Encanto Pet Clinic’s veterinarians and staff want to point out the importance of your pet’s teeth by celebrating National Pet Dental Health Month! Remember, bad breath may signify health risks – not only to teeth and gums, but also to digestive and cardiovascular health. Contact our staff to ask about dental hygiene or other preventative treatments.
But first, let’s check out some fun facts about animal teeth!
- An adult dog has 42 permanent teeth, compared to 32 teeth in an adult human’s mouth. Puppies have 28 baby teeth, and human babies have 20 teeth before they start falling out to make room for the permanent ones. Wolves also have 42 teeth – the better to smile with, my dear!
- Cats only have 30 teeth, after they lose their 26 baby teeth. Cat’s canine teeth penetrate flesh easily and leave behind pathogenic bacteria that are trapped when the wound closes. If a cat bites you, contact your doctor right away to avoid painful infection.
- Although it looks as though hippos only have four big teeth, they actually have 36 of them. Their long canine teeth can grow to 30 inches long, and are used for fighting!
- Dolphins have around 100 teeth – but they don’t use them for chewing. They trap their prey with their teeth and swallow their meals whole.
- What do elephants, kangaroos and manatees have in common? They are all polyphyodonts, which means they have a cycle of tooth rotation. The elephant’s molars are replaced six times in an elephant’s typical lifetime, growing in at the back of the mouth and moving forward to push out old, worn-down molars. Their tusks, which are large incisors, are not replaced and about one third of the tusks are hidden within the skull of the elephant. They often weigh more than 100 pounds each.
- A pocket gopher’s teeth can grow up to 15 inches a year!
- Although it is the biggest mammal living on earth, the blue whale has no teeth.
- The armadillo can have as many as 100 teeth in its mouth at one time!
- Adult male horses may have more teeth than female horses – mares have 36 to 40 teeth, and males have 40 to 42 teeth.
- Guinea pigs have teeth that continuously grow. Overgrowth can cause improper alignment of the jaw, and a condition called slobbers, when the animal drools excessively.