Yorkshire Terriers, or “Yorkies” as they are known, are a popular and beloved breed. Unfortunately, they can often come with some health problems. Among those are some dental health concerns.
Yorkies are more likely than other breeds to have dental health problems. In this article, we will cover the topics of when Yorkies get teeth, what healthy teeth look like for the breed, how we can keep their teeth healthy, and when to take a trip to the vet.
When do Yorkie Puppies First get Teeth?
Like all puppies, young Yorkies will begin getting their first teeth at around three weeks. At six weeks, most if not all of their teeth should have erupted.
Teething can be pretty painful for puppies, and chewing is a way that pups will cope with the pain. Fortunately, there are some remedies.
Below are some great ways for us to protect our personal belongings (stop chewing), as well as train our puppies:
- We can provide our Yorkie puppies with safe, vet-approved chewing toys
- Toys that can be frozen like Kongs can help relieve pain from the eruptions
- Edible and flavored chew toys are fun choices as well
- Redirecting our puppies when we catch them chewing on something
- Make your own chew spray or pick up a premade (DIY chewing spray recipes)
Yorkie Puppy Teeth Development Time-Line
Below is a list of the different stages of tooth development and when you can expect them:
- Three weeks – Puppies get their first teeth, beginning the teething phase
- Six Weeks – All of the teeth will have erupted
- Twelve weeks – The deciduous, or baby teeth, began to fall out; they are replaced by permanent teeth
- Six months – All baby teeth will have been replaced with permanent teeth
What is a “Correct” Yorkie Bite?
Most dog breeds, including Yorkies, will have what is called a “scissor bite” if their teeth are normal. When the jaws are closed, the upper and lower incisors intersect each other neatly, and also the teeth are evenly spaced. This is considered a “normal” bite for Yorkies.
We all wish our cherished pets could have perfect health and not have any problems, but it doesn’t always work out that way.
Yorkies, like other dogs, are often subject to some abnormal dental conditions that can cause some issues and even pain. Among those are overshot jaw, undershot jaw, and retained deciduous teeth.
This is an abnormal bite that happens when the dog’s lower jaw is shorter in length than the upper jaw. It is also known as “overbite.”
When the jaws are shut together, they are not aligned. There is a space between the upper and lower incisors, and sometimes the lower incisors can cause pain on the roof of the mouth.
The level jaw may not sound like it is a bad thing, but it can be. With this kind of abnormal bite, the jaws are aligned with each other.
The incisors are aligned exactly and cannot nest into each other and overlap. This can cause them to grate against each other over time and wear down.
This abnormal bite happens when the upper jaw is longer than the lower jaw. It is also known as “underbite.”
Similar to the overshot jaw, it can sometimes cause pain if the teeth regularly come into contact with any tissue inside the mouth.
Retained Deciduous Teeth
Deciduous teeth are also known as “baby teeth” or “milk teeth.” Normally, they have all fallen out by the time the Yorkie puppy is six months old. Sometimes, however, they do not.
This is called “Retained Deciduous Teeth.” Also, a tooth that will not fall out is known as a “persistent tooth.”
When this occurs, it can often cause the new adult teeth to come in an abnormal way, like in an odd position or alongside the baby tooth.
Unfortunately, deciduous teeth can lead to a dog’s mouth being overcrowded.
Overcrowding can sometimes cause some of the teeth to come into contact with soft parts of the dog’s mouth and can cause pain, just like other abnormal dental issues with the jaw.
When a dog’s dental hygiene is poor, and there is tartar and plaque build-up, it can lead to periodontal disease.
Periodontal disease is when the soft tissues surrounding the tooth become infected and inflamed. Unfortunately, it is very common in dogs, and Yorkies are no exception.
Below are some signs to look for when it comes to periodontal disease:
- Bad breath
- Bleeding from the mouth
- Brown or yellow teeth
- Problems chewing or keeping food in the mouth
- Irritable temperament
Caring for Yorkie Teeth
Dental hygiene for Yorkies, as with all dogs, is an important part of the animal’s overall health. We, as the owners, must ensure we are doing all we can to keep our Yorkie’s teeth in tip-top shape.
Why it is Important
Why does keeping a Yorkie’s teeth healthy matter? There are some major health problems that can arise when our dog’s oral hygiene is poor.
One of the most obvious is that it can lead to tooth loss. What’s more, it can cause pain, damage to the jaw, and infections.
A Step by Step Guide
This is a step-by-step guide on how we can keep our precious pet’s dental hygiene in check:
- Buy some dog toothpaste as well as a dog toothbrush; most pet stores carry them.
- Make sure everything is ready. Is the lighting good? Is your dog comfy? Is he or she willing to let you open their mouth and touch their gums?
- Remember to praise your dog every time you touch their teeth with your fingers or brush.
- Allow the dog to taste the toothpaste before brushing their teeth with it.
- Add toothpaste to the toothbrush, pull the upper lip up, and begin gently brushing the dog’s teeth.
- Make sure the side and back teeth get brushed, as well.
- Repeat the process for the dog’s lower teeth.
- We want to make sure we reward our Yorkies with cuddles and a treat afterward.
Different Ways to Help Keep Teeth Clean
There are several different products on the market today that can help keep a dog’s teeth healthy in addition to brushing their teeth.
We can try one of the following for even better dental health:
- Wipes: These are made just to keep the dog’s teeth clean. Dental wipes for dogs are used to rub plaque off of the teeth.
- Dental treats for dogs: These treats are made especially to help get rid of plaque on the dog’s teeth.
- Dog chews: Chewing is really good for a dog’s oral health, and most chews on the market are made with that in mind. Things like cow’s ears or dental sticks really benefit our pet’s dental hygiene.
- Professional teeth cleaning: Just like going to the dentist for us humans, occasionally our pet Yorkies need to see a vet and get their chompers professionally cleaned. It can really help get all of the plaque and tartar off and is so helpful for overall oral health.
When to Call the Vet
We all hate it when our beloved pets are feeling poorly, and we hate having to drag them to the vet on top of that. Sometimes, however, it simply can’t be avoided.
If you notice any of the following conditions in your Yorkie, take them to the vet as soon as possible:
- Pain or swelling in or around the mouth
- Chewing in a strange manner
- “Extra” or retained baby teeth
- Loss of appetite or no appetite
- Any broken or loose teeth
- Bleeding in the mouth
- Abnormal amount of drooling
You should have a better understanding of Yorkie’s and their teething behavior. Remember that the most important thing when caring for a pet is being conscious of any change to their behavior so that you can be ready to investigate and treat anything that may be hurting them.
Now we can take care of our Yorkie’s dental hygiene, and hopefully, keep them healthy and happy for years to come.