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Dog and cat teeth: do you know the differences?

enero 12, 2021

The well-being of dogs and cats also passes through an aspect that is too underestimated or ignored: theoral hygiene. Perfect teeth and good oral hygiene in fact allow for optimal chewing and proper digestion. This shared condition, however, underlines the natural differences between the teeth of the dog and that of the cat and the different methods of use.


The dog’s teeth

The period of erudition of the so-called “milk teeth” occurs around the 25th day and varies according to various factors such as size, sex and nutritional status. During the first 3 years of life, the dog passes from 27 «milk teeth» to 42 permanent teeth (in the upper part it develops 6 incisors, 2 canines, 8 premolars, 4 molars while in the lower part it develops 6 incisors, 2 canines, 8 premolars and 6 molars). The transit from deciduous to permanent teeth however, it may not work perfectly, thus causing the persistence of double dentitions and serious problems related to this phenomenon such as supernumerary teeth and severe malocclusions. In the specific case, i dogs may have scissor bite (the upper canines slightly anticipate the lower incisors), the pincer bite (upper and lower incisors touch) o particular malocclusions such as prognathism (the mandible is longer than the maxilla) or overshot (the maxilla is longer than the mandible).

Although the composition of the teeth continues to feature among the main requirements of the dog breed standards, the number and condition of the teeth remain important elements mainly for the well-being of four-legged friends. In fact, the persistence of a double dentition and / or lack of oral hygiene promote the formation of plaque and the sedimentation of tartar, with serious consequences: gingivitis, stomatitis, periodontitis and tooth loss.

The affections of the oral cavity are primarily determined by plaque formation that is a consortium of bacteria, saliva and food debris that accumulates supragingival and subgingival. There plaque bacterial population in fact it is enriched with anaerobic bacteria able to survive even in the absence of oxygen and therefore also under the gum (thus ending up inflaming the periodontium).

The uneven layer of mineralized plaque, better known as tartar, it allows the formation of further plaque, which causes the proliferation of particular bacteria and toxins capable of destroying the enamel and creating caries. THE oral problems are manifested primarily by bad breath and subsequently with increased salivation, difficulty in opening the mouth and refusal of food.

The cat’s teeth

The period of erudition of «milk teeth» or deciduous is realized around the 15th day of life. The teething of felines allows them to cut the flesh and scrape the bones of their prey. From the first 3 weeks of life to the following 6 months, the cat passes from 26 «milk teeth» to 30 permanent teeth (12 incisors, 8 premolars, 6 molars and 4 canines). The transition from deciduous to permanent teeth could generate various anomalies such as lack of erudition, bad positioning, double dentition and the presence of supernumerary teeth.

In turn, the above anomalies become the cause of considerable problems: dental malocclusions, difficulty in grasping and chewing food, gingivitis, stomatitis, periodontitis and tooth loss. In general, however, where cats in the wild are able to keep their teeth clean by chewing the bones and cartilage of their prey, domestic cats fed on wet foods end up losing the ability to sharpen and keep their teeth in shape (weakening the teeth themselves and favoring the proliferation of plaque, tartar and bacteria). The best known disorders in this sense are represented by gingivostomatitis chronic feline (a disease that presents as a chronic inflammation of the gum and oral mucosa) and complex eosinophilic granuloma (a particular reaction that the cat develops towards various causes, including bacterial infections).

THE oral problems are manifested primarily by bad breath and subsequently with excessive salivation, presence of blood in the area of ​​the muzzle and mouth and tangible signs of pain. The perpetuation of this situation leads the extraction of the tooth responsible for the problem, resulting in difficulty in chewing, refusal of food and malnutrition.


Periodontal alterations they can be circumvented through daily, thorough and thorough oral hygiene. The ultimate goal is to remove bacterial plaque before it turns into tartar, thus avoiding complications and / or more invasive interventions such as scaling under general anesthesia. On the reference market there is a wide range of dedicated products such as toothbrushes, toothpastes, sprays and snacks. In the specific case it is possible to evaluate the purchase of products as:

  • Restomyl toothpaste and toothbrush: these products designed for the daily cleaning of the teeth of dogs and cats represent a perfect combination: the gel toothpaste with anti-plaque, antibacterial and whitening action preserves an aliamide able to protect the oral mucous membranes and soothe gum irritation; the soft bristles with rounded tips, the tapered head, the swiveling head and the particular handle of the toothbrush allow not to damage the enamel and to easily reach even the most difficult to reach areas of the mouth.
  • Beaphar Dental Fresh Spray, this particular spray for dogs allows you to maintain proper oral hygiene without using a toothbrush. The spray prevents the adhesion of dental plaque, the formation of tartar and the real problems.
  • Pedigree Dentastix: Available in different sizes and flavors, the X-shaped snack is the ideal solution for the oral hygiene of dogs of any size, as well as a valid alternative to a toothbrush. If administered daily, this particular stick is able to reduce the formation of tartar and plaque by up to 80% and prevent dental problems such as periodontitis, inflammation and halitosis.
  • Pedigree Dentaflex: it is chewable snack for oral hygiene, available in different sizes, small, medium and large, designed to adapt to dogs’ teeth. Its composition folds between the dog’s teeth managing to thoroughly clean the gumline. It was formulated in cooperation with veterinarians, is chicken flavored without the addition of sugars, artificial flavors and colors and has a reduced fat content.
  • Gimpet Denta Kiss: this product looks like a complementary food for cats suitable to make the teeth strong and the gums healthy and to prevent the formation of plaque and tartar. The special cleaning action takes place in conjunction with the chewing of food.

In this perspective, it is possible to make use of a range of dry and wet foods capable of fulfilling the declared purposes and simultaneously supporting correct oral hygiene (Natural Young Cat Trainer with Fresh Chicken, Natural Mature Trainer with Fresh Chicken, Natural Kitten Trainer with Chicken Fresco, Trainer Natural Adult Mini with Fresh Chicken and Rice, Trainer Natural Adult Medium with Beef and Rice, Royal Canin Satiety Small Dog and similar).