No, you don’t have to worry if your dog has underbite. An underbite is not always a problem. However, you may have reason to worry if the underbite cause is not genetic.
Several dogs have underbites, and they do not experience any pain or side effects. At the same time, this condition could result in severe pain and discomfort.
Some dog breeds are predisposed to having underbite, and these breeds rarely need to undergo any treatment. Furthermore, some people find underbites in dogs adorable and irresistible. However, these are usually dogs with a genetic underbite disposition.
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What Causes Underbite In My Dog?
Unlike dogs whose bottom jaw is longer than their upper jaw, their head is small and broad. the underbite, in this case, is caused by a dental issue rather than a skeletal one. As pups mature, they lose their milk teeth, progressively replaced by permanent teeth.
However, in some situations, the puppy’s baby teeth may fail to fall out. This leaves the puppy with the baby teeth obstructing the permanent teeth, which may grow crooked due to a lack of room.
In certain circumstances, the incisors may be the only teeth contributing to the misalignment in slightly undershot bites.
Skeletal underbites may be more problematic than dental underbites. Your pet’s teeth or incisors may make inappropriate contact with the gums due to an irregular jawbone structure. This causes extreme discomfort and damage to your dog’s teeth and gums.
This has the potential to hasten the onset of periodontal disease. A typical mouth bone structure may cause the maxillary incisors or teeth to make uneven contact with the gums in this circumstance. As a result, your dog’s gums and teeth will be damaged, causing discomfort.
In this scenario, malocclusion in dogs is inherited, which means the issue will most likely be passed down from generation to generation.
Furthermore, it develops when anything goes wrong throughout the growth and development or gestation stages, such as trauma or infection, among other events that stifle maxillofacial growth.
However, in some instances, the lower teeth protrude in front of the upper teeth, resulting in a reverse scissor bite. Due to genetic factors, long and medium-muzzled dogs are more likely to have a dog underbite.
Jaw fractures that do not heal properly can potentially cause a dog underbite. Your dog may acquire an underbite due to trauma to the face and jaw caused by bites, accidents, or being hit by a car.
Occasionally, a dog underbite develops due to excessive tugging and gnawing during the delicate teething stage. Puppies have bite problems when their teeth grow and shift out of their original place.
Do not engage in aggressive activities with your dog to prevent getting into this situation. Using ropes or towels to enjoy these games can cause your pet’s teeth to shift into an unusual position, causing misalignment.
Which Breeds of Dog Are More Prone To Underbite?
An underbite can occur in any dog breed, but it is significantly more common in particular breeds. Underbites are more common in small dog breeds, but some larger species, such as the boxer, are also at risk.
Underbites are widespread in small breeds, including Pekingese, Shih Tzu, English bulldog, Boston terrier, King Charles Spaniel, Pug, Lhasa Apso, and French bulldog. These are the most prevalent dog breeds with an underbite, but the issue can affect any dog. Underbite can cause even more severe health implications for dogs if there isn’t any early treatment.
More importantly, you should note that mixed-breed dogs with one or more parent breeds from the above list are susceptible to a malocclusion.
Are There Health Implications For A Dog With Underbite?
Not all pets with underbites are in pain or suffering due to this condition. Some breeds eat and swallow well without suffering any side effects. However, some dogs risk further health issues due to malocclusion.
Untreated malocclusion can result in more than just a crooked smile for your pet; it can also lead to severe pain. It can lead to teeth that are misaligned and cause injury to the gums and soft tissues of the mouth.
Your pup may experience tooth, cheeks, palate trauma, and gum swallowing or chewing difficulties. Furthermore, its teeth may build up excess tartar or calculus, and there is a risk of wear and periodontal disease to its teeth.
It may find it difficult to tear or grind food. Also, it is prone to chronic discomfort and oronasal fistula, a defect where a hole forms between the nose and the mouth.
How Do I Prevent Underbite In My Dog?
Unfortunately, outside of neutering or spaying your dog, nothing can be done to prevent future puppies from having the same condition caused by genetics.
However, you can prevent it in other dogs by feeding them soft food and using recommended dental products. You can also provide soft chew toys and avoid engaging in games such as tug of war which could affect the alignment of your dog’s teeth.
Is There A Treatment For Dog Underbites?
There are treatments that you can give your pet that has an underbite; however, it may not be necessary if your dog’s teeth are misaligned. Still, they can bite, chew, and swallow normally.
At the same time, for dogs in pain, the most common underbite treatment is extracting deciduous teeth. Which are notably connected to dental discomfort and disorders in dogs over the age of ten months.
Suppose your pet exhibits heavy gulping, salivation, and frequent rubbing at its face. This indicates that it is in discomfort or, at the very least agitated. If foreign objects are the source of the problem, they will be removed as soon as an X-ray identifies them.
Braces may be required to prevent healthy teeth from being extracted unnecessarily, particularly if lost teeth are causing other dental issues. The size of the braces will be determined by the dog’s mouth and face shape, and size.
Your veterinarians will advise you to pay close attention to your dog’s teeth pattern during the puppy stage to minimize long-term problems.
Care And Recovery
If your dog has undergone an orthodontic operation, you must not allow it to play with chew toys or eat dry foods. At the same time, it is better to give soft food to a dog with an underbite. Wet dog food is an excellent option because it puts less strain on your dog’s teeth when chewing.
Soft, chewy, or baked dog treats are additional options. You can provide a soft chewing toy for your dog, preferably made of textured chenille fabric, which reduces the strain when chewing.
Brush your dog’s teeth every two days with toothpaste and a toothbrush prescribed by your veterinarian. Additionally, use dental formula water to target excess tartar and calculus in your dog’s gum.