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How Many Teeth Do Pitbulls Have?

Pitbulls, like most adult dogs, have a total of 42 teeth. These teeth are divided into two sets: deciduous (baby) teeth and permanent teeth. During the teething process, pitbull puppies develop 28 baby teeth. As they mature, these baby teeth are gradually replaced by a set of 42 permanent teeth, which they have by the time they reach adulthood.

Types of Teeth

Pitbulls possess four main types of teeth, each serving a specific purpose in the chewing and biting process. Here are the types of teeth found in pitbulls:

  • Incisors: Pitbulls have a total of 12 incisors, six in the upper jaw and six in the lower jaw. These are the small, sharp teeth located at the front of the mouth. Incisors are used for gripping and scraping food during the chewing process.
  • Canines: The four canines, also known as fangs, are long and pointed teeth situated on either side of the incisors. Canines are designed for tearing and holding prey. They play a crucial role in a pitbull’s ability to catch and grasp objects.
  • Premolars: Pitbulls have 16 premolars, eight in each jaw. Premolars are larger and flatter teeth located behind the canines. They aid in cutting, shearing and grinding food. These teeth are vital for the initial breakdown of food before it is further processed by the molars.
  • Molars: The molars are situated at the back of the mouth and pitbulls typically have 10 molars, five in each jaw. Molars have a larger surface area and are responsible for grinding and crushing food into smaller particles, making it easier to swallow and digest.

Teething Stages

Teething is a natural process that occurs as your pitbull puppy’s teeth begin to emerge and replace their baby teeth with permanent ones. The teething stages in pitbulls are as follows:

  • Stage 1 (3-4 weeks): The first stage involves the eruption of incisors, the small teeth located in the front of the mouth. Puppies will start exploring their environment and may begin chewing on objects.
  • Stage 2 (4-8 weeks): During this stage, the canines (fangs) start to emerge. Puppies may experience discomfort and tenderness in their gums, leading to increased chewing and mouthing behaviors.
  • Stage 3 (8-12 weeks): The premolars, which are the larger teeth behind the canines, come in during this stage. The discomfort intensifies and puppies may exhibit more pronounced teething behaviors.
  • Stage 4 (12-16 weeks): The final stage involves the eruption of the molars, which are located at the back of the mouth. At this point, most of the permanent teeth have come in and the teething process begins to subside.

Common Dental Issues in Pitbulls

Proper dental care is essential for maintaining the overall health and well-being of your pitbull. Unfortunately, like other dog breeds, pitbulls can be prone to certain dental issues that require attention and treatment. Here are some common dental issues in pitbulls:

  • Periodontal Disease: Periodontal disease is a prevalent dental condition in dogs, including pitbulls. It occurs when plaque and tartar build-up on the teeth, leading to gum inflammation (gingivitis) and potentially progressing to periodontitis. If left untreated, periodontal disease can cause tooth loss, pain and even systemic health problems. Signs include bad breath, red or swollen gums and difficulty eating.
  • Dental Trauma: Pitbulls are active and energetic dogs and accidents or rough play can sometimes result in dental trauma. This may include broken or fractured teeth, dislodged teeth, or injuries to the jaw or gums. Dental trauma can cause pain and discomfort for your pitbull and may require immediate veterinary attention.
  • Malocclusion: Malocclusion refers to misalignment or incorrect positioning of the teeth. Pitbulls may sometimes develop bite abnormalities such as overbite (when the upper teeth protrude beyond the lower teeth) or underbite (when the lower teeth extend past the upper teeth). These malocclusions can lead to difficulties in chewing, discomfort and an increased risk of dental problems.
  • Tooth Decay: Poor dental hygiene, inappropriate diet and lack of regular dental care can contribute to tooth decay in pitbulls. Tooth decay occurs when bacteria break down the enamel, leading to cavities. Signs of tooth decay may include discolored or blackened teeth, sensitivity and pain while eating.

What Should You Do When Your Pitbull is Teething?

The teething stage can be a challenging and uncomfortable time for your pitbull puppy. Here’s what you should do when your pitbull is teething:

  • Provide appropriate chew toys: Offer a variety of safe and durable chew toys specifically designed for teething puppies. Look for toys made of soft rubber or specifically designed for teething relief. Avoid toys that are too hard or small, as they can pose a choking hazard.
  • Cold relief: Cold temperatures can help soothe your pitbull’s teething discomfort. Provide frozen treats or toys that have been cooled in the refrigerator. The coldness can help numb their gums and provide relief.
  • Gentle gum massage: Gently massaging your pitbull’s gums with a clean finger or a damp cloth can help alleviate soreness. Be sure to use gentle pressure and soothing motions to provide comfort. You can also try using a teething gel specifically formulated for dogs, following the instructions provided.
  • Monitor chewing habits: Keep a close eye on your pitbull’s chewing habits during the teething stage. Redirect them to appropriate chew toys whenever they start mouthing or chewing on inappropriate items, such as furniture or shoes.
  • Maintain a balanced diet: Ensure that your pitbull is receiving a balanced and nutritious diet during the teething stage. Providing high-quality dog food and avoiding excessively hard or tough foods can help prevent dental issues and support healthy tooth development.
  • Regular veterinary check-ups: Schedule regular visits to your veterinarian to monitor your pitbull’s oral health. The veterinarian can assess the progress of teething, check for any retained baby teeth and provide guidance on dental care routines and overall oral health.

Tips for Preventing Dental Issues in Pitbulls

Prevention is key when it comes to maintaining optimal dental health in your pitbull. Here are some important tips for preventing dental problems in your pitbull:

  • Establish a regular tooth brushing routine: Brushing your pitbull’s teeth regularly is one of the most effective ways to prevent dental issues. Use a dog-specific toothbrush and toothpaste to gently clean their teeth. Start the brushing routine when they are young to get them accustomed to the process.
  • Provide dental-friendly chew toys and treats: Offer chew toys that promote dental health, such as specially designed dental chews or toys that help remove plaque and tartar. Look for treats and chews that are approved by veterinary dental associations for their oral health benefits.
  • Avoid hard or abrasive objects: Refrain from giving your pitbull hard objects like bones, antlers, or hard toys that may cause dental fractures or damage. Opt for softer toys that are less likely to harm their teeth.
  • Feed a balanced diet: Ensure that your pitbull’s diet is well-balanced and supports dental health. Choose high-quality dog food that is appropriate for their age and breed. Avoid sticky or sugary foods that can contribute to tooth decay.
  • Schedule regular dental check-ups: Make regular dental check-ups a part of your pitbull’s healthcare routine. Schedule professional dental cleanings with a veterinarian to remove plaque and tartar buildup and to address any potential dental issues early on.
  • Monitor oral health at home: Regularly inspect your pitbull’s mouth for signs of dental problems, including bad breath, swollen gums, tooth discoloration, or difficulty eating. If you notice any abnormalities, seek veterinary care promptly.
  • Consider dental hygiene products: Consult with your veterinarian about the use of dental hygiene products, such as water additives or dental rinses, that can help maintain your pitbull’s oral health. These products may help control bacteria and plaque formation.

Understanding the intricacies of pitbull teeth and the teething process is vital for responsible dog owners. By familiarizing yourself with the number of teeth, teething stages, types of teeth, size and common dental issues in pitbulls, you can provide the necessary care to support their dental health. Remember to watch for signs of teething, assist in the shedding of baby teeth and take proactive steps to prevent dental issues. Your pitbull’s oral health is an essential aspect of their overall well-being.

Pitbull Teeth – How Many, Teething Stages, Types & Size