The following article on teeth could not be made plainer than by what Dalziel says:
"The dog has, when the set is complete, or in kennel parlance, when he 'has a full mouth,' forty-two teeth, made up of twelve Incisors, or cutting teeth, four canines or fangs, and twenty-six molars, double, or grinding teeth.
"The Incisors - six above and six below - form the front teeth; those in the upper jaw are the larger, and both above and below the center teeth are the smaller, the outer or corner cutters the strongest; these appear at the age of from four to five weeks, and give place to the permanent incisors at three to four months.
"The Canines or Fangs also make their appearance when the pup is from four to six weeks old, and these are replaced by the permanent fangs about the age of five or six months; they are considerably elongated and pointed; the upper ones are the stronger.
Of these, twelve are in the upper jaw and fourteen in the lower; the first (that is, of course, the four, two upper and two under) are not deciduous, and make their appearance at about three or four months; the second, third in the upper, and fourth in the lower, are, like the incisors and canines, deciduous, appearing at the fourth or fifth week, and giving place to the permanent ones at five to six months; the fourth in the upper jaw is much the strongest, and ,in the lower jaw, the fifth is the largest and strongest. The fifth generally appears from the fourth to the fifth month, and in the lower jaw the fifth is the largest and strongest. The sixth at the age of from five to six months, and the seventh in the lower jaw from five and a half to seven months. Most of the molars, in the lower jaw from five and a half to seven months. Most of the molars, whilst adapted for grinding or crushing bones, etc., are terminated by acute lobes suitable for tearing flesh.
This term is applied to those blackish incrustations so commonly found adhering around the necks of the teeth. It is by far the commonest in pet dogs, or those which are chiefly fed upon soft food. Sometimes the accumulation of matter is so great that it causes the teeth to become loose, leads to ulceration of the gums, and the production of a most offensive smell from the mouth, all of which can be obviated by giving the animal an occasional bone to pick. The treatment must be directed to the removal of the tartar deposit. This can be done by putting on a simple tape muzzle and then scraping the teeth with a small instrument which is sold by most cutlers for the purpose of scraping the nails of the human subject. It is a somewhat tedious operation, neverless extremely simple.
"Care must be taken to prevent the gums from injury, as they are very soft, and bleed upon the slightest touch, in. many cases. All loose and decayed teeth should be pulled out, and the mouth washed occasionally for several days with some cleansing fluid, such as:
Potash alum ........................... 1/2 dram.
Borax.................................. 1/2 dram.
Permanganate of potash................... 16 grains.
Water .................................. 4 ounces.
Apply to the teeth with a brush.
"The dog must have an occasional aperient, i. e., a laxative of a mild kind, and there is nothing better than half to one teaspoonful of liquid extract of cascara bark in a little water.
The teeth are" liable to injury from various causes, such as result from biting hard substances, like stone, etc. Unless they cause inconvenience through sharp projecting points lacerating the tongue, etc., or imperfect mastication of food, they are best left alone. In old dogs the teeth are sometimes worn almost away, and such it is advisable to feed on soft food.
The permanent teeth may be displaced either through a temporary tooth not having been shed, or by an excessive accumulation of tartar. If caused by the former, this should be extracted; the latter should be scaled off according to the method already recommended. Tooth forceps can be had at surgical instrument makers.
The fangs are those teeth which are com' monly affected. One or more of the teeth appear brown, with a black center, perhaps coated with tartar, and loose. The breath is very offensive, and saliva is constantly dribbling from the mouth; sometimes swellings under the jaw. The sooner the decayed tooth, or teeth, is removed, the better, followed by a gentle laxative, and the adoption of such methods as will keep the system in good working order - viz., careful dietary.
A decayed tooth may give rise to the formation of matter below the jaw, in which case there appears a soft sort of tumor, swelling. If this is neglected, a fistulous ulcer may remain.
"In some cases the jaw-bone itself may become involved in the dis-easer state, but fortunately this is rare. The gums are red, swollen and spongy. The breath is very fetid and offensive.
"The treatment consists of removing the diseased tooth, fomenting the abscess below the jaw with hot water, and, when ripe, either opening it with a sharp knife, lancet, or allowing it to burst itself. After the matter has escaped, it should, along with the mouth, be washed out with chloride of zinc, or lead lotion, four grains to every ounce of water. The system will require good support, and, it may be, a course of tonics, such as a grain or two of quinine, night and morning, in the form of a pill; or, using one of the Condition Pills you see advertised in this book - Clayton's, Dent's, or Sergeant's - they are all good, made by dogmen for dogs, and you won't go amiss in using either of them in such cases.