Dog Teeth Anatomy – How Many Teeth do Dogs have

The dog teeth anatomy is a highly specialized structure compared to the ruminants. You will find four different types of teeth in a dog – Incisor, canine, premolar, and molar. The number of dog teeth also vary (generally 42) in the different breed. Here, I will show you the anatomical facts of dog teeth with a labeled diagram.

You will also find information on the normal dental formulation and eruption time of permanent teeth of a dog. So, you will come to know the dog teeth and age from the article. Again, I will compare the dental formulation with other animals like horses, cats, and ruminants.

At last, I will try to solve the common inquiries on the dog teeth anatomical facts. So, you may read the article until the end if you are interested in knowing everything about the dog teeth anatomy. 

Dog teeth anatomy

According to their use, a dog’s teeth develop differently in each region of the mouth. In a dog, you find Incisor, canine, premolar, and molar teeth in om the dog teeth anatomy. You might have to know the structures of these teeth, their formulation, eruption time, blood, and nerve supplies. 

Before starting, you should have a good piece of knowledge on some terms like – heterodonty, diphyodont, deciduous teeth, and polyphyodont dentition. The characteristic features of Incisor, canine, premolar, and molar teeth are termed as the heterodonty. 

The first erupted teeth in most domestic mammals are replaced by a single set of teeth. This pattern of destination is known as the diphyodont. Again, the first set of teeth is the deciduous teeth present at birth or in the second month of birth. 

You will find multiple sets of teeth erupt throughout the animal’s life. This pattern of destination of the vertebrate is known as the polyphyodont. 

Generally, you will find 42 teeth in a dog (may vary in breed). Each tooth of a dog possesses three different parts – crown, neck, and root. In the next section, you will find a detailed description of these three parts of a dog teeth. 

In most dogs, you will find all developed permanent teeth within the age of 2 to 7 months. The incisor teeth are usually fully developed within 2 to 5 months. At the same time, the canine and premolar teeth of a dog develop within 6 months. Again, the molar teeth fully develop between the 4 to 7 months of age. 

Special facts of dog teeth

Fine, let’s know some of the exceptional features of dog teeth anatomy in a little. All these features of the canine teeth are compared with the ruminant’s teeth (cow). 

  • You will find 28 deciduous teeth in a dog, whereas the cow possesses only 20 teeth. 
  • The number of permanent teeth is about 42, whereas the cow possesses only 32 teeth. 
  • You will find tubercles at the end part of the crown of all the canine teeth. 
  • Most canine teeth have more than one root (two sets of roots).
  • There are four stronger, larger, and pointed canine teeth in the dog mouth (cows have only two in the lower jaw). 

I hope you got very little information on the special features of canine teeth. But, you may continue this article to know more about the dog teeth facts. 

Dog teeth structure 

The dog teeth anatomy is highly modified in a different mouth region according to the special need. But, all the teeth of the dog share a common basic structure. In each tooth of a dog, you will find three important parts – the crown, middle neck, and root. 

Here, I will show you the details anatomical facts of the crown, neck, and root of the canine tooth in detail. But, first see the below-mentioned dog teeth labeled diagram, and try to understand the most important structures.  

Now, identify the following structures from the dog teeth labeled diagram. 

  • The dental crown 
  • The neck of the dog teeth
  • Emamel of dog teeth
  • Dentint of a dog teeth
  • The dental cavity with dental pulp
  • Dental root canal
  • The dental apical foramen
  • The root of the dog teeth
  • A gingiva and gingival epithelium
  • A periodontal membrane and ligament

I hope these canine teeth labeled diagrams might help you understand every structure so quickly. Let’s learn the details anatomy of canine teeth. 

Surfaces of dog teeth

The dog teeth possess four different surfaces – vestibular, lingual, contact, and occlusal. Again, the vestibular surface of the dog teeth is also known as the labial or buccal surface. So, this vestibular surface faces the lip or cheek. 

The surface of the dog teeth that face the tongue is the lingual surface. You will find the contact surface between the two teeth of the dental arch. There are two types of contact surfaces found in a dog’s teeth – mesial and distal.

The mesial is the contact surface adjacent to the next rostral or medial tooth. Again, the distal is the contact surface adjacent to the next caudal or lateral tooth.

The occlusal surface in the dog teeth faces an ipsilateral opposite superior or inferior dental arch. 

Do you know about the dental arch of a dog? Well, a dental arch is a structure where a dog’s teeth are arranged in a superior or inferior pattern. So, you will find superior and inferior dental arches in the dog. The inferior dental arch is narrower and shorter than the superior arch. 

The crown, neck, and root of the dog teeth

The crown of the dog teeth anatomy is the exposed part of the tooth. That protrudes above the gums. The thin layer of white enamel covers this crown. Most of the crowns of the dog teeth possess exceptional features. You will find the tubercles on the crown of the dog teeth. 

The neck is the slight constriction part located at the gum line, where the enamel ends. Again, the neck of the dog teeth includes the most coronal region of the root between the enamel bulge and the attached gum. You will find the cementoenamel junction within the neck of the dog teeth. 

The root of a dog teeth is a part below the gum that embeds in the bony alveolus. Again, the root tip of the dog teeth is known as the apex of the root. Many teeth of the dog possess two sets of the root; few possess the single root. 

Now, let’s discuss the enamel dentin from the crown part of the dog teeth. Also, know the details structures of the pulp cavity of the dog teeth. 

The enamel of the dog teeth

Enamel is the outer layer of the teeth crown that is dense and white. It is the hardest structure of the body that is produced by adamantoblasts. If the enamel of the crown is damaged, it cannot regenerate. The enamel is thicker on the occlusal surface of the teeth. 

Based on the enamel distribution, teeth can be divided into brachyodont teeth and hypselodont teeth. The teeth of man, dog, pig, and canine teeth of most domestic mammals are under the brachyodont teeth. You know the brachyodont teeth have a short crown covered by the enamel. 

Again, the hypselodont teeth possess a long crown. It also possesses complex anatomical facts. You will find the hypselodont teeth in the herbivores and the Incisor of a horse. 

The dentin of the dog teeth

Dentin forms the bulk of the teeth and encloses the pulp cavity. It is yellowish-white in color and produced by the odontoblasts. The odontoblasts of the dentin have a regenerating capacity throughout life. So, the dentin can be regenerated if it damages. 

The odontoblasts cells produce the secondary dentin slowly that fills the pulp cavity. Again, the secondary dentin of the dog teeth can be distinguished from the primary dentin by its darker color. 

The reduction of the pulp cavity of the dog teeth is occurred by the secondary dentin. You may easily asses this reduction of the pulp cavity and estimate the age of a dog. 

Besides these two types of dentin, you may also find the tertiary or reparative dentin in the dog teeth structure. This tertiary dentin of the dog teeth is created in response to wear or damage of the teeth. But, it makes the dentin relatively disorganized. 

The tertiary dentin stains faster than that of the surrounding primary and secondary dentin of the teeth. 

The cementum of canine teeth

The cementum of a canine teeth anatomy is a thin covering found only on the root. It isn’t easy to differentiate the cement from the dentin grossly. 

In the composition of cementum, you will find the least hard calcified tissue. You know there is a periodontal ligament present in the dog tooth. Each tooth of the dog attaches to the alveolar socket with the help of this periodontal ligament. You will find a connection of cementum with the periodontal ligament in the canine teeth structure. 

The pulp of the dog teeth

The pulp is the soft tissue that presents in the tooth. You will find nerves, arteries, veins, lymphatic capillaries, and connective tissue within the pulp of the dog teeth. Again, a pulp cavity extends the root canal to the crown of the dog teeth. 

The dental root canal continues the pulp cavity that ends at the apical foramen. In addition, the dental apical foramen is a passage at the end of the root of a dog teeth. You will find multiple small channels at the apical foramen that allow free passages of nerves and vessels. 

Structure of gums

A dog’s gum is a dense fibrous connective tissue that covers by the smooth and highly vascularized mucosa. It surrounds the teeth bleed readily, and heal quickly. You will find the thick gums at the neck portion of teeth. 

The labial surface of the gums is continuous with the mucosa of the vestibule. Again, the gum blends with the floor of the oral cavity proper and hard plate internally. 

How many teeth do dogs have

This is a very common question that dog owners want to know how many teeth dogs have. I already told you that 42 (forty-two) teeth are present in a dog. Do you find the same number in small breeds of dogs? 

Most of the older dogs have 42 permanent teeth in the mouth cavity. But, some of the small dog breeds possess 40 teeth. Normally, you will find four different types (Incisor, canine, premolar, and molar) of teeth in a dog. 

There are 12 incisors, 4 canine, 16 premolar, and 10 molar teeth in the older dog (in the upper and lower jaw). Let’s know the dental formulation of young and older dogs. 

Dental formulation of a dog 

You may express the arrangement of the dog teeth as a dental formula. It is very easy to express as a group of teeth presents according to the position and forms. 

In the dog dental formula, all the teeth will be expressed as Incisor (I), canine (C), premolar (P), and Molar (M) with their number. It will also express the specific number of teeth from the superior and inferior dental arches. 

In the dog teeth anatomy, you will find deciduous and permanent teeth. Here, I will show you the dental formula for deciduous and permanent teeth of a dog. 

So, the deciduous dentition of a dog is –

I 3/3 C1/1 PM 3/3 x 2 = 28

You will find 28 (twenty-eight) teeth in the deciduous dental formula. Again, the permanent dentition of a dog is –

I 3/3 C 1/1 PM 4/4 M 2/3 x 2 = 42

So, 42 (forty-two) teeth are present in the superior and inferior dental arches of an older dog (permanent dentition). I hope you understand the differences between deciduous and permanent dentition. 

You will not find the first premolar and any molar teeth in the deciduous dentition. 

Types of dog teeth

Here, I will show you some important facts about the different types of dog teeth anatomy. You will find almost the same type and number of teeth (except molar) in the superior and inferior dental arches. 

So, I will try to show you the following types of teeth from the superior and inferior dental arches –

  • Three incisor teeth of a dog
  • Two canine teeth of a dog 
  • Four premolar teeth, and 
  • Two or three molar teeth of a dog

Okay, let’s start to know the anatomical facts of these teeth of a dog. 

The incisor teeth of a dog

The incisor teeth are long, slender, and arched slightly rostrally. These teeth of a dog are also compressed laterally. The root of the incisor teeth is embedded into the incisive and maxillary bones. 

You will find three Incisors in the superior and inferior dental arches of a dog. The incisors teeth of a dog are –

  • The central Incisor – nearest the midplane on each side of the incisive bone, 
  • A middle or second incisor, and 
  • The third or lateral incisor teeth

The superior incisors of the dog increase in size from the central to the lateral. You will find the largest and slightly hooked crown in the superior lateral incisor teeth. Again, there are three tubercles present in the central and middle incisors teeth of a dog. 

The dog’s central and inferior middle incisors teeth have a similar size and shape to the superior. 

The canine teeth of a dog

You will find the two longest and most pointed teeth in the dental arches of a dog. These teeth possess a large root that is two times longer than the crown. All four canine teeth (two in each inferior and superior arches) are similar in length and width. 

They are transversely compressed with an oval cross-section. The superior canine teeth root of the dog runs parallel to the maxillary bone. Again, the inferior canine teeth root crosses the width of the rostral mandible. 

The premolar teeth of a dog

There are eight premolar teeth present in each dog’s superior and inferior dental arches. But, there is no first premolar present in the deciduous dentition. The first premolar of the older dog erupts between the fourth and fifth postnatal months. 

Again, the first premolar tooth of the dog is the smallest and has a single root. The second and third premolar teeth are similar in shape and size. You will find two roots in the dog’s second and third premolar teeth (mesial and distal roots). The fourth premolar tooth is the largest in the dog’s mouth. 

There is one tubercle in the crown of the first premolar teeth. Again, the dog’s second and third premolar teeth possess two tubercles on their crown. 

The molar teeth of a dog

You will find two molar teeth in each superior quadrant and three in each inferior quadrant. The first molar tooth of a dog’s superior and inferior dental arches is the largest. Again, the last one (molar teeth) is the smallest tooth. 

The masticatory surfaces of the dog’s superior and inferior molar teeth possess multituberculates. Each superior molar teeth have three slightly diverging roots. Again, the lingual root of each tooth is more massive than those of the two vestibular roots. 

The first inferior molar tooth is larger than the second and third molar teeth. Each inferior first molar teeth possess the largest tubercle. 

Eruption of permanent teeth and estimation of dog age

The central and middle deciduous incisors and the canine teeth of both inferior and superior dental arches erupt at the end of the first month. Again, the lateral Incisor erupts at the fifth and sixth weeks. In addition, the deciduous premolar teeth erupt at the age between fourth to eight weeks. 

Now, let’s discuss the eruption time of the permanent teeth of a dog. The central and middle permanent incisors teeth erupt at the second to fifth months. Again, the permanent lateral Incisor erupts at the age of four to five-month. But, you may find some variation in the eruption time of lateral incisors in some dog breeds. 

The canine teeth erupt between the age of fifth to sixth months. You will find the permanent first premolar teeth in the dog in between the fourth to fifth months. Again, the second and third permanent premolar takes more time to develop (usually six months). 

You will find the permanent fist molar teeth at the fifth or sixth month. Again, the second and third permanent molar teeth will develop within the sixth to seventh months.  

Dog teeth anatomy labeled diagram

Again, I will show you the dog teeth anatomy labeled diagram. In this labeled diagram, I tried to show you almost all the important structures from the dog teeth. The diagram shows the Incisor, canine, premolar, and molar teeth from a dog’s superior and inferior dental arches. 

If you need more dog teeth labeled diagrams, you may find them in the social media of anatomy learners. 

Frequently asked questions on dog teeth facts.

In this part, I will solve the common inquiries on the anatomical facts of the dog teeth. If you have any questions on dog teeth, please let me know. I will add your inquiries on dog teeth in the next update. 

What is the structure of dog teeth?

The structure of a dog’s teeth comprises enamel, dentin, cement, and pulp cavity. You will find the hard enamel at the tip of the crown portion of a dog’s teeth. Again, dentin is the yellowish-white color material that encloses the pulp cavity of the teeth. The cement is a thin layer usually found in the root of a dog’s teeth. 

Do all dogs have 42 teeth?

In most dog breeds, you will find 42 (forty-two) teeth in total (21 in each dental arch). But, few dog breeds possess less than 42 (probably 40) teeth in their dental arches. The variation in the number of teeth was observed in the molar group. 

How many roots does a dog’s tooth have?

Most dog teeth possess two roots –mesial and distal. But, a few teeth from the dog also possess a single root. 

Is dog tooth hollow?

How many teeth do dogs need?

Dog need 42 teeth in total in their superior and inferior dental arches. 

How many teeth do small breed dogs have?

It varies from breed to breed; you may find 42 or 40 teeth in the dental arch. 

Do dogs have 1 or 2 sets of teeth?

The dog has two sets of teeth. 

If you want to know details anatomical facts of other different organs or structures from a dog, you may read other articles. 


I think all the information might help you know the basics of dog teeth anatomy. Most people (dog owners and a veterinarian) have a common question – how many teeth do dogs have. I hope you know how dogs possess 42 teeth in their dental arches. It is also important to learn anatomical facts from the three different parts (crown, neck, and root) of a dog’s teeth.

Now, it is time to learn the dog teeth anatomy practically from your laboratory. You may take help from the dog teeth labeled diagram of this article. Finally, if you acquire a good piece of knowledge on dog teeth, it will be very easy for you to determine the age of any dog.

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