Misaligned Teeth in Dogs

Just as humans can suffer from misaligned teeth the bite problems they can cause, dogs must worry about teeth alignment too. Malocclusion, the medical term for teeth misalignment, can begin as a puppy’s teeth are growing and continue into adulthood. Here, a Greenfield veterinarian discusses malocclusion in dogs, the causes and symptoms, and what you can do to help your pup.


It’s normal for many dog breeds to have some overlap in the lower and upper teeth, but sometimes it can turn into a problem. Most cases of malocclusion are hereditary, passed down from your dog’s parents. Overbite, underbite, even bite or level bite, open bite, and crossbite are some of the more common veterinary terms for different misalignments. Your veterinarian can examine your dog to determine which type of bite disorder he has.


Misaligned teeth can lead to other problems in your dog’s mouth, including periodontal disease, mouth injuries, wear on the teeth themselves, issues on the roof of the mouth, and tooth fractures. If you see anything you think is unusual or your dog seems to be in pain, contact your vet. In addition, many dogs will have difficulty chewing food or biting at all, so if your pet seems to be avoiding mealtime, malocclusion could be to blame.


Tooth extractions may be necessary if a particular tooth is painfully hitting another tooth or tissues in the mouth. In some cases, doggie “braces” have been successful in realigned teeth—ask your veterinarian if this could work on your dog. Your veterinary specialist might refer you to a canine dental expert.

Less severe cases of malocclusion sometimes don’t require any treatment, as long as you keep your dog’s mouth healthy by brushing his teeth regularly. Consult your Greenfield vet about brushing techniques, and ask if your dog’s bite alignment requires professional assistance.


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