Dog Breeds The teeth of dogs and cats

The teeth of dogs and cats

teeth of dogs and cats

Healthy teeth are free of deposits and have white teeth and pink gums. The gums have good blood circulation and look healthy. Unfortunately, teeth of dogs and cats often suffer from dental problems. In this article, you can read more about the teeth of dogs and cats.

Puppies and kittens

Puppies and kittens, like human babies, are born without teeth. The first teeth come through for 2 weeks. This is the milk teeth. When the puppies and kittens are about 3 months old, they change and the teeth appear. This also includes molars that were not yet present with the milk teeth.

The type of teeth

The teeth of the dogs and cats are naturally carnivore teeth (made for meat-eaters). The canines are there to catch the prey, the incisors to tear up the prey and the molars to grind the prey. This is also called a scissor bite, the lower canine falls in front of the upper canine.

Sometimes there are deviations in this, such as an over- or underbite, which can cause dental problems. But the under- or overbite also occurs due to the breeding of different breeds (short nose, long nose, wide jaw, narrow jaw, etc.) which can also cause dental problems.

Healthy teeth

Healthy teeth are free of deposits and have white teeth and pink gums. The gums have good blood circulation and look healthy.

The care

Dogs and cats can, just like people, also suffer from fresh breath or dental problems. That is why it is important to take good care of your dog or cat’s teeth to help prevent any problems or an expensive visit to the vet. Read all about the care of the teeth of dogs and cats here.


Often dental problems are caused by human foods, for example from a leftover thing that you have eaten yourself. The foods that are suitable for humans often contain added sugars that are harmful to the teeth.

Also by canned food, your dog or cat is more likely to suffer from dental problems. This wet food cannot clean the teeth properly, unlike hard chunks.

Dental plaque

You can recognize dental plaque by a yellowish deposit on the teeth. Often the gums are red and irritated. Dental plaque is common, it is a fairly soft layer that consists of bacteria, calcium, and phosphorus. Dental plaque is created from saliva, food residues and water. Plaque can still be removed by a lot of brushing, special toothbrushes are available for this.


Tartar is formed when plaque builds up. Therefore, tartar can form wherever plaque is present. You can recognize tartar by a somewhat brown deposit and poorly blooded gums.

You can no longer brush tartar and will have to be removed by a vet under anesthesia. Brush regularly to prevent plaque and tartar.

Other effects of plaque

Dental plaque can not only cause tartar but also cavities (caries), gum disease (gingivitis), gum disease in which the bone is already affected (periodontitis), inflammation of the mucous membrane of the cheek and even tumors.

These inflammations are caused by bacteria because they are in the mouth they can be swallowed and also cause problems in other places in the body of your dog or cat. Even more, a reason to take good care of your dog or cat’s teeth.

Prevent dental problems

Chew toys chews and treats with dental care products help to care for your pet’s teeth, but unfortunately are not enough. Extra dental care products such as a  mouthwash or a  toothbrush are necessary for a well-maintained tooth. Read more detailed information about dental care here.


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