You’re probably aware of the fact that chewing on the teeth is common in dogs.
Dogs chew on their own gums and other teeth, and sometimes they’ll even scratch the ground with their teeth to mark their territory.
But what’s really surprising is the number of dogs that chewed on their teeth in the past.
According to Dr. Stephen Burtch, a clinical assistant professor of veterinary dentistry at the University of California, Davis, there’s actually been a sharp decline in the frequency of teeth-chewing in dogs since the 1960s.
Burtch says that in his experience, the frequency is declining at an exponential rate.
That’s because most dogs now chew on other parts of their bodies, not their teeth.
“What we’re seeing is that chewing in the front part of the body is declining, the back part of body is increasing, and the front is declining,” he says.
“We’re seeing an increase in the proportion of dogs in the population who chew on the front teeth, particularly in young dogs.
And it’s really a pretty significant increase.”
For example, in 2009, the number with chewed-on teeth was about 5 percent of the population.
Today, the figure is about 35 percent.
The rise in frequency of dental problems is not limited to dogs.
The most common problem is that dogs are prone to chewing on their fingernails and other parts in the mouth.
“You can get a lot of things from the dental wear on the fingers and the nails,” Burtcher says.
He explains that these kinds of issues are caused by the buildup of calcium carbonate, a substance that’s made up of calcium and magnesium.
“When a dog gets a tooth that has been chewed, it has a much higher calcium content, and it can be quite a bit harder for the teeth to break,” he explains.
Burtches also points out that in older dogs, the teeth are not able to repair themselves and they end up being more susceptible to decay.
And of course, chewing can cause infections and infections can cause cavities.
Beth, a Labrador Retriever, who lives in Virginia, has a chewed out front tooth and says it’s not uncommon for her dog to get a denture.
But she’s not bothered by it.
“It’s like an afterthought, it’s no big deal,” she says.
When the dentist comes to her house, Beth tells him about her dental problems.
“They’re the same issues that are happening to people,” she adds.
“The tooth wear is coming on the inside, the calcium is coming off the inside.
It’s coming from the front, and when I chew it on the outside, it becomes even more irritated.”
Beth also reports that her dog is also chewing on her teeth, but she says that he doesn’t bother to look at her.
“I think it’s normal that he’ll be chewing on his own tooth,” she explains.
“But I’ll say, ‘What about him?
Do you think he’s chewed your front teeth?
Is it normal?’
And he’ll look at me and say, yes, it is normal.”
Burtches believes that this trend is partly due to the fact there are fewer dental procedures available to treat dental problems in the United States.
“Dentists are getting fewer opportunities to do procedures,” he points out.
“There are fewer treatments, and more people are going to have problems.”
According to the American Dental Association, more than 70 percent of all Americans have a toothache.
While many people feel guilty about the pain and discomfort that they are causing their dogs, it seems that dentists have a special role in helping patients to stop chewing.
“If a person has dental problems, and you are able to provide an opportunity for the person to have that opportunity, I think that’s something that should be a priority for dentists,” Birtches says.
Dentist Steve Burtchy and his wife Beth have a Labrador retriever named Lizzy.
They say that when Lizzy was a puppy, they had to feed her food and water with her paws.
But it wasn’t until Lizzy turned five that she was given the opportunity to chew on her own teeth.
“She did a lot better when we were feeding her with her mouth and her feet,” Steve Bertsch says.
Lizzy is now a happy and healthy Labrador Retrieever.
Bertsch and Steve also own a pair of dogs, and they’re keeping the number at four.
They think it will be possible for their dogs to chew their own teeth for a while longer.
“I think the time that we’re going to be able to keep doing this for our dogs is going to depend on the level of education and the level and the quality of training that we have in terms of how we train our dogs,” Steve says.
Bentches also believes that if dentists were