Pitbulls with Underbite: Should You Be Concerned?

Zack Keithy, our author, is a certified veterinarian technician (UC Blue Ash) for over 6 years (contact him here). The articles written here are based on his expertise and experience, combined with a review by our expert vet reviewers including Dr M. Tarantino. Learn more about us here.

Pitbulls are known for their powerful jaws and aggressive personalities. They are also prone to having underbites, kind of similar to boxers who experience this issue too. What causes this condition? Is it normal?

Underbites occur when the lower jawbone does not fully develop during growth. This can cause the teeth to erupt at an angle instead of straight across. The result is a dog with a crooked smile and a mouth full of sharp teeth.

If you have a pit bull with an underbite, this article will help you to understand more about them and how to care for them.

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What is an underbite in dogs?

When a dog’s teeth, whether they are baby teeth or adult teeth, don’t fit together properly, it is known as canine malocclusion, sometimes known as an underbite.

Given that dogs’ bites are not consistent in appearance, unlike people’s, it can be challenging to determine whether a dog has malocclusion.

Malocclusions may be a concern for your pet if there is abnormal tooth-to-tooth or tooth-to-soft tissue contact.

If the malocclusion is not fixed, this contact can hurt your pet and have long-term effects that are detrimental to their health.

Doggy says, consider reading this too: Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Yelps When Being Picked Up?

Is it normal for Pit Bulls to have underbites?

Can you breed a pit bull with a slight underbite?

Pit bull terriers are known for having short snouts (brachycephalic), but underbites?

It is not that normal for pitbulls to have underbites as they happen due to a genetic defect.

Breeders should be alerted to this issue and stop using the parents for breeding from here on to prevent the same from happening to its offspring.

There are some smaller dog breeds that see this condition more commonly such as the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Shih Tzu, and Pekingese.

Can an underbite be bad for dogs?

For dogs, having an underbite isn’t always a bad thing.

Some puppies are born with this characteristic, and it poses no health risks, particularly if their teeth are in good condition.

However, if your dog already has other dental concerns or needs oral surgery, an underbite might lead to some significant difficulties.

Dogs rarely get underbites because they don’t speak like people do; instead, they use their mouths for feeding and barking (among other things).

In dogs, an underbite is therefore typically not a concern unless it is so bad that it interferes with their ability to properly feed.

Doggy says, you might be keen to read this too: Do Pitbulls get cold easily?

What problems can an underbite cause to a pitbull?

What problems can an underbite cause to a pitbull?

The severity of the underbite can vary from one dog to another, with some dogs having a mild case and others having a more severe case.

It can also differ from one side of the mouth to another side of the mouth within one dog’s mouth as well.

When left untreated, an underbite can cause many problems for your pet including:

  • Inability to eat properly
  • Crowding or misalignment of teeth (malocclusion)
  • Problems with dentition as your dog grows older (the roots may grow into each other)

Doggy says, you might like this too: Pros and Cons of Neutering a Husky

Is underbite in dogs genetic?

Yes, underbite in dogs is a genetic condition that can be passed down from one generation to another.

The dog’s parents had an underbite and passed it on to their offspring.

If you have a dog with an underbite, it is important that you take good care of their teeth because they can become decayed and infected easily if they are not properly cared for.

In fact, many people who have dogs with an underbite end up getting them extracted because of tooth decay or other dental issues.

Consider reading this: Why is my dog licking after tooth extraction?

Can you breed a pit bull with a slight underbite?

It’s not a good idea to breed dogs with an underbite, and it’s especially risky when the dog is a pit bull.

The American Pit Bull Terrier is one of the most commonly bred breeds of dogs in shelters, and they’re also one of the most at-risk for abuse, neglect and abandonment.

Can a pit bull terrier’s underbite be fixed?

Can a pit bull terrier's underbite be fixed?

In most situations, correcting a pit bull’s underbite doesn’t require any activity.

However, expert care is unquestionably required if this issue is endangering the animal’s health.

Canine dental specialists are sometimes available, but you should be prepared to pay a significant amount.

After determining the extent of the issue and the areas affected, solutions may include removing the problematic teeth, dog braces, and corrective surgery.

Other techniques include moving secondary teeth, interceptive orthodontics, and crown modification.

When to seek treatment if your pit bull has an underbite?

Having your pit bull inspected by a veterinarian is the best way to determine if he has an underbite.

An underbite may not need treatment and is not always a dangerous condition.

If left untreated, it could make your dog uncomfortable and result in other health issues.

Here are some crucial details you should be aware of:

  • Observe your dog’s behavior and biting tendencies, and let your veterinarian know if anything seems off.
  • If your dog is in pain, he or she could not respond well to contact (like when you try to pet their head), rub their heads against the walls or with their paws, have trouble picking up or chewing food, or rub their heads against things.
  • Malocclusion can result in abnormally bad breath, persistent drooling (which can occasionally contain blood), or excessive slobbering when eating.
  • Difficulty in accepting large treats or chewing larger toys
  • Not being able to eat hard food (like kibble) as they cannot access their molars

How much does it cost to fix a dog’s overbite?

Since each dog may be different from the other, it is difficult to estimate the exact cost.

As a general rule, tooth extractions might cost anywhere from $100 and more each tooth. Depending on which tooth needs to be removed, this.

Prices for crown modifications range from $1500 to $3000 per tooth.

The price for dental braces would probably range from $2500 to $5000.

The recurring expenses for prescription drugs, doctor visits, and testing must also be taken into consideration.

In the end, a canine orthodontist will be the finest resource to provide you with a more precise estimate.

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Will my pit bull’s underbite get worse over time?

Most of the time, an underbite does not get worse over time and most dogs with this condition are able to live a full life without any difficulties, except maybe awkward photo shoots.

How to care for a pit bull with an underbite?

Underbites in dogs may necessitate extra at-home, preventative dental care.

While chews and mouthwashes are certainly not harmful, cleaning your dog’s teeth regularly is always the best option.

Training your dog to accept daily dental brushing can be beneficial if you have a dog with an underbite.

Make use of veterinary-specific toothpaste because human toothpaste typically contains fluoride, which is dangerous if ingested.

Furthermore, the majority of dogs dislike the minty flavors of human toothpaste.

Veterinary toothpaste is available in flavors that are more dog-friendly, like beef and chicken.

Your dog might require a dental cleaning if they have foul breath, significant tartar buildup, or gingivitis.

This is similar to routine ultrasonic scaling and polishing of human enamel during routine dental cleanings.

The main difference is that dogs require anesthesia for safe, efficient dental cleanings and for taking dental radiographs.

In conclusion: Pit bulls with underbite

When buying a puppy from a private breeder, it’s important to ask questions, meet the litter, and be observant.

There’s no guarantee you’ll find a dog that meets your needs perfectly, but there’s no question that those chances are raised by thorough research beforehand.

If you do have a pit bull with an underbite, it still deserves all the best love and care from you, so be a responsible dog parent!

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Zack Keithy
Zack Keithy

Hey, I'm Zack, the Chief Editor here. I was formerly a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT) for a good 6 years before moving on to greener pastures. Right now, I am still heavily involved in dog parenting duties, and it is my desire to share all our knowledge with fellow dog owners out there! Connect with me on LinkedIn, or read more about Canine Care Central!

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