Dental Disease: Do Dogs Get Cavities? And 3 Other Common Questions.

  1. Do Dogs Get Cavities?

This is a frequent question we get asked by clients who come in for dog teeth cleaning. Dogs very rarely develop cavities in the same way as humans. This is because of a difference in diet, mouth bacteria, and tooth shape.

  1. How Many Teeth Should My Dog Have?

Most adult dogs have 42 teeth. They have 22 bottom teeth and 20 teeth in the upper jaw. However, don’t be alarmed if you dog doesn’t have this many teeth. Some dogs simply don’t grow that many teeth or sometimes they fall out on their own. Some dogs lose teeth because of dental disease and have had them extracted. Again, this is not a problem in most cases. Dogs are remarkable creatures and can function with a lot less teeth than you may think.

  1. Will Eating Hard Kibble Prevent Dental Disease?

Although hard kibble may scrape some soft debris off your dog’s teeth, it will not remove hardened plaque or tartar that is responsible for dental disease in dogs. It is certainly not enough to keep your dog’s mouth clean and healthy. Ask yourself this: would you give up brushing your teeth if you ate a hard cookie every day? Probably not. It’s the same with your dog. Hard snacks and food are not substitutes for proper teeth brushing.

  1. What Is The Difference Between Plaque And Tartar?

Food particles and other debris can become attached to your dogs teeth and once they find a nice place to stick too, they start accumulating more material and become the yellow and brown hard chunks you see on your dog’s teeth. The first to appear is plaque. Plaque is an accumulation of bacteria that is mixed with saliva, blood cell, and other bacterial components. Once the plaque hardens and firmly sticks to the tooth, it is known as tartar. Tartar cannot be removed by brushing, dental sticks or sprays, or other methods at home. Tartar must be removed by a professional dog dentist, which is either a vet or an anesthesia-free dental technician.

Have questions of your own? Send them to us by tweeting using the hashtag #AskK9GD or post on our Facebook page.

Our mission is to spread the word about dog dental disease and teach people about how to properly manage their dog’s dental care. Please remember: we are not vets, and cannot diagnose dog dental disease. If you are worried about dental disease in your dog, please see your vet.

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