loss of teeth

This forum is for dog lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your dog.

Moose (In- Loving- memory)

food and sleep- and DOG PARK!
Barked: Thu Nov 25, '10 7:15pm PST 
today I noticed that my 9 year old chocolate lab lost his front, top teeth, all but one which is sharp and brittle. I recently noticed too that he is eating his food a lot slower than he used to. I will admit, I do not brush his teeth. I TRY to and he does NOT have it. Anyway, he doesnt seem in any pain, no bleeding or open sores, so its hard to tell WHEN exactly they fell out. I did't notice it last week, nor did anyone else here. I know that labs adn retrievers tend to loose their teeth when they get older, and moose has always had brittle-looking teeth, which are worn down likely from years of chewing on bones and whatever else. Anyway...any one have any insights?? thanks!

happy thanksgiving!

I have been using water in his food, and now am adding more and letting his food soften up.

Loyal- Sweetheart!
Barked: Thu Nov 25, '10 7:27pm PST 
Many dogs' teeth start to fall out when they get up there in age, especially if they were never brushed or had yearly dentals. However, I suggest taking him in for a teeth cleaning, just so all of his teeth don't rot and fall out.

Also, I could be wrong on this, but I heard if you wet food down with water and let it sit there, bacteria grows quickly on top and it can make dogs super sick. Maybe try giving him a good quality canned dog food OR blend his food up in a blender and give it to him. Just so he's not in pain when he eats his food.

Good luck!! smile
Leah, CGC

All the Beauty- with none of the- Brains
Barked: Thu Nov 25, '10 10:14pm PST 
Wetting food to soften it is fine as long as he eats it within 30 minutes.

Dental issues can be very common in our companion animals as they age especially if they have been hard on them (by excessive chewing of hard objects, fuzzy objects like tennis balls or oddly shaped objects) and haven't had any dental care done. A full dental exam by your veterinarian can assess the teeth that are left especially along the gumline and the gumline where the teeth fell out for signs of periodontal disease or gingivitis or excessive calculus. Dental disease can actually lead to bigger issues with organs like heart disease, lung disease, kidney disease or liver disease. If the gums are inflammed or bleeding (suffering from periodontitis) microscopic bacteria can enter the blood stream and float to these organs causing injury or failure. A full dental cleaning (or prophylaxis) is the best way to keep your pets teeth clean. They can also check to see if the teeth that were lost have left roots behind which could be at risk for abcess or infection. Does your dog have dental disease?
What is a dental prophylaxis?
What is periodontitis?

There is also another thing that is common in labs, goldens, bulldogs, mastiffs and large or giant breeds. It is called gingival hyperplasia (What is gingival Hyperplasia?) and is defined by an overgrowth of the gums resulting in the covering of the incisors (front teeth), premolars or molars. This may not be what is going on but since it can cause teeth to fall out or teeth to be covered by large gum growth I am including it. It most cases unless the overgrowth is severely bothering or paining the patient it can be ignored. In cases where it becomes an issue, removal of the excess gum can be done but it can grow back again.

Here is another link with photos and more indepth discussion of gingical hyperplasia - it is directed as veterinarians and dental technicians so it is a little heavy on medical terms but the photos are good for examples -->Gingival Hyperplasia indepth w/photos


Barked: Fri Nov 26, '10 3:41pm PST 
I am not sure i would put alot of water on it. My 15 year old does nto have alot of teeth left, but he still can eat hard food by getting it into the back of his mouth. Wetting the food down will not give the food a chance to clean the teeth

Louie the bold!
Barked: Fri Nov 26, '10 4:37pm PST 
Frenchies and other breeds with undershot jaws often loose their incisors because there is no contact between the top and bottom teeth and this leads to weakened tissue around the tooth and its root. This tooth loss can occur as early as four or five years old and can occur in dogs with NO dental disease at all. My own experience has shown that providing lots of harder chews such as nylabones and tugging games can help keep this tissue healthy and keep the teeth in longer, although the loss of these teeth doesn't affect the dogs ability to eat kibble.
NO dogs chew with their incisors... they are used for ripping and tearing, and their loss should have no effect on eating kibble. I would suspect Moose perhaps is also suffering dental disease in his back teeth as well if his chewing is off.

Momma is the- center of the- universe...
Barked: Fri Nov 26, '10 5:23pm PST 
I have to say it, as the kibble companies have sold us on this LIE....

Crunchy kibble, does not clean the teeth. Kibble, hard or semi or soft, is held together with some kind of carbohydrate. Corn, wheat, potato....carb. complex sugar.

This is what rots the teeth.

Wild canines and other canines fed a prey model or raw diet have much fewer problems with dental disease.
Moose (In- Loving- memory)

food and sleep- and DOG PARK!
Barked: Fri Nov 26, '10 7:16pm PST 
well, as much as I would love to take moose to the vet right now,I really can't. Not yet! Hopefully soon though. He DID have a dental exam last year (or so) and the vet said his teeth were okay then. There does seem to be one tooth that is dark; is that like in humans, when we get a cavity our teeth get a "black" area (plaque, etc)?

I have heard this wet food v dry food issue a million times.I've done the research (online) too. Moose has always gotten water on his food and it never sits longer than a few minutes. He gobbles his food up no problem still. Also, he doesn't get crap food. He eats all natural stuff. These days its Taste of the Wild, salmon, or BG (before grain) fish version. he does get chews and treats but they are natural too. He gets bones and natural chews, such as pigs ears and meaty bones.

It COULD be the disease where his gums go over, but I know that the top front teeth have to had fallen out. There's no way his gums covered his teeth in like a week.
I will cont to do what i am doing and get him into see a vet as soon as I can. he doesnt appear to be in any discomfort and he still loves to chew on his bones & etc. thanks folks!
Moose (In- Loving- memory)

food and sleep- and DOG PARK!
Barked: Fri Nov 26, '10 7:21pm PST 
upon further investigation, it doesnt appear that he has gingival hyperplasia, as there arent any swellings. As I said,I;ll get him to a vet as soon as I can.