the frozen twisted washcloth to the puppy to teeth on. Try freezing more than one, so you have another ready to go.
- Massage the puppy gums: Move your hand under the chin. Massage the upper and lower gums with a circular motion for up to 10 minutes.
- Try Herbal Remedies for puppy teething pain: Create an ice cube using aloe vera juice. Rub the ice cube you create on the puppy gums. You can also make your own mixture of dried Chamomile (1 teaspoon) and 8 oz of boiling water. After it cools, provide to puppy as a drink. You can also use a syringe/turkey baster to apply it to the mouth.
The herbal remedy Chamomilla (30C) is also a well-known remedy for supporting comfort during the normal teething process. Chamomilla is one of the active ingredients in PupTeeth Granules, a homeopathic product formulated specifically to help with puppy teething pain.
Missing Adult Teeth in Puppies
Some puppies lose their baby teeth with no replacement adult tooth in sight. Your Veterinarian can provide the info on puppy teeth you need and do an x-ray to determine if the teeth are on the way. Even if a few are missing, as long as the dog is behaving and eating normally, this may not be a problem. If the teeth are below the gum line and can't get out, the Vet can do some minor surgery to create an opening for the tooth. Again a Veterinarian would need to be consulted.