Anatomy Of Your Dogs Teeth

Mouth, Teeth - By Melissa Mathews on Thursday, June 24, 2010 - 15:35

Like humans, dogs have 2 sets of teeth.  Deciduous teeth a.k.a. baby teeth and a full set of adult teeth.  Very young puppies do not need teeth since they are still nursing so baby teeth tend to begin to push through around three to four weeks of age and are typically fully in by six weeks.  As the puppy grows the jaw develops and the adult teeth begin to push through the gums and force out the baby teeth.  While it can vary between breeds, typically dogs have around 28 baby teeth and and 42 permanent.  Half of the teeth are on the Maxillary Arcade, the top portion of the mouth and the other half are on the Mandibular Arcade or the lower jaw line.  Below is a description of the types of teeth and where they fit in your dogs mouth.

Incisors - Incisors are the first teeth to push through in both the deciduous set and the adult set.  The deciduous incisors come in around 4-5 weeks of age and the adult ones push through at 3 - 5 months.  12 incisors sit at the front of the mouth between the canines.  In dogs the majority of biting and tearing flesh while eating is done with the canines and carnissals so the incisors tend to be rather small.

Canines - These are also referred to as cuspids, fangs, or eye teeth in reference to the top set. Canines are the most important teeth for dogs as they help them tear and bite flesh.  In dogs these tend to be the largest most prominent teeth in the mouth.  Typically dogs have four canines, two on top and two on bottom.  The deciduous canines push through around 4-6 weeks of age and the adult set pushes through around 4-6 months.

Premolars - The premolars are sort of transitional teeth between the canines and carnissals.  They help with chewing and biting and are often used when eating and chewing on toys.  The deciduous set begins to develop around 4-6 weeks and the adult set pushes in around 4-6 months.

Carnissals - These teeth are found in many carnivores.  They are large teeth that are used to sheer and rip meat.  They have developed through evolution from the last upper premolars in the mouth and the first lower molars.  They help in eating for domestic dogs but in wild dogs they are pivotal in their ability to eat and survive.

Molars -   The last teeth to descend and the most far back set in the mouth, the molars are used for chewing meat that has already been removed from the bone.  Molars only descend when the jaw is developed typically around 5 -7 months of age.

 In the image to the right by: spratmackrel
the dog is gripping the stick with the carnissals.  The molars are hidden behind the stick back in the mouth but the visible teeth are outlined in below colors.

incisors  - red
canines - yellow
premolars - orange carnissals - green

Tags: Mouth, Teeth
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