Will My Puppy Grow Out Of Underbite?

If you know me, you know that I love puppies and dogs of every breed. I think all dogs are fantastic, big or small, short or tall, furry as all get out or completely hairless.

That being said, there are some dog breeds that I won’t adopt simply because of the extra stress of taking care of their specific physical conditions. 

Brachiocephalic dogs, for example, are one breed that I won’t adopt. With their pushed-in faces, they typically have shorter lifespans and struggle to breathe throughout their lives. 

Also, frankly, many brachiocephalic breeds are over-bred to the point where it’s almost absurd and makes life miserable for the poor dog due to health problems of many kinds.

One physical abnormality that is common for brachiocephalic and some other dog breeds is to have an underbite. An underbite is when the dog’s teeth are misaligned, and the lower row of teeth sticks out further than the upper row. 

Usually, you will be able to see a dog’s lower teeth when they have an underbite, something many people find cute and attractive. Underbites in puppies range from not interfering with their health to being severe and, in some cases, requiring surgery to fix the problem.

One of my family members has a French Bulldog with an underbite, and, after seeing her the other day, I was reminded of a question I get from time to time, will my puppy grow out of underbite? 

The answer is that, in most cases, if your puppy has an underbite and nothing is done to correct it, it will have the underbite for the rest of its life. 

Furthermore, veterinarians say that once a puppy reaches about 10 months of age, any misalignment of their teeth will be permanent. This permanence can vary slightly among some breeds but holds true for most. 

In other words, no, your puppy will not grow out of its underbite unless there is some form of medical/dental intervention that corrects the misalignment of its teeth.

Now that you know that your puppy won’t grow out of its underbite, you might have more questions about underbites in puppies. For example, will their underbite get worse end how can you tell if a puppy is going to have an underbite?

For the answer to those questions and several others, read on. I have them for you below and some other helpful information about dog underbites, why they occur, and what can be done to correct them, if anything. 

How Do you Fix a Puppy’s Underbite?

As I mentioned earlier, your puppy’s chance of growing out of its underbite is slim, especially if it’s genetic. That being said, veterinarians can use several methods to fix their underbite.

First off, like humans, puppies and dogs can and do get braces. Of course, you would need to go to a veterinarian specializing in dog braces. 

Veterinary dentistry has existed for several decades, although, unlike humans, it is generally practiced to help a dog chew and eat rather than make their teeth (smile) look better.

Also, puppies and dogs will typically only get braces if they have a serious problem causing severe health issues or pain. That’s why you see many dogs with underbites. If the underbite isn’t getting in the way of eating, sleeping, breathing, etc., they typically won’t get doggy braces.

A hard rubber ball or toy might correct their tooth problem if your puppy has a mildly misaligned underbite. (A Kong toy, for example.) 

Again, however, fixing the problem typically won’t be necessary if your puppy’s underbite isn’t interfering with their ability to chew and swallow.

When Should You Seek Treatment for a Puppy’s Underbite?

Veterinarians agree that if your puppy’s underbite is causing an abnormal tooth to tooth contact or tooth to soft-tissue contact, it probably should be treated.

Dr. Nadine Fiani, an assistant clinical professor of dentistry and oral surgery at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine (CUCVM), says that  “There has to be a clear-cut medical reason for preventing disease or prevention of discomfort or pain.” She goes on to say that “veterinary dentists treat medical issues, not cosmetic ones.” 

In other words, if their underbite is causing them to suffer, seek medical help. If it isn’t, you can leave their underbite alone.

Are Underbites in Dogs Genetic?

Yes, an underbite, or malocclusion, is usually hereditary in dogs and puppies. That means that the condition is passed down from one generation to the next. 

An underbite is a class 3 malocclusion typically seen in brachiocephalic breeds like Boxers, Pugs, and Bulldogs. In this case, the dog’s facial skeleton and skull are slightly abnormal, which causes their teeth to be misaligned.

Occasionally, however, an underbite can be caused by an event during gestation, including an infection. Also, trauma can cause the problem.

If, for example, your puppy is hit by a car, and their jaw is fractured and doesn’t heal correctly, that can result in a malocclusion that causes an underbite. An underbite can also result from being bitten by another animal, although the chance of this happening is rare.

Is it OK if my Dog has an Underbite?

In some cases, mostly when a hereditary skeletal malocclusion is causing your puppy’s underbite, there’s no cause for concern. Your puppy’s ability to eat, drink, groom itself, and so forth usually won’t be affected.

Monitoring your puppy as they grow up and become an adult is recommended if they have a hereditary underbite, including a regular dental exam with your veterinarian.

However, some underbite malocclusions can lead to serious health problems that will need to be fixed so that your puppy doesn’t suffer. For example, if their underbite is getting in the way of your puppy being able to chew, tear, and grind their food, it probably will need to be fixed. 

An underbite that causes your pup physical pain and injury, like scraping or tearing a sensitive part of their mouth, cheek, or gums, would also need medical intervention.

Do Puppy Underbites Get Worse?

In most cases, a puppy’s underbite won’t worsen with time but will stay more or less the same. Since dogs with genetic underbites usually don’t experience any health problems, this isn’t a concern in most cases. 

Do Dog Underbites Go Away?

As I mentioned earlier, your puppy will typically have an underbite throughout their life unless it is surgically corrected. And as I also mentioned, surgical intervention is usually only necessary if their underbite is causing other serious health problems.

Can you tell if a Puppy is Going to Have an Underbite?

The easiest way to tell if your puppy will have an underbite is if, as a puppy, their bottom teeth are poking out from under their top teeth. Their underbite will usually be seen when your puppy is resting and relaxed. 

Final Thoughts

As we’ve seen today, your puppy will usually not grow out of their underbite unless some type of medical procedure is performed. Also, unless your pup’s underbite is causing health problems, medical intervention to correct it isn’t recommended.

I hope today’s blog gave you all the answers you were looking for about your puppy’s underbite and what to do about it. If you have more questions or want to learn more about being a pet parent, please refer to my other blogs. 

I pack all my blogs with as much interesting, helpful real-world information as possible. That way, you have a fantastic resource of data and facts that can help you raise your precious puppy into a healthy, happy, and well-adjusted adult dog. Until next time, enjoy raising, training, and living with your precious pup!