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Why Does my Boston Terrier have an Underbite?

Updated: Jun 4, 2023

An underbite is considered a Class 3 occlusion, where one or both bottom canines come in contact with the upper incisor or gum. This can be considered “normal” for some breeds, such as: Boston Terriers, Boxers, and Bull Dogs. Breeds that are prone to tooth contact are Shih Tzu, Lhasa Apso, Maltipoo, and Cavoodle.

The Boston Terrier pup develops 28 tiny “milk” teeth after birth. 12 incisors, 4 canines, and 12 premolars. They begin losing these from age 3 months to 9 months when their adult teeth begin to erupt. Adult Boston’s have 42 permanent teeth… more than humans! 20 teeth on top and 22 on bottom.

Types of Dog Teeth

There are 4 types of dog teeth: Incisors, Canines, Premolars, and Molars.

Incisors: 6 on top and 6 on bottom. They are used for scraping food off bones or plates and are the smallest teeth.

Canines: These are the most visible and there are 4, despite their length they should fit side by side when the mouth is closed. They help to keep the tongue in and assists with a strong bite.

Premolars: There are 16, 8 on each jaw. These teeth are shorter and have a larger surface area and assist with shearing, cutting, and grinding meat or bones.

Molars: There are 4 on the upper jaw and 6 in the lower jaw. They are the innermost teeth; similar to humans. Molars are stronger and wider than the premolars and are an integral part of proper digestion. These teeth are not symmetrical. Pups do not develop them until after 4 months of age.

Underbite Problems

The problems that can occur with an underbite are difficulty eating and chewing. It can cause mouth breathing, halitosis, and sleep apnea.

Treatment for Underbites

Below are common treatments for underbites. Selective Extraction: Removal of the least functional tooth

Orthodontic Therapy: Used to tip tooth into a safe position

I have never personally had any problems with my Bostie's teeth. My dear Otis Charles just had crooked teeth. Our sweet Vito Anthony has very nice “chompers” according to our Vet! - Anita
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