Asking us whether it’s normal for an older dog to lose their teeth, Ashley Farnsfield raises an interesting topic that we thought worthy of public reply for the benefit of other dog owners who might be keen to know the answer.
The answer is no. Older dogs should not lose their teeth.
In all honesty Ashley, older humans shouldn’t necessarily lose their teeth as a matter of course either.
Good canine oral care, just like good human oral hygiene can help dog’s avoid problems with their teeth, meaning there is absolutely no reason why an older dog losing their teeth should be considered normal or expected.
Why do older dogs lose their teeth?
Excessive tartar build up is the enemy for your dog’s teeth as it creates a bacterial climate whereby destructive agents invade the gum and bone surfaces, causing damage or destruction to both, and eventual tooth loss in some dogs. The older dog, the more tartar build up, the higher the chances they will lose teeth that have to be removed via surgical intervention.
Machines such as the cavitron have been used with some success in removing excess tartar from a dog’s teeth. Speak to your vet about best canine oral hygiene practices.
How do dogs get dental disease?
Once the dog has bitten down on a piece of food, the outer surfaces are not utilized very much so most of the tartar forms on the outside of the teeth.
The inner surfaces are being stimulated more by the action of chewing and therefore remain cleaner.
Keeping your dog’s teeth and gums healthy is a whole of life task.
As your dog gets older they’ll certainly appreciate the benefit of having healthy teeth and gums as a result of the care you invest in their oral health from their earliest years.
Don’t treat it as ‘natural’ that old dogs will lose teeth. Our dogs oral care is our responsibility.