Chihuahua Teeth: Everything You Need to Know

Chihuahua about to bite someones hand
© Piotr Wawrzyniuk/

Written by Taiwo Victor

Updated: October 14, 2023

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When it comes to the topic of dogs, chihuahuas often come up easily. Why? As tempting as it is to take care of huge yet gentle dog breeds, small dogs are often more practical to have, especially for people living in limited neighborhoods. 

Chihuahuas are small dogs, the smallest breed among all dogs, in fact, reaching a maximum of 8 inches long when standing on all fours, and weighing not over 6 pounds. Because of this, chihuahuas are also one of the most popular dog breeds despite their snappy and fearless nature.

Chihuahuas may be cute, but they are the most cuddly dog breed. In fact, they are not the best dogs to keep around small children because they have the tendency to be snarky around people. These tiny canines are also considered one of the most aggressive dog breeds in the world; they usually have aggressive personality issues that are way bigger than their size. 

Chihuahuas may be tiny, but their sharp teeth which are always on display pose a threat to those around them, making them look more dangerous than they should.

What Kind of Teeth Do Chihuahuas Have?

Chihuahua about to bite someones hand

Chihuahuas, like most dogs, have a complete set of mammalian and heterodont teeth.

©Piotr Wawrzyniuk/

Like most dogs, chihuahuas have a complete set of mammalian and heterodont teeth: incisors, canines, molars, and premolars. The chihuahua’s teeth may look random in appearance, and may even appear as though they are all battling for space to protrude from. 

You might have seen hilarious photographs of gnarly-looking chihuahuas giggling with their teeth out. If you haven’t, you surely have seen one grinding its teeth against each other to show its anger or distress. Chihuahuas’ teeth are all short but pointy, making them look like they are always ready to bite.

How Many Teeth Do Chihuahuas Have?

close up of an angry Chihuahua

An adult chihuahua has a total of 42 teeth.


An adult chihuahua’s complete set of teeth is composed of 42 teeth. The usual dental formula for dogs is as follows: Incisors 3/3, Canines 1/1, Premolars 4/4, Molars 3/3, wherein the numbers represented by the “top/bottom” apply on all four sides of the jaw: up, down, left, and right.

If you have ever played with a chihuahua, you may have noticed that their teeth appear to be vying for space in the mouth. However, the truth is they just have the same number of teeth that other dogs do. Their tiny mouth and jaw just give the impression that they have more teeth than their jaws can handle.

Do Chihuahuas Lose Teeth?

Out of their 42 teeth, chihuahuas eventually lose some of them throughout their lifetime. Just like humans, they have “milk teeth” during their young ages, and as these fall out, they are eventually replaced by permanent ones, usually at 8 months of age.

There are no teeth in chihuahua puppies when they are born, but “milk teeth” will start to appear around the age of 5 to 6 weeks. When they all come out, there will be 28 puppy teeth that fall out as they grow older.

Chihuahuas start teething around the age of 4 to 5 months. Adult canine teeth start to grow during this stage of teething, which lasts about three months. As the puppy gets older, its teeth fall out in a certain way, such as through decay or by playing. 

How Do Chihuahua Teeth Work?

CHIHUAHUA TEETH - A vet showing their teeth

Clean chihuahua teeth can help them live a longer and healthier life.


Just like most mammals, the different types of teeth chihuahuas have in their mouths have unique uses. The premolars and molars of a chihuahua are used to rip and crush their food, whereas their incisors and canines nip, bite, cut, and shred flesh. Basically, a chihuahua’s teeth are both weapons and tools for eating, although sometimes they also use them for biting whatever threat is on their way or while playing. 

The incisors of chihuahuas are used mostly to scrape. When they show their teeth, you’ll often see their canines behind the incisors, which are long and pointed, looking more like fangs. These teeth are used to cut meat into pieces. 

Premolars are teeth that are just behind the canines. They are used to cut meat and food into small pieces, and they are mostly used in chewing. At the back of their mouths are molars which are used to disintegrate hard and tough foods. Molars purposely have flat crowns in order to help dogs grind most types of food.

Dental Issues in Chihuahuas

Overcrowding of teeth is more common in small dogs like chihuahuas, which means that the natural teeth cleaning procedure through chewing is more difficult.

Chihuahuas do not regrow their teeth, so pet owners must be careful about their dental health. These dogs, even though low-maintenance, are prone to teeth problems, thus they commonly do not have a complete set of 42 teeth, often resulting in missing teeth.

Keeping your chihuahua’s sparkling white teeth clean and healthy is just as important as taking care of the rest of your dog to ensure they live a long and healthy life. Chihuahuas are one of the longest-living dog breeds, known to reach 14 to 16 years if properly taken care of. 

In a public research, it has been discovered that gum diseases and infections often affect smaller dog breeds. These dental issues can cause bad breath, behavioral changes, uncontrolled drooling, loss of appetite, and more. 

How to Care for a Chihuahua’s Teeth?

Vets advise pet owners to brush a Chihuahua’s teeth on a weekly basis. Every year, chihuahua owners should take their dogs to the veterinarian for a thorough teeth cleaning. 

By the time a Chihuahua is 2 years old, they are most likely to have dental difficulties due to a lack of regular cleaning and treatment.

How do I Know if My Chihuahua has Bad Teeth?

chihuahua puppy on a gray background studio photo

Chihuahuas, like all small dogs, are more prone to dental disease which can cause additional health problems.


All dogs can be in danger of developing canine periodontitis but small dogs are more susceptible to dental disease than larger dogs due to the anatomy of their mouths, heads, and faces. This periodontal disease affects the tooth-supporting tissues and can lead to tooth and tissue loss. Dental disease does not only cause tooth loss but can also put your dog at risk of developing heart disease.

Often, you may not be aware that there are any issues with your Chihuahua’s mouth but there are some trademark signs that can be an indication that your dog needs medical intervention. Some of these are:

  • Bad breath
  • Bleeding or inflamed gums
  • Bloody or “ropey” saliva
  • Blood on toys
  • Discolored teeth (brown or yellow)
  • Irritability
  • Favoring one side of the mouth
  • Loss of appetite
  • Loose or missing teeth

Should your dog exhibit any of these symptoms, they should be taken to their veterinarian to discuss what should be done to correct it before it progresses into something more serious.

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About the Author

For six years, I have worked as a professional writer and editor for books, blogs, and websites, with a particular focus on animals, tech, and finance. When I'm not working, I enjoy playing video games with friends.

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