Most adult dogs have 42 permanent teeth, among them eight premolars and four molars on the top as well as eight premolars and six molars on the bottom, all meant to last a lifetime. If you notice that your pooch has lost a tooth, has loose teeth or appears to be in pain when he chews, consult your veterinarian, as your dog could be suffering from a medical condition or a mouth injury.
Your pooch can't use his molars to grind her food because his jaw doesn't move from side to side. Instead, he uses his premolars and molars -- powered by his strong jaws -- for chewing large pieces of food into smaller bits. If your dog looses these teeth, he could have difficulty chewing larger pieces of food, which may mean he'll need a softer diet to ensure he's getting proper nutrition.
If your dog can eat only soft foods due to molar loss, he may be at a higher risk for tooth decay, plaque buildup and periodontal disease. Without the tooth-cleansing benefits from crunchy foods, your dog's oral health will depend on your efforts, and those of your vet, to help him keep his teeth clean.
- Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images