Older dog losing teeth – the causes, remedies and responsibilities of the owner – What does it mean if the dog has lost his teeth? Matter of age or a serious problem to be faced before it’s late? All the answers.
The health of their dogs is always at the center of the concerns of every conscientious owner. Yet there are some phenomena that we are witnessing powerless, perhaps a little impressive but certainly necessary and ‘natural’ in Dog’s life, such as tooth loss. We know that both in puppies that have to change milk teeth, replacing them with definitive ones, and in older dogs, it can happen, but if it happens when the dog is still young is there to worry about? What is our share of responsibility in this matter? Here is everything you need to know to prevent and deal with the fact that the dog loses his teeth.
The dog has lost his teeth: the ‘at risk’ ages
Just as happens in children around 4-5 years of age, puppies must also lose their milk teeth to replace them with the definitive ones (Read here: How many teeth does a dog have and what are they called? All about Dog’s teeth). Although the event may still appear traumatic, in reality the falling tooth does so because it is ‘pushed’ by the definitive tooth that has already formed in the gum. So it is completely normal to find a small tooth in our puppy’s bowl: there is no need to be alarmed! But always better to keep it to show it to our trusted vet.
Like humans, dogs also have two sets of teeth that change according to age. Milk teeth have shorter and weaker roots, so sooner or later they will fall out. In reality, even in adulthood, a dog may retain milk teeth which then change when he is still young or he may never lose. This can happen either because the final tooth has not formed in the gum, or has not enough room to exit.
The puppy and the adult dog
A newborn dog has 28 milk teeth, which usually appear in his mouth around the third and sixth week of life. The peculiarity of these teeth is certainly not in the weak roots, since they will have to be replaced shortly thereafter, but in the fact of being rather sharp and very sharp (Read here: When the puppy puts his teeth: the dog’s teething). Already from 5 to 8 months of life, adult teeth will form: and it is in this period that they will push the milk teeth from the gums, causing them to fall. But if it is an adult dog, the reasons may not be so natural. We will therefore see what the possible causes of tooth loss can be and how, when possible, to avoid them.
Symptoms that precede tooth loss
As always, before diagnosing a dog problem, it is necessary to look at its overall appearance and health. In fact, often tooth loss does not occur suddenly but is preceded by some signals that should not be underestimated. Here are what they are:
- gingival bleeding,
- lack of appetite (but above all it refuses to eat solid and harder foods),
- bad breath and bad smell in the mouth,
- obvious plaque on the teeth,
- teeth staggering.
The dog has lost his teeth: all possible causes
When the dog is an adult but loses his teeth, the problems can hide more serious health problems, but also caused by poor nutrition or poor oral hygiene. There are now a number of practical tools for cleaning the dog’s teeth on the market. It is essential to understand the underlying causes of tooth fall to understand what the owner did wrong and when the tooth fall was really inevitable.
- Age: both at a young age and when the dog is old, tooth loss is an absolutely predictable event.
- Trauma and beatings: unfortunately it is impossible to predict if, during the games or a scuffle with his fellows or in the case of accidents, the dog may suffer frontal trauma that causes him to lose his teeth. In case of direct trauma it is absolutely necessary to bring the dog to the veterinarian, since often the tooth remains partially in the gum and cause infections.
- Wrong feeding: vitamins and other essential nutrients must never be missing from the ideal diet for the dog, whether it be a puppy or an adult. The effects of incorrect feeding can be seen on the dog even after some time, not immediately. Sometimes the malnourished dog may not be underweight, so apparently he may seem strong, but in reality he lacks the essential elements for the growth and strengthening of bones, muscles and even gums and teeth.
- diseases: some can also cause tooth loss, or a weakening such that the fall is almost inevitable. For this reason it is important that the dog is always subjected to a periodic visit by a dental veterinarian, in order to avoid and treat any mouth problems. Periodontal diseases, but also plaque and tartar are among the most common pathologies, along with gingivitis and periodontitis.
- Medicines and treatments: both the use of medicines and invasive treatments, as in rare cases also chemotherapy, can weaken the gums and therefore all the dental apparatus of dog.
- Poor oral hygiene: plaque and tartar can easily settle on teeth that are not washed well and often, and therefore weaken the gums. Furthermore, the food residues that remain between the teeth, when not removed, cause infections as well as bad smells and bad breath.
How to prevent tooth loss
Good to reiterate once again how important it is to look after dog’s dental health. We have no more excuses, since there are practical and cheap tools on the market to brush his teeth, such as the toothbrush that he puts on his finger, or games suitable for his teeth that are used to eliminate food and plaque residues. In addition to daily cleaning, it is important to book visits to the dental veterinarian and to proceed, on expert advice, with cleaning operations. Dental care is in fact essential to maintain a correct level of hygiene and health of the adult dog’s teeth. The ideal time, barring sudden complications, could be about every six months.