You may have found yourself wondering just how many teeth do dogs have if you find yourself being nibbled on by a puppy with tiny sharp teeth. The answer to that question is an easy one, but it really depends on the age of your dog. Puppies are going to have significantly fewer teeth than adult dogs do. And even adult dogs may have more teeth than their elderly counterparts.
Puppies start their lives with no teeth at all and that continues for 3-4 weeks before the first of their teeth start coming through their gums. Over the next few months, they will slowly emerge until they have all of their teeth. This process should be finished around when they’re 3-5 months old. Small dog breeds may take longer to develop their puppy teeth.
When it comes to baby teeth, humans only have 20. Puppies, however, have 28 baby teeth when they’ve finished growing in. Puppies only have canine, incisor, and premolar teeth, meaning they don’t develop their molars until they get their adult teeth.
When making the transition from puppy teeth to adult teeth, there may be a time when your puppy is struggling to lose their teeth, leading to them having what is known as retained teeth. Retained teeth, much like impacted teeth for humans, will need to be removed with surgery to make enough room for your puppy’s adult teeth to come in.
Just like humans, dogs have two sets of teeth throughout their lifetime: puppy teeth and adult teeth. A puppy will start losing their puppy teeth almost as soon as all of them have finished coming in, which is when they’re somewhere between 3-7 months old. If your puppy doesn’t have any retained teeth, they will go through the process of losing their puppy teeth with no issues and you may not even notice they’ve switched to their adult teeth at all.
Once the puppy teeth have gone, dogs end up having 42 teeth, which is 10 more than an adult human has. Their upper jaw has 20 teeth while their lower jaw houses the other 22 teeth.
What Teeth Do Dogs Have?
Dogs have four different types of teeth in their mouth, and each type has a certain number within their mouth. These types of teeth each serve a different purpose and helps your dog properly eat, play, and groom. Dogs have canine teeth, incisors, premolars, and molars in their mouths.
Incisors in a dog’s mouth are split evenly between their top and bottom jaw and they have a total of 12 incisor teeth. These teeth are used for grasping things like food, but can also be used to help them clean and groom themselves.
Canine teeth are the most visually noticeable, as they are in the forefront of a dog’s mouth and are what appear to be their ‘fangs’. They have 4 canine teeth, 2 on their top jaw and 2 on their bottom jaw. Canine teeth are used for tearing things like food apart for easier consumption.
Premolar teeth are used to shear food apart and grind it up for them to eat. Dogs have a total of 16 premolars that are evenly split between their top jaw and lower jaw.
Dogs have a total of 10 molars, though they aren’t split evenly like their other teeth. They have 4 molars on their upper jaw and 6 molars on their lower jaw. Molars may look almost indistinguishable from premolars, but they serve the same purpose of grinding up food for easy consumption so your dog has a lower risk of choking, though that does mean your dog needs to chew their food for these to be an effective choking preventative.
As dogs get older, they can lose some teeth due to age just like humans. This could be from decay, disease, or trauma to the teeth. As a result, they may have fewer than their 42 adult teeth.
When it comes to answering the question of just how many teeth do dogs have, it simply depends on how old they are. If you, and your dog, have enough patience, you could answer the question by counting them yourself.