Dogs Bottom Front Teeth Loose

Loose bottom front teeth in dogs is an important topic for dog owners to understand. Although puppies commonly lose their deciduous (“baby”) teeth as their permanent teeth come in, loose teeth in adult dogs often signals an underlying health issue. Loose teeth can be painful and lead to tooth loss or infection if left untreated. Since the front bottom teeth are highly visible and used frequently for grabbing food or toys, any looseness in these teeth may be readily apparent and concerning for dog owners. Understanding the causes, symptoms, risks, diagnosis and treatments for loose bottom front teeth in dogs will help owners act quickly when they observe this issue in their pet.

Anatomy of Dogs’ Teeth

Dogs have four types of teeth: incisors, canines, premolars, and molars. Each type of tooth serves a different purpose. Incisors are the small, chisel-shaped teeth at the front of a dog’s mouth. Dogs have six incisors on the top jaw and six on the bottom. The main function of incisors is to help dogs bite and tear food. The incisors located closest to the midline are referred to as central incisors, while the outer incisors located next to the canine teeth are called lateral incisors. Compared to human teeth, dogs’ incisors are much sharper and pointed. This allows dogs to easily rip and tear chunks of meat off bones.

According to the Purina dog dental chart, incisors are the first adult teeth that a puppy gets. Puppies have 28 deciduous (“baby”) teeth that start coming in around 3-4 weeks of age. These deciduous teeth are gradually replaced by 42 permanent adult teeth between 4-7 months old. The incisors are usually the first adult teeth to erupt because they are essential for continued feeding and development in puppies. Keeping the incisors healthy through brushing and professional cleanings is important to allow dogs to properly eat and tear their food.

Puppy Teeth

Puppies start developing their baby teeth, also called milk teeth or deciduous teeth, at around 3-4 weeks of age. The incisors are usually the first teeth to erupt at around 3 weeks old. Next, the canine teeth emerge around 4-6 weeks of age. Then the premolars arrive between 4-6 months old. Puppies have 28 baby teeth total that start falling out around 12-20 weeks as the permanent adult teeth develop and push out the roots of the baby teeth (Source).

The eruption of puppies’ baby teeth follows a predictable pattern and timeline. They get their incisors first, followed by the canines, then the premolars. The entire set of 28 deciduous teeth is typically finished erupting by around 6-8 weeks of age. Then, those milk teeth steadily loosen and fall out as puppies grow older and the permanent teeth develop below the gums and push the roots of the puppy teeth out (Source).

Permanent Teeth

Puppies begin developing their permanent adult teeth around 3-4 months old. The incisors (front teeth) are usually the first permanent teeth to come in, followed by the canines. According to, the permanent canine teeth typically start coming in between 4-6 months of age. The premolars (back teeth) also begin emerging around 4-6 months as the deciduous premolars are shed. By the time a puppy is about 6 months old, all of the deciduous puppy teeth should have fallen out and been replaced by the permanent adult teeth.

Some sources state that permanent teeth may continue developing until around 8 months old, but generally the full set of 42 permanent adult teeth is present by 7 months of age. These permanent teeth are meant to last for the rest of the dog’s life. Proper dental care and maintenance will help ensure the permanent teeth remain healthy and do not need to be removed prematurely due to disease or trauma.

Common Causes of Loose Teeth

There are several potential causes of loose teeth in dogs:

Periodontal disease – This is the most common cause of loose teeth in dogs. Periodontal disease is an infection of the gums and tissue surrounding the teeth. It’s caused by plaque and tartar buildup on the teeth. As the disease progresses, it can damage the gums, jawbone, and periodontal ligament that holds the teeth in place, leading to looseness.

Trauma or injury – Trauma or injury, like a hit to the mouth or face, can cause tooth dislocation or damage the teeth or jawbone, resulting in loose teeth. Fractured teeth may also eventually come loose.

Tartar buildup – Excessive tartar accumulation can irritate the gums and damage the periodontal ligament. Tartar below the gumline is a major contributing factor to periodontal disease.

Malocclusion – A misalignment of the upper and lower teeth. This can put pressure on teeth and cause chewing difficulties, eventually leading to loose teeth.

Cancer – Oral tumors or jawbone cancer can invade surrounding tissue and bone, affecting the ligaments and support for teeth.

Old age – Senior dogs are prone to periodontal disease and normal wear and tear on teeth. The ligaments holding the teeth also weaken with age.

Genetics – Some breeds are prone to early tooth loss or weak teeth due to their genetics, like certain small dog breeds.

Signs of Loose Teeth

Some common signs that indicate your dog may have one or more loose teeth include:

  • Bleeding gums – You may notice blood on your dog’s toys, food bowl, or just from licking their gums.
  • Bad breath (halitosis) – Loose teeth allow bacteria to enter the socket and cause infections, which leads to bad breath.
  • Excessive drooling – The pain from a loose tooth can cause excessive drooling, sometimes tinged with blood.
  • Difficulty eating – Your dog may show signs of discomfort or difficulty chewing hard food.
  • Swollen gums -Inflammation around the tooth socket is a sign of infection.
  • Pawing at the mouth – Your dog may frequently paw at their mouth because the loose tooth is causing irritation.
  • Nasal discharge – An infection from a loose tooth can spread to the sinuses.
  • Loose or wobbly teeth – Gently check your dog’s teeth occasionally for any that are loose or moving.
  • Reluctance to play – Your dog may avoid playing with toys, especially tug toys, if it causes pain.

If your dog is exhibiting any of these symptoms, it’s important to schedule a veterinary dental exam. Leaving a loose tooth untreated can lead to more serious dental disease and other health complications.

Risks of Loose Teeth

Loose teeth in dogs can lead to serious health risks if left untreated. Some of the main dangers include:

Tooth Loss

A loose tooth will eventually fall out on its own if the underlying cause is not addressed. Missing teeth can make it difficult for dogs to pick up and chew food properly (Source).


Bacteria and debris can get under a loose tooth and cause a serious infection in the root or surrounding gum tissue. This is very painful and can spread to other areas (Source).

Chewing Problems

Loose teeth are painful. Dogs may avoid chewing on one side of their mouth where the tooth is loose. This can lead to dental problems on the other side as well (Source).


Veterinarians will perform a complete oral exam to diagnose loose teeth in dogs. This involves visual inspection of the mouth, teeth, and gums. The vet will look for teeth that are loose, infected, discolored or damaged. They will check for plaque buildup, swollen gums, and other signs of periodontal disease. Gently manipulating each tooth can help determine mobility or tenderness. X-rays may also be taken to evaluate the tooth roots and look for bone loss, cysts or other abnormalities.

Vets will also assess the dog’s bite and look for misalignments that could be causing teeth to loosen over time. They may probe the gumline with a dental instrument to check for periodontal pockets which can indicate gum disease. Bloodwork may be recommended to check for underlying illness. With a thorough oral examination and diagnostic tests, vets can determine which teeth are loose, the cause, and best treatment approach.





There are a few different treatment options for dogs with loose teeth depending on the underlying cause and severity. Some of the main treatment options include:

Tooth extraction – Extracting the loose tooth is often the recommended treatment, especially if the tooth is very loose or damaged. This is done under anesthesia by a veterinarian to fully remove the tooth and prevent further issues like infection. According to The Spruce Pets, extraction is often recommended when a vet finds a loose tooth during an exam.1

Antibiotics – If the loose tooth is infected or abscessed, antibiotics may be prescribed to clear up the infection before extracting the tooth. According to BluePet, antibiotics may be used short-term before extraction or long-term for dogs who are not candidates for extraction due to age or other health issues.

Special diets – Veterinarians may recommend feeding dogs with dental issues a special dental diet to reduce plaque and tartar buildup. These diets are softer and designed to be gentle on compromised teeth.

Overall, extracting loose teeth is the most common and effective treatment. However, vets may use antibiotics, dental diets, and other supportive care as needed on a case-by-case basis.


There are several things you can do to help prevent your dog from developing loose teeth:

Brush your dog’s teeth daily. Daily brushing helps remove plaque and tartar buildup that can loosen teeth. Use a dog-friendly toothpaste and toothbrush designed for dogs.

Feed your dog quality dog food. Choose high-quality kibble or wet dog food that contains antioxidants such as vitamins E and C. These support your dog’s immune system and gum health. Avoid sugary treats and table scraps

Provide plenty of chew toys. Chewing promotes saliva production which protects teeth and gums. Opt for durable rubber chew toys or treats designed to clean teeth as your dog chews.

Schedule annual dental cleanings. Your vet can perform a professional teeth cleaning and scaling to remove tartar under anesthesia. This prevents decay and gum disease.

Monitor your dog’s oral health. Regularly look in your dog’s mouth for any signs of loose teeth, swelling, or red gums. Get veterinary attention promptly for any oral issues.

With diligent home dental care and professional veterinary cleanings, you can help keep your dog’s teeth strong and healthy and reduce the chances of them becoming loose.

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