UK Delivery from 95p - Europe from £2.75 - Rest of World from £3.75

Dogs with Underbites: Canine Malocclusion

October 19, 2018

English Bulldog with an underbite. how do I know if my dog has an underbite? Will an underbite effect my dog.

Does your dog have a toothy grin that pops out when they are relaxed? This could be an 'underbite' which is fairly common among dogs. However, depending on the severity of the 'grin' could have underlying health problems. 

pug with underbite, teeth sticking out, dog with underbite

Some people love dogs with an underbite. As humans we find showing the lower bottom teeth as an adorable or ugly-cute trait.

What is an Underbite? 

The way a dog's teeth should line up together is called a 'scissor bite'. A dog who's teeth don't quite fit straightly together, and the bottom jaw's teeth protrude further than the upper jaw has what is called an underbite, also known as Canine Malocclusion

This is a feature most often seen in short muzzled dogs like pugs, terriers, cavaliers, shih-tzu, boxers and bulldogs, however any mix breed dog with a parent from a breed that is known to develop an underbite has a greater likelihood of inheriting an underbite. 

 Is an Underbite Healthy for my Dog? 

In humans it is easy to see if we have developed an underbite. In dogs however it is a little harder to see from what is 'normal' as a dogs jaw is different to our own. The way you can tell if your dog has an underbite is when they are most at rest and relaxed as their bottom teeth will poke out from under their lips.

If your dog has no issues with chewing solid foods, and they can move their jaw comfortably and bite well enough, then there is nothing to worry about. As noted earlier this is a fairly common trait in dog breeds with short muzzles and 'flat faces'. 

Does this mean that an underbite has underline health issues? 

There are several different forms of Canine Malocclusion:

Dental Malocclusion - where the teeth are jagged and lay at a crooked angle.

Skeletal Malocclusion - this is seen in pedigrees usually in a short muzzled breed (but can also occur in long snouted breeds like sight hounds), where the lower jaw is longer than the upper jaw due to a skull abnormality resulting in the two jaws not lining up properly.  

However, any breed of dog can develop an underbite. This can occur when a pups baby teeth have fallen out and a new set start to develop at an angle. This is typically around the 10 month marker. For a dog who has breeds that typically develop an underbite, this should not affect the dog.

An underbite can also develop due to a physical trauma. 

terrier sitting on a bench with an underbite, underbite seen in dogs

How can I tell if my Dog is in Pain from an Underbite?

If a dog develops Dental Malocclusion there could be a few problems for the pup. Such as tooth-to-tooth-contact or tooth-to-gum-contact where there shouldn't be. This is due to bad teeth alignment and can affect a dog's normal mouth functions such as eating, chewing, cleaning and biting as this unwanted contact can cause a dog much distress. 

This unusual teeth placement can cause unseen issues such as cuts to the dog's lips, cheek tissues and may cause mouth ulcers, infections and tooth decay. A vet should notice any problems in a check up. They will then determine if further action is required. 

Top Tip: 
There are a couple of warning signs you can look out for if you are concerned about your dog's underbite by spotting signs of Oral Pain. 
 - A dislike of their face being touched. 
 - Blood in Saliva. 
 - A Difficulty Eating or Drinking. 
 - A Struggle Swallowing Solid Foods. 
- Rubbing their head. 
 - Extremely Bad Breath.

 

Can Canine Malocclusion be Fixed?

The vast majority of skeletal malocclusion requires no treatment. This is also the same for dental malocclusion, it is only if it causes a sever risk to the dog - such as bad teeth formation or an underlying dental issues that cause the dog pain that further action should be taken. Your vet will be able to advise you if this is the case when your dog has a check up. 

 

boxer dog with a underbite,

It has also been noted that some puppies that developed an underbite in their early years 'grow' out of it as their face and jaw begin to take form as they develop into dogs. Although it varies from breed to breed, a dog's facial alinement is often determined around 10 months of age. 

Possible Treatments for Underbite in Dogs: 

- Removal of teeth. 
- Oral Surgery.
- Orthodontic Appliance.

These are costly treatments however and should only be taken forth if it has been prescribed by your vet. It may require outside treatment from a dog dental specialist or an animal orthodontist rather than your vet. 

Sources: 

https://www.petmd.com
https://thehappypuppysite.com
https://thebark.com
https://www.dogster.com
https://www.buzzfeed.com





Also in Hoobynoo Blog

How can I include my Dog at our Wedding - an interview with Furry Tail Weddings UK
How can I include my Dog at our Wedding - an interview with Furry Tail Weddings UK

September 02, 2019

Would you bring your dog to your wedding? This is a question that all pet owners face when it comes to their big day. Although many of us would answer 'of course they're family!' it's only when you get down to the finer details that there becomes a bit of an issue

Continue Reading

How Can I Be More Eco-Friendly with My Pets?
How Can I Be More Eco-Friendly with My Pets?

July 29, 2019

Which is better bio-degradable, degradable or compostable when it comes to poo bags? Did you know that millions of dog poo bags take 100s of years decomposing? But what can we do to help the environment but also be clean and pick up after our dogs on walks? 

Continue Reading

Finding an outfit that suits my dog - An Interview with Panchos wardrobe
Finding an outfit that suits my dog - An Interview with Panchos wardrobe

July 26, 2019

Have you ever considered giving your furbaby a wardrobe of accessories and outfits? You might do this to keep them warm in the cold weather or maybe because your furry loved one simply loves to be cosy and stylish? Today we interviewed Alexis about her pet's fashion company 'Panchos Wardrobe' to find out why she swapped from people fashion to pets fashion...

Continue Reading