Jack Russell Teeth – How Many, Teething Stages, Types & Size
How Many Teeth Do Jack Russells Have?
Jack Russells, like other adult dogs, have a total of 42 teeth. These teeth are divided into different types, each serving specific functions in chewing, tearing and grinding food. Understanding the composition of their dental structure will help you recognize any abnormalities or potential dental issues.
Teething is a natural process during which puppies replace their baby teeth with permanent adult teeth. The teething process typically begins around 3 to 4 months of age and can continue up to 7 months. It occurs in stages and each stage has distinct characteristics.
- Stage 1: Incisors eruption (3-4 months): The first baby teeth to appear are the incisors, which are small, narrow teeth located at the front of the mouth.
- Stage 2: Canines eruption (4-5 months): Following the incisors, the canines, or fang-like teeth, start to emerge. These teeth are slightly longer and sharper than the incisors.
- Stage 3: Premolars eruption (4-6 months): The premolars, also known as the bicuspids, start to erupt after the canines. These teeth have a flat chewing surface.
- Stage 4: Molars eruption (5-7 months): The last set of teeth to erupt are the molars. These teeth have a larger surface area and are responsible for grinding food.
Types of Teeth
Jack Russells, like all dogs, possess different types of teeth, each with a specific purpose in the chewing and digestion process:
- Incisors: These eight teeth, four on the upper jaw and four on the lower jaw, are located at the front of the mouth and are used for gripping and nibbling food.
- Canines: Also referred to as fangs or “eye teeth,” canines are four sharp and pointed teeth used for tearing and holding onto food.
- Premolars: Jack Russells have eight premolars on each side of their mouth, behind the canines. These teeth have two cusps and help in crushing and grinding food.
- Molars: Located at the back of the mouth, Jack Russells have six molars on the upper jaw and six on the lower jaw. They have a larger surface area and are essential for grinding food effectively.
Size of Jack Russell Teeth
Jack Russell teeth vary in size depending on the type of tooth and whether they belong to a puppy or an adult dog. Puppy teeth are smaller and less developed compared to adult teeth.
- Puppy Teeth: Puppy incisors measure approximately 3-5 mm, while the canines range from 6-8 mm. Premolars measure around 4-6 mm and molars are about 5-7 mm in size.
- Adult Teeth: Adult incisors measure around 8-10 mm, canines range from 12-14 mm, premolars measure about 8-10 mm and molars measure approximately 10-12 mm.
Common Dental Issues in Jack Russells
While Jack Russells are generally robust dogs, they can still experience various dental issues. Some of the common dental problems in Jack Russells include:
- Dental plaque: A sticky film containing bacteria that forms on teeth, leading to tartar formation and tooth decay if not removed.
- Tartar: Hardened plaque that adheres to the teeth, causing gum inflammation and bad breath.
- Gum disease: Inflammation of the gums due to the buildup of plaque and tartar, leading to redness, swelling and potential tooth loss.
- Tooth decay: Destruction of the tooth structure caused by bacteria, resulting in cavities and potential tooth loss.
Signs That Your Jack Russell May Be Teething
During the teething process, Jack Russells may exhibit several signs that indicate discomfort or the presence of new teeth:
- Increased chewing or mouthing behavior
- Swollen or sensitive gums
- Drooling excessively
- Loss of appetite
- Irritability or restlessness
- Bleeding gums (in severe cases, consult a veterinarian immediately)
When Do Jack Russells Lose Their Baby Milk Teeth?
Jack Russells typically begin losing their baby teeth around 3-4 months of age as the permanent teeth start to emerge. The process of losing baby teeth and replacing them with adult teeth continues gradually until they are approximately 7 months old.
When Do Jack Russells Stop Teething?
Jack Russells usually complete the teething process by around 7 months of age when all their adult teeth have erupted. At this point, they should have a full set of 42 permanent teeth.
What Should You Do When Your Jack Russell Is Teething?
To alleviate discomfort and ensure your Jack Russell’s dental health during the teething phase, consider the following tips:
- Provide appropriate chew toys and treats to satisfy their natural chewing instincts.
- Use teething toys specifically designed to soothe their gums.
- Regularly brush their teeth with a dog-friendly toothbrush and toothpaste.
- Schedule regular veterinary check-ups to monitor their dental development.
- Consult a veterinarian if you notice any signs of severe pain, excessive bleeding, or persistent issues.
Tips for Preventing Dental Issues in Jack Russells
Maintaining good dental hygiene is crucial for preventing dental problems in Jack Russells. Follow these tips to keep their teeth clean and healthy:
- Brush your Jack Russell’s teeth regularly using a dog toothbrush and toothpaste recommended by your veterinarian.
- Provide dental chews or toys designed to promote dental health.
- Feed your Jack Russell a balanced diet that supports dental health.
- Schedule routine dental check-ups and professional cleanings with your veterinarian.
- Avoid giving your Jack Russell hard objects that may damage their teeth.
Understanding the dental aspects of your Jack Russell’s health is essential for ensuring their overall well-being. By recognizing the teething stages, types of teeth, common dental issues and adopting preventive measures, you can help your Jack Russell maintain healthy teeth and gums throughout their life. Remember, regular dental care and veterinary visits are crucial for optimal oral health.