Your Chihuahua’s got a toothy grin.
It looks like your pooch has some problems with their teeth.
What could it be?
In this article, you’ll find out:
- How many teeth do Chihuahuas have?
- 3 simple ways you can prevent dental problems with your pooch.
- The 3 most common teeth problems of small dog breeds like Chihuahuas.
- And much much more…
Table of contents
How many teeth do Chihuahuas have?
Chihuahuas have a total of 42 teeth as an adult and 28 deciduous or milk teeth as a puppy. When they reach the age of 8 months to 1 year old, these milk teeth will start to fall out and will be replaced by their permanent teeth.
People also ask:
Chihuahua teeth chart
One day, you caught your Chihuahua grinning from ear to ear.
Look at all my chompers. Do I look pwetty?”
They sure look adorable. But you can’t help but wonder,
“Why does my Chihuahua seem to have more teeth than other dogs?”
Your pooch has the same amount of teeth as other dogs.
The only difference is that they’re smaller than most. So their teeth look like they’re overcrowding their mouths.
To show you how your Chihuahua’s mouth looks from the inside, here’s a teeth chart from VCA Hospitals.
How many teeth does a Chihuahua have?
As an adult
Based on the chart above, can you count how many teeth your Chihuahua has?
They have 42 teeth in total. And this comes in two sets.
The top, which is known as the maxilla, has 20 teeth.
And the bottom, which is called the mandible, consists of 22 teeth.
Now, let me tell you about their different kinds.
First, are the incisors. They have 12 of these.
These are the teeth that are in the front of your Chihuahua’s mouth.
And these teeth are used for tearing the meat from the bone. They also use these for their grooming.
Like scratching or getting something out of their fur.
Next are the canines or the ‘pointy fangs’.
Your Chihuahua has 4 of them.
These teeth are used for tearing apart meat. And also for holding on to something.
Your dog’s canines are so powerful.
That’s why they can beat everyone in the game of tug-of-war.
And then they also have 16 premolars.
These are the ones used for shredding meat.
If you see your pooch chewing something on the side of their mouth, those are the premolars they’re using.
The last is the molars located at the back of your Chi’s mouth.
They have 10 of these.
Molars are used for grinding food. Especially the hard ones like their kibbles and chew bones.
As a puppy
As an adult dog, your Chihuahua has 42 teeth.
But before that, they only used to have 28.
These were called milk teeth. Also known as their primary or deciduous teeth.
Puppies lose their milk teeth once they reach the age of 8 months to 1 year old.
“But where do these teeth go?
I haven’t seen my dog lose them ever.”
Your pooch may have lost them while they’re eating or playing. And they accidentally swallowed them.
That’s why you didn’t see it.
(This is pretty normal in all dogs. They’d just poop the teeth out the next day.)
As for their blood, well, chances are your dog has also swallowed it.
So after their milk teeth have gone, their permanent ones will start to show up one by one.
Chihuahua teeth problems
#1: Periodontal disease
Does it seem like your Chihuahua’s teeth are rotting?
Trivia: Smaller dog breeds like your Chihuahua are more likely to develop dental problems compared to bigger ones.
“But why’s that?”
It’s because their small mouth has to accommodate the same amount of teeth that a large dog has.
This means that their teeth are so close to each other because of their mouth-to-teeth ratio.
There’s so little space in between.
So it’s hard to clean them up.
Because of this, your pooch could also have several dental issues.
Like the periodontal disease caused by bacterias in your dog’s teeth.
This is a gum disease that’s most common in Chihuahuas and other small breeds. (Like the Pomeranians, Malteses, Yorkshires, etc.)
Here’s how it occurs:
It’s hard to clean your Chihuahua’s teeth.
So plaque starts to build up in it after a while.
Now, if the plaque is not removed from their teeth, they’ll harden.
The hardened plaque will then turn into tartar.
And it’ll form below the gum line.
This will then cause your dog’s gum to pull away from the tooth.
“Ooh, what happens next?”
Okay, so now that your dog’s teeth are exposed, their bones can be easily infected by bacterias.
Which can cause bone destruction and infection.
And if your dog’s bone is infected, their teeth could decay.
Eventually, they could all fall out.
Not only that.
The infection caused by bacterias will not just destroy your Chihuahua’s teeth.
It will also infect their bloodstream.
And can lead to more serious problems that can affect their kidney, heart, and liver.
They can live for up to 20 years if they’re in good health.
But according to Prestige Animal Hospital, a dental problem like periodontal disease can cut their life short by 1-3 years.
So what are the causes of this disease?”
For more information on this and other Chihuahua health issues, head to this article.
The first cause of periodontal disease in Chihuahuas is eating soft food all the time.
Dogs don’t need to brush their teeth as often as humans do.
This is because they have their au naturel way of cleaning their teeth.
Like when they’re eating kibbles.
Their meal’s rough texture acts as your dog’s natural toothbrush.
Their treats, too.
Some of them (especially the chewy ones) are designed to clean their teeth as they chew.
Even gnawing on bones can also give your dog pearly whites.
So if your pooch always eats soft food like mashed kibbles mixed with water, their teeth will not get cleaned enough.
And the plaques in between their teeth won’t loosen up.
Not brushing their teeth
“Oh, I get it. I just have to buy my pooch chew treats!”
Not brushing your dog’s teeth could also cause periodontal disease.
Your Chihuahua could still be at risk. Even if they’re eating and chewing on kibbles.
Take a look at your Chi’s chompers.
See how they’re so close to each other?
Sometimes, eating kibbles isn’t enough to clean those.
Especially because their teeth are overcrowded.
I know, it’s hard to brush Chihuahuas teeth.
Their mouths are so small. And their teeth are so little.
But if you don’t do it, bacteria will seep in between their teeth. Causing it to rot and have an infection.
How to recognize periodontal disease
So how can you tell if your dog has gum or periodontal disease?
WebMD says you should look out for the following signs:
- Discolored teeth.
- Resistance to brushing of teeth.
- Lumps in and around their mouth.
- Blood on their toys and water bowl.
Read also: 5 Reasons Why Your Chihuahua Has Bad Breath
#2: Double-row teeth
Do your Chihuahua’s teeth look like little white mints fighting for space in their mouth?
This happens when they don’t lose their milk teeth. And then their permanent ones start to grow out.
Because of this, they have double rows of chompers.
Double teeth, twice the trouble.
Jokes aside, If your Chi’s milk teeth didn’t fall out, the permanent ones will grow out crooked or slanted.
It’s because they don’t have space anymore.
This dental problem will be painful for your pooch. And it will be hard for them to eat and chew.
Plus they can also have cuts inside their mouth because of the crooked teeth.
So when they chew on their toys, you may notice some blood in there.
If your Chihuahua has double row teeth, they may also show other signs like:
- Swelling gums.
- Lacking appetite.
- Excessive drooling.
- Vocalizing when eating and yawning.
I find all dogs beautiful, even if they have an underbite. 🙂
Have you seen a pooch who looks like they’re always biting their lower lip?
Or perhaps seen a Chihuahua whose lower teeth are more protruding than the upper ones?
You see, another teeth problem Chihuahuas could have is malocclusion.
It’s the misalignment of a dog’s upper and lower jaw.
Unlike other dental issues, this one is more common in purebreds.
And it’s hereditary.
So if your pooch’s birth parents have this trait, they may pass it on to your Chihuahua.
This may not be as serious as periodontal disease.
But it can also cause discomfort to your pooch.
For example, they may find it hard to eat certain kinds of food. Because they can’t pick it up with their teeth.
Or their food may always fall out from their mouth.
They may also have mouth injuries when their overbite hits their lower or upper lip.
What you can do
Dogs who have overbite don’t need treatment.
I mean, if they’re not experiencing discomfort or difficulty in eating, that is.
But if they are, then having teeth braces can save and correct their teeth.
Take them to a vet specialist for a check-up and assessment.
Bonus: Impacted teeth
Now, another dental issue your dog could have is an impacted tooth.
This happens when they have stubborn deciduous teeth that refuse to fall out. And their permanent teeth can’t come out.
This can cause severe swelling and pain in their gums.
And it may need extractions to correct this.
Tips to prevent teeth problems in your Chihuahua
#1: Brush their teeth
Oral hygiene is important.
So to prevent your pooch from having teeth problems, you must clean their teeth regularly.
This could be done every other day.
But if you can do it every day, then that’s better.
Chihuahuas have small mouths. So brushing the outside part of their teeth will do.
You can use a finger brush to gain access to the inside part of their mouth.
This can also give you more control of the brush strokes.
Here’s a friendly reminder.
Like other dogs, your pooch may dislike this activity.
So to make their brushing experience better, get them flavored toothpaste.
Animal stores sell them in peanut butter and meat flavors.
Don’t force them as well.
Think of it as a bonding activity with your pooch.
This way they’d be more than happy to do this with you. Like the pooch in the video below.
#2: Feed them kibbles
To naturally clean your dog’s teeth, avoid feeding them soft food always.
Let them eat dry kibbles once in a while too. 🙂
You can also give them dental chews and biscuits to chew on as their treats.
The dry texture of these foods can loosen up the plaque in their teeth.
Note: Although this is a simple way to prevent plaque, this method is not as effective as brushing your dog’s teeth regularly.
#3: Have their teeth checked once/twice a year
Regular vet visits can help avoid long-term teeth problems with your Chi.
But you might be wondering,
“How often should I take my pooch for professional cleaning?”
Professionals say at least once or twice every year.
Especially when your dog’s experiencing symptoms like bleeding gums.
Or difficulties in eating.
Chihuahua teeth cleaning cost
It’s recommended to have your dog’s teeth checked by vets regularly.
“But I’m worried about the costs…”
According to Dr. Judy Morgan, regular teeth cleaning costs around $500-1,000 per session.
And also, the price varies depending on how severe your dog’s dental disease is.
She even said that some of her patients paid $2,000- $3,000. For both teeth extraction and cleaning in some vet specialists.
So to prevent these high bills, brush your dog’s teeth every other day.
The price of toothpaste is still way cheaper than these treatments.
Chihuahua teeth removal cost
Okay, take a deep breath.
Teeth extraction for dogs isn’t as expensive as teeth cleaning.
Dr. Morgan further added that a simple extraction in dogs costs around $10-15 per tooth only.
And for more complicated extractions, it can cost up to $100 per tooth.
Warning: Don’t try to extract or pull your dog’s teeth at home. Tooth extraction is a serious operation and it must be performed by professionals only.
Can Chihuahuas survive without teeth?
Lost permanent teeth from diseases and extractions will not grow out again.
That’s why you should always choose extraction as the last resort.
But what if your Chi’s lost all their permanent teeth?
Will they be able to live without them?
The answer is yes. They can.
But it won’t be easy.
You’ll always have to feed them soft foods. Like kibbles mixed with warm water and then mashed.
Or canned dog foods that aren’t the chunky types.
If your dog has periodontal disease, you can also ask your vet for procedures they can do to save your dog’s teeth.
Like ‘bone grafting’.
It’s one way to save and preserve your dog’s most important teeth from being extracted. Such as their canines and molars.