How Many Teeth Do Dogs Have?

Ever wondered about the number of teeth adult dogs have? Much like us, dogs undergo a fascinating transition from their puppy teeth to their mature ones. In this article, we will delve into the intriguing world of dog dental anatomy, exploring their tooth count, the various types of teeth they possess, and the reasons behind tooth loss. We’ll also offer valuable insights into maintaining your dog’s dental hygiene and preventing tooth loss. Let’s embark on this dental journey together.

Dogs, whether they’re in their youth or old age, boast an impressive set of teeth. The number of teeth in a dog’s mouth may vary slightly depending on their breed, but as a rule of thumb, adult dogs typically have around 42 teeth. However, this count changes as dogs progress through different life stages, with puppies and adult dogs each having distinct sets of teeth, each with its own purpose.

For instance, Chihuahuas, a petite dog breed, also have their own unique dental anatomy. It’s essential to be aware of the normal number of teeth in adult Chihuahuas to maintain their dental health. Additionally, the topic of retained deciduous teeth, which refers to baby teeth that haven’t fallen out on schedule, is crucial when discussing dental care for dogs.

Taking care of your dog’s dental hygiene is of utmost importance. Regular teeth cleaning routines and dental care practices can help maintain the health of their adult dog teeth. By understanding the dental anatomy of your furry companion and staying proactive, you can ensure their teeth remain strong and functional throughout their life.

Puppy Teeth

Puppies are born without teeth, but they start developing deciduous teeth, commonly known as “baby teeth,” at around three weeks of age. These temporary teeth help them explore their world and begin the weaning process. By the time a puppy is six weeks old, they usually have a full set of 28 deciduous teeth.

Adult Teeth

As puppies grow, their baby teeth begin to fall out to make way for their adult teeth. Around the age of four to six months, dogs start teething, and this process can be uncomfortable for them.

TYPICAL DOGS HAVE 42 TEETH: Adult dogs usually have a total of 42 permanent teeth, which distinguishes them from humans, who typically have 32 teeth. Specifically, their upper jaw contains 20 teeth, while their lower jaw houses 22 teeth.

Types of Dog Teeth

In a dog’s mouth, there are four types of teeth: molars, premolars, canines, and incisors. These different types of teeth serve distinct purposes in your dog’s dental health. Let’s take a closer look at the different types of teeth that make up a dog’s impressive dental arsenal:


Incisors are the small front teeth used for grasping and nibbling. Dogs have six upper and six lower incisors. Your dog’s incisors are positioned right at the front of their mouth. Originally evolved for scraping meat from bones in the wild, incisors also come in handy for nibbling on various items and removing debris, ticks, and insects from their coat.


The prominent, pointed teeth, known as canines or “fangs,” are used for tearing and holding onto objects. Dogs have four canines – two on the upper and two on the lower jaw.

Located toward the front of the mouth, canines serve as the four fang-like teeth designed for gripping objects. Whether it’s holding onto a meaty chew or securing their favorite dog toy, your loyal companion relies on these teeth to keep things firmly in place.


Pre-molars are flat-topped teeth used for grinding and tearing. Dogs have a total of 16 pre-molars – four in each quadrant of the mouth.

Just ahead of the molars, premolars are responsible for tearing apart whatever your dog is chewing. Have you ever observed your furry companion using the sides of their mouth during chewing? That’s their way of making the most of their premolars!


Molars are the large, flat teeth situated at the back of the mouth, primarily used for grinding food. Adult dogs have ten molars – two on the upper and three on the lower jaw in each quadrant.

Situated at the rear of your dog’s mouth, molars play a crucial role in breaking down tough foods like kibble, rawhide, and dog biscuits. While these teeth may appear flat and only a small portion is visible, they are adept at crushing and grinding.

Why Dogs Lose Teeth

Dogs lose teeth for various reasons. In puppies, it’s natural for them to lose their baby teeth as they grow. However, if you’re concerned about adult dogs losing teeth, it’s often an indication of underlying issues like periodontal disease or dental trauma. If you notice your adult dog losing teeth, it’s crucial to consult a veterinarian promptly for a thorough examination and appropriate treatment.

How To Prevent Dogs From Losing Their Teeth

Maintaining your dog’s dental health is essential to prevent tooth loss and associated health issues. Here are some tips to help keep your furry friend’s teeth in excellent condition:

  • Regular Brushing: Brush your dog’s teeth regularly with a dog-specific toothbrush and toothpaste. This helps prevent plaque and tartar buildup.
  • Dental Chews and Toys: Provide dental chews and toys designed to help clean your dog’s teeth and strengthen their jaw.
  • Professional Dental Care: Schedule regular dental check-ups with your veterinarian to catch and address any dental issues early.

Frequently Asked Questions regarding the number of teeth in dogs.

Can dogs get cavities? Yes, dogs can get cavities, but they are less common than in humans. Regular dental care can help prevent them.

How often should I brush my dog’s teeth? Ideally, you should brush your dog’s teeth at least 2-3 times a week, if not daily, to maintain good dental hygiene.

Are there breeds with more teeth than others? While there can be some slight variation, most dog breeds have a similar number of teeth, which is around 42.

Do all dog breeds have 42 teeth? No, not all dog breeds have exactly 42 teeth. The number of teeth can vary slightly between breeds, but on average, adult dogs typically have between 42 to 44 teeth.

Can a dog survive without teeth? Yes, dogs can survive without teeth. While teeth are important for chewing, a dog’s diet can be adapted to accommodate tooth loss. Softening food or providing special diets may be necessary for dogs without teeth.

How many teeth can a dog lose? Dogs can lose their baby (deciduous) teeth as puppies and their adult teeth as they age. Typically, adult dogs have 42 to 44 teeth, and losing a few teeth over time is normal. However, excessive tooth loss may require veterinary attention.

What happens if my dog loses his teeth? If your dog loses teeth, it can affect their ability to eat and play. Dental problems can also lead to other health issues. It’s essential to consult a veterinarian if your dog loses teeth, as they can assess the cause and recommend appropriate care, which may include dental cleanings, extractions, or dietary adjustments.


Understanding the dental structure of dogs and how their teeth develop from puppyhood to adulthood is crucial for every dog owner. By taking proper care of your dog’s teeth and knowing what to expect during their growth, you can ensure that your furry companion enjoys a lifetime of healthy smiles. Remember, regular dental care is a key factor in your dog’s overall well-being.

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