Missing Teeth in Dogs

Why is my dog missing teeth?

Most common conditions

Cavities / Retained Deciduous Teeth / Eating Non-food Items

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Rated as mild conditon

7 Veterinary Answers

Most common conditions

Cavities / Retained Deciduous Teeth / Eating Non-food Items

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Why is my dog missing teeth?

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What is Missing Teeth?

Dogs normally go from having 28 deciduous teeth (baby teeth) to 42 adult permanent teeth.  While playing with your dog you may see spaces or gaps between his teeth and then realize that he is missing teeth. There are a variety of reasons that your dog can be missing teeth such as:

  • Losing deciduous teeth
  • Genetic faults
  • Periodontal disease
  • Embedded teeth
  • Hormone loss
  • Canine distemper as a puppy
  • Chewing rocks
  • Wrong type of chew toys

Dental issues can become serious and painful if not treated by a dental veterinarian.

Why Missing Teeth Occurs in Dogs

Losing Deciduous Teeth

Puppies usually lose their deciduous teeth (baby teeth) around 6 to 7 months of age; this is a normal process. If you have a puppy missing teeth, it maybe that he is just getting his permanent teeth in.

Genetics

Some dog breeds are born without a few teeth.  Breeds such as the Doberman Pinscher and the Collie are commonly affected.

Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease can cause gingivitis, and loss of bone and soft tissue surrounding the tooth.  If not treated, periodontal disease can lead to damage of the jaw bone and the subsequent loss of teeth.

Embedded Teeth

Embedded teeth are teeth that did not erupt during the normal teething process and remain under the gum. Embedded teeth are more common is small dog breeds but may occur in any breed.

Hormone Loss

Hormone loss in a dog’s body can lead to decreased bone mineral content and strength.  This can weaken the tooth anchorage and can increase the chances of developing periodontal disease.

Canine Distemper as a Puppy

Canine distemper is a very serious disease which is often fatal.  Canine distemper can cause the destruction of the cells responsible for producing tooth enamel.  Therefore, if your dog survived the distemper virus, his teeth may be more susceptible to erosion.

Chewing on Rocks

Strange as it may sound, some dogs like chewing on rocks.  It may be that he was starved as a puppy and learned to eat anything he could find.  It may also be out of boredom or wanting attention.  Regardless of the reason why your dog chews on rocks, biting rocks will fracture and break off his teeth.

Wrong Chew Toys

There are some chew toys that can cause your dog’s teeth to crack and fracture.  Hooves, antlers and nylon bones are too rigid and will cause damage to your dog’s teeth. Compressed rawhides can also fracture teeth; they also cause choking.  On a side note, compressed rawhides not made in the USA may have toxic compounds and chemicals.

What to do if your Dog is Missing Teeth

If your dog is missing teeth he should be seen by a dental veterinarian.  The doctor will take dental x-rays which can determine if there any embedded teeth. Embedded teeth will need to be surgically removed or they may become dentigerous cysts.  Teeth that are fractured will need to be extracted. Dogs with periodontal disease will need a deep dental cleaning, gum surgery and anti-inflammatory medications.  

Owners of dogs that undergo extractions and surgeries will be provided instructions for home oral hygiene for the patient.  For dogs with enamel deficiencies, the veterinary dentist may recommend restorative therapy for enamel hypoplasia.  It is not a permanent procedure but it can help the dog’s teeth not to erode. The protective sealants will need to be replaced periodically. Hormone loss sometimes is treated with soy isoflavones.  Soy isoflavones can actually help restore bone mineral count and strength.

Prevention of Missing Teeth

Dogs should have dental cleanings every 6 months to help prevent tartar and buildup.  There are also dog toothbrushes and toothpaste than can be used daily. Do not use human toothpaste on your dog; it can cause him stomach irritation and in fact, toothpastes containing xylitol can be lethal to canines.  If he is not crazy about the toothbrush there are pads or finger brushes that may be used instead. Provide him with safe toys. If your dog chews on rocks all efforts to remove the rocks from the yard should be undertaken.  The rocks will not only damage his teeth but can choke him and cause an abdominal obstruction. 

There are also tartar control treats for your dog which can help to eliminate tartar and plaque and also keep his breath fresh. Another preventative suggestion is to not feed your dog ice cubes.  Ice cubes can chip your dog’s teeth.

Cannanine

Cost of Missing Teeth

The cost of missing teeth may vary. An annual dental exam may be around $250. This yearly expense could rise in the event of a cleaning but will still be more economical than dealing with periodontal disease, which can be averaged at about $2500.

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Missing Teeth Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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Winnie

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Maltese

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8 Years

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Fair condition

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0 found helpful

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Fair condition

Has Symptoms

Missing Teeth

I have a 8 year old female Maltese/yorkie. She only has and has only had 4 lower incisors. My vet is trying to tell me she must have lost 2 of them, I am 100% sure that she's only ever had 4. Is this just a genetic anomaly?

Sept. 3, 2018

Winnie's Owner

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Armondo

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Rat Terrier

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7 Years

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Fair condition

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0 found helpful

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Fair condition

Has Symptoms

Overbite And Lost Teeth

7 years old Rat terrier with an overbite rescued at 1 1/2 years old. He never chewed anything I gve him, Chew toys were ignored, his top front teeth have been lost, still chews his food on the sides. Loves all food, dry and wet.

Aug. 26, 2018

Armondo's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1611 Recommendations

I'm not sure what your question is about Armondo? If you feel like he has dental disease, which is quite common in dogs, it would be a good idea to have him seen by a veterinarian, as they can assess his mouth and see what treatment or care he may need.

Aug. 26, 2018

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Chyna

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Putbull

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8 Years

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Moderate condition

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0 found helpful

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Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

None .

Hi my pitbulls bottom right fang.its really low. I think it just broke not sure. But is pulling it out ok for them to live with or should i get her a root canal or something.

July 16, 2018

Chyna's Owner

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3320 Recommendations

An extraction is probably the easiest and cheapest way to deal with a chipped tooth, there are options available for root canals, fillings, crowns etc… but in a dog in a normal domestic setting he would be fine just having it extracted. However, if you’re thinking cosmetically then some restorative dentistry may be needed. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

July 17, 2018

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Rj

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Cock-A-Tzu

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5 Months

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Mild condition

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1 found helpful

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Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Missing Teeth

My dog is 5 months old he is a shi tzu, cocker spaniel mix. He has very little teeth. His two sisters have all their teeth yet he does not have very many, also both his eyes are cherry eyes. What should I do about his teeth? What would cause that?

June 29, 2018

Rj's Owner

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3320 Recommendations

Typically it takes up to around six months for all teeth to come in; if after six months of age there are teeth missing, a dental x-ray would be valuable to see if there are teeth below the gumline or not. Some teeth don’t form so they cannot erupt, however give it another month or so and if there are still teeth missing an x-ray can be done the same time as cherry eye correction. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

June 29, 2018

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Liam

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Cockapoo

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9 Months

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Moderate condition

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1 found helpful

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Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Pain

My dog was playing around with his cousin until we noticed his tooth on the floor. We don't know what is going on. He was just chewing some toys and started running around like crazy. The rest of his teeth are fine it is just that one missing tooth. Wondering if I should take him to the vet?

April 22, 2018

Liam's Owner


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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1611 Recommendations

All dogs do have deciduous, or 'baby' teeth that fall out normally. Whether this tooth was a baby tooth or a damaged permanent tooth is hard for me to determine without seeing Liam. It would be worth taking the tooth, and Liam, to your veterinarian for a quick checkup to see if he has a problem or if that is normal for him.

April 22, 2018

We found out it was a 'baby' tooth. Thank You!

April 27, 2018

Liam's Owner

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Danae

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Pomeranian

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2 Years

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Mild condition

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0 found helpful

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Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Big Gaps
Almost No Teeth

My 2 and half year old dog has quite a few gaps I can't tell if its tooth loss or if she just has a lot of gaps. She has one loose tooth but the top of it still connected and black/brown I'm nervous because I don't know if its gum disease or is she was born like this. I can't afford to bring her to the vet as of right now. She seems perfectly fine but her mouth isn't.

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Tobius Oliver

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Yorkie poo

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4 Years

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Fair condition

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0 found helpful

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Fair condition

Has Symptoms

I Dont See Symptoms

Hi, my dog is 4 years old and he lost his first front tooth and it looks like he will lose his second one. Is this bad? If they dont grow back in i'm really worried it will affect his health. I feel like he is too old to be losing baby teeth. I don't see symptoms I just see a missing tooth.

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Elvira

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Pug

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14 Months

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Mild condition

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0 found helpful

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Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Missing Teeth

I have a 1 year old pug who's upper canine baby teeth still haven't fallen out and they are wearing down a lot. Her lower adult canines are there though. I'm worried if they don't come out and allow the adult teeth to come in soon it could adversly affect her mouth. My vet says he's never seen anything like it before.

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Gracie

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Beabull

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14 Months

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Fair condition

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0 found helpful

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Fair condition

Has Symptoms

Tooth Pain

My dog has 2 tiny white points behind each lower fang they look like teeth that are still coming in but they haven't changed in months and I don't know if this is cause for concern. She's constantly mouthing our fingers. It got to the point we've been giving her canine aspirin. I know medicating for the rest of her life is not ideal but it's the only way she won't bite us.

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Tonks

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Labradoodle

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12 Weeks

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Fair condition

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0 found helpful

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Fair condition

Has Symptoms

Missing Teeth
Imbedded Teeth

My female labradoodle puppy is 12 weeks and her lower canines have yet to come in. She appears to have all her other baby teeth. This was mentioned and observed by the vet w the breeder before I got her as something to watch... Should I be concerned?

Cannanine