Last Updated on April 2, 2023 by The Puppy Mag
It’s not all too common for pitbulls to have underbites, but it does still happen.
While it may look cute and endearing, there’s a few things owners must know about their pitty with an underbite.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss what an underbite is, whether it’s normal in pitbulls, potential negative impacts, treatment options, and when to seek help from a veterinarian.
Everything you need to know is just below!
What is an underbite in pitbulls?
An underbite occurs when a dog’s lower jaw protrudes further than its upper jaw.
Malocclusion is the well-known term for this issue.
This misalignment can cause the dog’s teeth to wear down unevenly, making it difficult for them to eat or causing them pain.
Pitbulls with underbites often have a distinctive look, with their lower jaw appearing to jut out beyond their upper jaw.
Are underbites common in pitbulls?
Although underbites are common in certain breeds like boxers, they are not common among pitbulls.
Ultimately, if your pitbull has an underbite this is likely down a genetic defect which doesn’t affect a large percentage of the breed population.
Still, as I’ll explain below in many cases there is no cause for concern.
Although sometimes a veterinarian will recommend treatment for severe cases, most dogs will continue living a happy trouble-free life even with a mild underbite.
Are underbites bad and do they always require treatment?
Underbites can potentially be bad for pitbulls, depending on the severity of the misalignment.
If left untreated, underbites can cause significant health problems if it continues to get worse.
Some of the potential negative impacts of underbites in pitbulls include:
- Difficulty eating: Underbites can make it challenging for pitbulls to bite and chew their food properly, leading to malnutrition and weight loss.
- Pain and discomfort: An underbite can cause the pitbull’s teeth to rub against their gums, causing irritation and pain.
- Dental issues: Underbites can cause dental problems, such as tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth loss.
- Infections: If the underbite causes teeth to overlap, it can create a breeding ground for bacteria and lead to infections.
Whether an underbite requires treatment depends on the severity of the misalignment and the symptoms it’s causing.
In some cases, underbites may not require treatment. However, it’s essential to monitor the underbite closely and seek veterinary care if any symptoms develop.
It’s always best to let the veterinarian examine the extent of the underbite and let them decide on the appropriate course of action.
Are underbites caused by genetics?
Although pitbulls are a brachycephalic breed, they are not known for having underbites. When an underbite does happen, it’s mostly caused by a genetic defect.
Some pitbulls may be more predisposed to developing an underbite due to their breeding.
However, underbites can also occur due to trauma or injury to the jaw, improper dental care, or even excessive chewing on hard objects.
Treatment options for pitbulls with underbites
The treatment options for pitbulls with underbites depend on the severity of the misalignment and the symptoms it’s causing. Some common treatment options include:
- Watchful waiting: In some cases, a minor underbite may not cause any significant issues and can be monitored to ensure it doesn’t worsen.
- Orthodontic treatment: Braces or other orthodontic devices may be used to realign the dog’s teeth and jaw.
- Surgery: In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to correct the misalignment. This procedure typically involves cutting the jawbone and realigning it in the proper position.
The cost of treating an underbite in a pitbull can vary widely, depending on the severity of the misalignment and the chosen treatment option. Some costs to consider may include:
- Veterinary exams and consultations: $50-$150
- Orthodontic treatment: $1,000-$3,000
- Surgery: $2,000-$6,000
Can you completely fix an underbite in pitbulls
In some cases, it may be possible to completely fix an underbite in a pitbull through orthodontic treatment or surgery.
Orthodontic treatment (like using braces) is by far the most common treatment for dogs with mild underbites. For those with severe underbites, surgery may be necessary.
However, it’s essential to work closely with a veterinarian to determine the best course of treatment for your pitbull.
It’s also important to note that not all underbites can be completely corrected, and some may require ongoing monitoring and management.
My personal experiene:
A friend of mine had a boxer who had a mild underbite. As it wasn’t severe and didnt appear to cause her any issues at the time, the vet said the best action is just to monitor it over time.
About a year later the underbite began to affect the dog’s breathing when she panted continuously. Although the underbite did not worsen, the dog’s ability to cope with it declined, which was an unusual occurrence.
My friend took her boxer to the vet, and the treatment process began with the use of a brace that gently moved the teeth. The boxer responded well to the treatment and now has almost no underbite, and can breathe without any difficulty. The transformation was remarkable, and the dog looks gorgeous with her new smile.
When should you see a veterinarian?
If you suspect your pitbull has an underbite by you have not yet consulted a veterinarian, this is the first thing to do.
I know, it can be a pain to schedule vet appointments when something appears not an emergency, but your veterinarian needs to analyze the extent of the underbite, and record it.
This way, it’s easier to know whether the underbite gets worse over time when you pitbull has their next check up.
Your veterinarian will then be able to recommend an appropriate course of action.
But don’t worry! In most cases, no action is needed as the vast majority of underbites are only minor.
Still, in some situations your vet might recommend preventative measures if the underbite is progessing rapidly. And in this case, it’s definitely best to sort this issue out sooner rather than later!
It’s also important to seek veterinary care if the underbite worsens over time or if your pitbull develops any additional health issues.
Regular dental check-ups and cleanings can help prevent and manage underbites and other dental problems in pitbulls.
In conclusion, underbites are not normal in pitbulls and can cause significant health problems if left untreated.
However, with proper monitoring and treatment, many pitbulls with underbites can lead happy, healthy lives.
If you suspect your pitbull has an underbite, it’s essential to seek veterinary care and work closely with your veterinarian to determine the best course of treatment for your furry friend.