Dental Problems Differ for Large and Small Dogs

Do Small Dogs Have Worse Teeth Than Large Dogs?

Size does matter when it comes to the dental dilemmas suffered by dogs. Of course, brushing your dog’s teeth can prevent dental problems.

Small and large dogs differ in the type of dental disease they can encounter. Small dogs are especially prone to tartar formation, gum recession, and eventual loss of teeth. In fact, a dog like a Yorkshire Terrier is likely to have lost half of his teeth by the time he is 12 years old.

In contrast, large dogs are more likely to suffer from a fractured tooth from aggressive chewing. If the fracture exposes the interior of the tooth (the pulp cavity), infection travels down the tooth to its root, causing an abscess and loss of the tooth.

Home care is only designed to prevent tartar formation, which is a considerable benefit for smaller dogs. If a large dog is prone to tartar, it can help as well. The key is that if you have a small dog, consider daily brushing. If you have a larger dog, check the mouth and if you see tartar, start brushing.

Originally published in AKC Family Dog.