Yes, puppies grind their teeth when teething.

The grinding is because of the pain.

The process can be uncomfortable.

Grinding their teeth helps soothe the itchy gums.

It also helps the sharp teeth come out faster.

Underlying reasons can also cause grinding.

Let’s find out what those are.

Do Puppies Grind Teeth When Teething?

  • Definition of Teething
  • Why Do Puppies Grind Their Teeth When Teething?
  • Signs That a Puppy Is Teething
  • Types of Teeth That Puppies Develop

Definition of Teething

Teething is the process of teeth moving, growing, and breaking through the gums.

It’s natural and it is a critical moment in the dog’s development.

Dogs’ teeth change two times in their life.

The first time is when their baby teeth come out.

The second time is when their adult teeth come out.

This set is permanent.

Why Do Puppies Grind Their Teeth When Teething?

Puppies grind their teeth when teething because of discomfort.

Teeth grinding can also be called bruxism. [1]

The grinding of the teeth helps the puppies put pressure on the swollen gums.

This will stop the pain while they’re doing it.

Bruxism can be caused by gastrointestinal problems.

This is common if the food they’re eating is not right for them.

Make sure to get them food that is appropriate for their age.

Oral ulcerations or masses can be a secondary cause of grinding.

Puppies and dogs can also grind their teeth while dreaming.

Odd behavior isn’t always caused by disease, but it can be.

Signs That a Puppy Is Teething

Chewing or nipping




Red and swollen gums

Crying and whining


Missing teeth

Decreased appetite

The signs of teething are similar to those of humans.

Like humans, one of the first signs is excessive chewing and nipping.

They will bite anything they can get their mouth around.

If they don’t have anything to bite on, they will chatter their teeth to stimulate the gums.

The teething makes them drool.

Drooling is usually caused by biting down on things.

Problems like red and swollen gums are always present.

When the teeth finally start coming out, red spots of blood can also be seen.

The pain makes the puppies cry and whine.

It also makes them eat slower.

They can also have problems with eating solid food.

All these symptoms can lead to a full-body reaction and they can develop a fever.

This also leads to decreased appetite.

You can check if your puppy is teething by counting their teeth.

This is more useful when they’re losing their baby teeth.

When your puppy is around a month old you can count if they have 28 teeth.

If the number is lower, they’ve already lost some teeth. [2]

Types of Teeth That Puppies Develop

Like human babies, a puppy will first develop fewer teeth.

There are 28 baby teeth.

They change into 42 permanent teeth as the dog grows.

The puppies will develop four types of teeth.

Incisors, canines, premolars, and molars are the main groups of teeth in all animals.

The tooth has four layers which are the enamel, the cementum, the dentin, and the pulp.

The teething starts at around 3-4 weeks and they have their first set at 8 weeks.

This set starts to fall out at 4-5 months.

By month 7 they should have their adult teeth. [3]

This is similar to canines in the wild.

Wolves develop their teeth much quicker.

Wolf canine teeth, incisors, and premolars come in at 1-2 months.

Their adult teeth and molars come in at 3-12 months.

What Are the Effects of Teeth Grinding in Puppies?

  • Dental Damage
  • Pain and Discomfort
  • Changes in Eating and Drinking Habits
  • Behavioral Changes

Dental Damage

Teeth grinding may cause many dental problems.

Most commonly, dental problems are seen in dog breeds with an overbite or an underbite.

This malocclusion puts additional pressure on the jaw joint and the gums.

It can lead to teeth grinding.

Another problem is prolonged grinding.

If the grinding continues after teething it can cause the tooth to break.

The break can be a crack or a full fracture.

This can lead to an exposed pulp.

The pulp is where the nerves of the teeth are.

Its exposure can lead to oral pain and additional health problems in the mouth.

In rare cases, teeth grinding can also cause focal seizures.

These are partial seizures that affect one part of the brain.

If they continue happening, contact your vet.

The dog may have a bigger risk of a bacterial infection.

A broken tooth is a gateway to bacteria that can cause problems elsewhere in the body as well.

The risk of this happening is small, but shouldn’t be ignored.

Cavities can also appear from grinding teeth.

They’re not as bad as a fracture but should be dealt with by a professional.

In some cases, the baby teeth don’t fall out even when the adult teeth are in.

This can lead to double rows of teeth.

Food can get stuck between the two rows and cause bad breath and gingivitis. [4]

Pain and Discomfort

The pain and discomfort are normal in teething puppies.

Grinding can help, but it can also lead to periodontal disease.

This starts as inflamed and swollen gums and becomes infected.

You have to be careful that it doesn’t come to this.

Periodontitis isn’t curable, just manageable. [5]

Dog teeth chattering can also be a stress and pain relief.

Chattering and grinding should be discouraged.

They can lead to teeth being worn down.

This can become painful for the dog.

Changes in Eating and Drinking Habits

Due to the pain and discomfort, dogs will stop eating as much.

In this period they will prefer soft over solid food and drink more water.

Make sure the water is slightly colder than room temperature.

The cold water helps with the swelling and pain.

If your dog prefers the taste of solid over soft food, try adding water to soften the solid food.

This can also be used if your dog has gastrointestinal problems and can only eat one type of food.

Behavioral Changes

The most noticeable change is in their behavior. [6]

Teething dogs tend to be more irritated than usual.

The new teeth may hurt their gums to the point of changed behavior.

Depending on these symptoms they can whine in pain or bark at anything.

They can become grumpy and seem depressed.

This is because they can’t help themselves and have to endure the pain.

Opposite of that, they can seem excited and hyperactive when they play.

Aggressive behavior while playing and tugging is normal in this period.

The tugging is helping them relieve pain.

The behavioral changes stop once their teeth sets are complete.

The changes are usually the same both times they change their teeth. [7]

How to Help a Puppy That Is Grinding Its Teeth While Teething?

  • Provide Appropriate Chew Toys
  • Use Cold or Frozen Items
  • Avoid Hard or Abrasive Items
  • Provide Adequate Dental Care

Provide Appropriate Chew Toys

Type of toy


Hard chew toys

Good but can lead to oral pain and other dental problems in the future

Puppy specific toys

The best for the first teething. Small enough to fit in a puppy’s mouth and not cause further frustration

Textured toys

The best, if they’re soft and don’t break easily. They stimulate the gums and distract from the pain.

Soft or plush toys

Good for teething, tugging, and collecting drool. Make sure to wash them regularly. They are a good surface for bacteria to grow

Edible or stuffed toys

Good for puppies that refuse to eat while teething.

Freezable toys

These are the best to relieve pain and swelling

Puppies need to chew in this period.

Chew toys are the best option you can give them. [8]

The type does not matter much.

There are many you can choose from.

Harder chew toys are recommended between the two sets of teeth.

They can help with the falling out of the baby teeth.

They are also more durable.

There are also puppy-specific toys that are smaller.

They are similar to human baby chew toys.

Textured toys can keep their mind busy and away from the pain.

Some puppies prefer softer toys for their sore gums and for cuddles as well as tugging.

For pups that have a hard time with food while teething, owners can try edible or stuffed toys.

That way their puppies get nutrients while playing.

All these chew toys are textured.

This helps the puppy develop healthy teeth and gums.

They can also help keep the existing teeth clean.

All these toys can be used in non-teething dogs too.

Toys have proven to better their mental state as well. [9]

Use Cold or Frozen Items

Cold compression is good for any swelling.

You can give your dog cold treats or get them a freezable toy.

The cold treats and ice cubes last a very short time, so a toy is the better option.

Most of the freezable toys are simple to use and reuse.

If your dog is keen on keeping something in its mouth even a frozen or cold washcloth could help.

Avoid Hard or Abrasive Items

The frustration of the painful mouth can lead to your dog biting down on anything.

Hard items might look and feel good to it but it can cause problems.

These include gum disease, periodontitis, and broken or chipped teeth.

If the dog doesn’t have toys it can start biting down on table legs, metal fences, and other things it may hurt itself on.

Make sure to keep it occupied in these few weeks.

Provide Adequate Dental Care

Dental care should be provided as soon as they start teething.

The easiest dental care is through chew toys.

These will keep your dog’s teeth clean and strong.

As soon as their teeth fully come out you should check in with a veterinarian.

The vet will make sure your dog’s teeth are healthy.

Routine dental check-ups should be done at least twice a year.

The vet will usually check the color and strength of the teeth.

They will also check the color of the gums.

Minor procedures like scraping dog’s teeth can be done to get rid of plaque.

If the condition of the teeth is bad, the vet may suggest a detailed cleaning and extraction. [10]

When to Seek Veterinary Care for a Puppy Grinding Its Teeth

  • Persistent Teeth Grinding
  • Other Signs of Dental Issues
  • Behavioral Changes That May Indicate Pain or Discomfort

Persistent Teeth Grinding

Persistent teeth grinding is not normal behavior.

If your dog is persistently grinding its teeth you should visit the vet or a behaviorist.

Persistent grinding can be caused by oral pain.

This is usually when there’s a cavity or a broken tooth.

It can also be caused by growths in the mouth that cause discomfort.

Focal motor seizures can cause them to grind and chatter as well. [11]

Other Signs of Dental Issues

The vet will check the whole mouth.

The dog may be checked first for crooked teeth and misalignment of the jaw.

Bad breath can be normal but should be treated with brushing.

It can also be caused by double rows of teeth which is a bigger problem.

Bleeding gums can be normal for teething puppies, but in adult dogs, it can be a dangerous sign of infection.

Tartat build-up may be a sign of dental care neglect.

It can also be caused by a bad diet and lack of brushing. [12]

Behavioral Changes That May Indicate Pain or Discomfort

Dogs are energetic creatures most of the time.

They also show emotions very easily.

If your dog is in pain it may start exhibiting different behaviors.

Frequent whining and crying is the most obvious sign.

They may be giving you puppy eyes to gain sympathy and love.

Your dog can also nibble you with their front teeth for attention.

Some dogs become aggressive, especially around people that they don’t know.

Chattering teeth may suggest pain as well.

This can be seen as the bottom jaw chattering in rhythmic movements.

Grinding may be a result of trying to numb the pain.

Why Is My Puppy Grinding His Teeth?

Your puppy is grinding his teeth because it’s probably teething.

If it’s around a month old it’s gaining its first set of teeth.

This set will have 28 baby teeth.

The next teething is around 5-7 months when he’ll get his adult teeth.

How Do I Get My Puppy to Stop Grinding His Teeth?

You can get your puppy to stop grinding his teeth with behavioral training.

Toys can also help when they’re teething.

Teething is a normal process that every baby goes through.

It’s a very important period that the owners must keep track of.

There will be dietary and behavioral changes in this period.

It can be painful and cause discomfort.

The owner must be patient with the dog and tend to its needs.

As soon as the teeth come in dental care must begin.

This includes brushing and vet visits. [13]

It’s important to keep track of the puppy’s behavior to know how to deal with every step of the process.

The changes in behavior can be caused by an underlying issue as well as teething. [14]

Be patient with their behavior changes.

They just know that they’re in pain and not much else.