Are Your Yorkie Teeth Falling Out? Find Out How to Prevent Yorkie Dental Problems

🔄 Updated on November 25th, 2022

veterinarian-checking-yorkie-teeth

Many dogs have dental issues throughout their lives. However, smaller breeds like my Yorkshire Terrier have genetic dispositions when it comes to their teeth. Most Yorkie teeth are small and, because of their jaw shape, can have many common complications. 

I have had my Yorkie for about 6 years now, and trust me, we have had dental problems. I guess I never imagined how extreme things could get. I never had dental complications with my lab, and so with my Yorkie, it was a new experience. 

Because of my personal experience with my Yorkie’s double teeth syndrome and tooth decay, I have learned to care for my Yorkie’s mouth and teeth correctly. At 6 years old, she is healthier than ever, and I am here to help you with everything you need to know for your Yorkie’s teeth. 

How Many Teeth Do Yorkies Have?

Most puppies are born without teeth and don’t start growing their deciduous teeth (first teeth) until approximately 6 to 8 weeks of age. After 3 to 5 months, your Yorkshire pup begins to lose its deciduous and incisor teeth, located in the top and bottom right and left side of his mouth. 

In replacement at about 7 months, Yorkie’s baby teeth become premolars and adult canine teeth. So, how many teeth do Yorkie’s have as an adult? After 8 months of age, your Yorkshire will have a complete set of 42 canine teeth. However, the typical Yorkshire Terrier breed is prone to dental issues. 

Around the same time, your Yorkie stops teething when you need to keep an eye on your Yorkie’s teeth. Yorkshire’s stopped teething around 4 months old. Some common signs of teething are mouthing objects, trying to suck on everything, and excessive chewing while salivating. 

Are Yorkshire Terriers Prone to Dental Problems and Why?

Most dogs are prone to dental issues; however, your Yorkie is more likely to develop Yorkie teeth problems than other breeds. The main reason for Yorkie teeth problems is due to their teeth placement within their smaller-shaped mouths. 

Yorkie Double Teeth

As a puppy, your Yorkie may grow double teeth, which means she grows another row of teeth. This is caused by an adult tooth growing in an abnormal position, which also causes misalignment. The only way to treat Yorkie double teeth is to have them extracted to prevent permanent alignment issues. 

correct-bite-puppy-yorkshire-terrier-breed

Problems may arise in adult Yorkies, such as tooth crowding and gum rot due to genetics and short tooth roots. Tooth crowding can cause jaw bone degeneration. To prevent gum rot and tooth decay, you must get your Yorkie a tooth cleaning once every couple of months. 

If dental issues are not noticed and treated early, your Yorkie is at risk for infection, affecting their digestive system. 

Why is Yorkie Dental So Important?

With any domestic pet, dental disease is one of the most common health problems which can cause many debilitating, life-threatening effects. If you start to see tartar buildup in your Yorkie, it’s time to take him to the vet as soon as you are able as it is very easy to have Yorkie teeth problems. 

Tartar will later develop into gum disease at the roots of a tooth, leading to premature tooth loss and loss of appetite. If your Yorkie’s teeth are not cared for immediately, more extreme issues can arise, such as:

  • Canine heart disease
  • Liver failure
  • Tooth decay
  • Deterioration of the jaw bone
  • Decreased immune system
  • Increased risk of diabetes
  • Chronic pain
  • Periodontal disease

Ensure that you schedule annual teeth checkups for your Yorkie from birth. After your Yorkie becomes 5 years old, try to schedule a dental checkup every 6 months. Adult Yorkies need more vet checkups for their teeth because with their adult teeth coming in and fully developed, the chances of tooth deterioration increases. 

Reasons Your Yorkie’s Teeth is Falling Out

Yorkie puppies start losing their teeth at the age of 4 and 8 months old. If your adult Yorkshire Terrier has signs of bad breath, loss of appetite, and swelling and bleeding of the gum, it’s a cause for concern. Any of the signs can lead to premature tooth loss, which can happen at any time in an adult Yorkie’s life. 

If you happen to miss vet appointments for your Yorkie’s dental care, it can result in premature tooth loss. Some reasons your Yorkies’ teeth are falling out early are:

  • Gum disease
  • Tooth decay
  • Yorkie double teeth syndrome
  • Misaligned teeth

If you notice your Yorkie’s activity has slowed down significantly and almost suddenly, it can be a cause for concern. They may also deny food and eat less or lose their appetite altogether. One of the first signs of Yorkie teeth problems is their Yorkie bad breath. 

Signs of pain will be swelling in the jaw and face, whining, pawing at their nose, and sometimes discharge from the nasal area. 

Is it Normal for Yorkshire Breeds to Lose Teeth?

The first and only time it is “normal” for a Yorkshire to lose their teeth is their puppy teeth at 4 to 8 months of age. If they haven’t fallen out by this time, there may be an underlying condition worth talking to your vet about. 

double-teeth-small-yorkshire-terrier-dog

Accidental injury or trauma can result in loss of teeth but isn’t too much of a cause for concern as accidents do happen. However, if you notice your Yorkie has loose teeth, a vet visit is required as loose teeth will not improve independently. 

Preventative measures for loose teeth and premature tooth loss include brushing daily (right from puppyhood), providing safe chew toys, and yearly vet checkups.

How to Prevent and Correct Loose Yorkie Teeth?

Pain and swelling are the first signs your Yorkie may experience when its teeth are loose. Other symptoms include:

  • Yorkie bad breath
  • Excessive drooling and salivating
  • Excessive sneezing
  • Lumps inside the mouth
  • Difficulty chewing 
  • Bleeding of the gums

Most causes for loose teeth include periodontal disease, gum disease, and cancer in the jaw bone in rare cases. If you notice your Yorkie with a loose tooth, it’s best to immediately get them into a vet clinic. 

Starting dental cleanliness early will help your Yorkie become used to the procedure. One preventative measure for loose teeth in adults is daily brushing and dental chew toys. Ensure that you have different types of chew toys for your Yorkie ranging from soft to hard. 

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What Can You Do if Your Terrier’s Teeth Don’t Fall Out Naturally?

Some toy breeds, such as the Yorkshire Terrier’s baby teeth, don’t fall out naturally. When this happens, the baby roots have not reabsorbed into the body, making room for adult teeth. This is called retained baby teeth.

If your Yorkie’s baby teeth don’t fall out, problems such as the following can arise:

  • Weakened enamel
  • Improper bite
  • Improper jaw development
  • The chances for buildup bacteria and infection increases
  • More prone to dental disease
  • Overcrowding of teeth

Your Yorkie should have all his adult teeth at one year of age resulting in canine, incisors, molars, and premolars. Each set of teeth work together to help your dog cut, tear, grind, and hold food. Without the adult teeth, your Yorkie will likely form pus, an overbite, and take endless amounts of time to eat their food. 

If you notice signs that your puppy’s baby teeth have not fallen out naturally, she will need a tooth extraction. If your Yorkshire has developed an overbite or improper jaw development, a special plate or tooth shortening may be needed. 

Yorkie Teeth Cleaning and Dental Care

Make a habit of cleaning your Yorkies teeth daily as it is crucial for long and healthy life. You’ll need a special toothbrush and special dog toothpaste. If you haven’t done this from the young pup’s life, it’s never too late to start. 

toothbrush and paste for yorkshire

For the most restorative dental care, your Yorkie will need an anesthetized oral exam bi-annually. However, once a year, your Yorkie should go to the vet to get their teeth cleaned. If this is not done, complications such as tartar buildup and minor decay may become present. If the tooth has already been calcified, it won’t be easy to reverse. 

Since teeth cleanings and dental care can get very expensive quickly, it may be best to look into getting pet insurance for your Yorkie and other pets if you have any. Since most dental issues are very painful for your Yorkie (or any breed), teeth cleaning must be started at a young age. 

How to Clean Your Yorkie’s Teeth

Cleaning your Yorkshire’s teeth can be difficult at first, so you’ll want to start slowly. The last thing you will want is for your Yorkie to become upset or fearful at the sight of a toothbrush. Here are the steps you can take.

1) Get the proper materials

Never use human toothpaste as the ingredients are toxic to your Yorkie. You will need a specially designed toothbrush for dogs, as a human toothbrush is too coarse and hard for your small breed. 

Dog dental kits can be found almost anywhere, from pet stores to vet stores. If your Yorkie shows signs of aggression or shyness regarding the toothbrush and paste, try opting for flavored toothpaste. 

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2) Introduce the toothbrush and paste

Let your Yorkie inspect and become curious about the toothbrush. Please do not force the brush too close to their mouth. Pull the brush away if they start to paw and play. Allow your Yorkie to bite on it naturally and reward them with a soothing voice and their favorite treat

Next, allow them to inspect the toothbrush with toothpaste on it. If they lick the toothpaste, reward them with a treat and praise. For the first few times, this may be all you can push for. Be patient.

yorkshire terrier teeth cleaning procedure

3) Brush the teeth and gums

Once your Yorkie knows the toothbrush and paste, you can gradually introduce the brush into her mouth. Lift the top lip to get the front upper teeth and brush slowly and gently. Next, carefully pull back the bottom lip and get the lower teeth. 

The first time you do this, you may only get the front teeth. After a few times of brushing the front, get the brush behind, under, and around the tongue for the most effective tooth brushing. How many teeth does a Yorkie have? This is the question you need to ask yourself while brushing all their teeth to ensure they have a full set. 

4) Reward!

Always remember the reward. After training is officially complete and every single time after brushing your Yorkies teeth, don’t forget to reward him with his favorite dental stick or chew toy.

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Tips on How to Care for Your Yorkshire Terrier Teeth

For ultimate results and fewer dental problems, aim for daily brushing or at least twice a week. Ensure that she gets dental checkups once every year and is rewarded every day that she cooperates with a dental treat. 

Other useful things you can try for optimum dental hygiene are:

  • Use a dental spray for fresh breath
  • Use dental wipes for spot treatment
  • Give at least one dental treat per day

Yorkie’s teeth are tiny and sensitive, which is why they are prone to dental complications. If you start the daily teeth-brushing early on, your Yorkie will become used to the process and less afraid of it. A good habit to get into is when you brush your teeth or children’s teeth, brush your Yorkie’s teeth as well.

While brushing your dog’s teeth, also get into the habit of counting how many teeth does your yorkie have. 

Summary

So, how many teeth does a Yorkie have? 28 total baby teeth and a set of 42 adult teeth. Since the Yorkshire Terrier is a toy breed, their jaws and teeth are much smaller than the average breed, resulting in much more complicated dental procedures. It’s easy to have overcrowded mouths for small breeds. 

If the Yorkie’s double teeth syndrome is not fixed immediately, it can result in jaw displacement, repetitive tooth decay, and gum disease. It is imperative to get annual vet checkups for your Yorkies’ teeth to prevent expensive dental procedures throughout their life. 

The best and surefire preventative measure is to actively brush your Yorkies teeth every day or at least twice a week.

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Sarah Alward | Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
Sarah Alward | Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
Our resident DVM helps review every article to ensure we always provide scientifically accurate, up-to-date information. She’s proud to help provide pet parents everywhere with the info they need to keep their pets safe, healthy, and comfortable.