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Malocclusion: causes and treatment

Treating malocclusion requires patience.

In recent years, more and more owners are turning to vets for their dogs’ dental problems.The causes of these problems can be many and varied: stomach, intestinal, skin, joint, kidney, respiratory and even heart disease.

An irregular bite is one of the most common oral pathologies. This prevents the dog from chewing and swallowing food normally. An incorrect bite traumatises the mucous membranes of the gums, jaws, tongue and lips, and can lead to haemorrhoids (inflammation of the mucous membranes of the paranasal sinuses).

Dogs with bite problems are not allowed to take part in dog shows. And even successful correction of the bite does not allow them to feel complete among other dogs.

Malocclusion can be caused by:


Developmental disorders;

Improper play and training, putting too much strain on the dog’s growing teeth;

Deficiency of minerals in the dog’s racione;


Untimely eruption of permanent teeth;

Differences in tooth and jaw size, overly large molars.

Orthodontics is a branch of veterinary dentistry that deals with the correction of malocclusion. dentistry is now very advanced and a wide range of dental corrective devices, such as braces, are available not only for humans but also for dogs. The earlier dental problems are treated, the sooner better results can be achieved.
Small puppies are born without teeth. In the third or fourth week, their milk teeth start to emerge.

The canines appear first (week 4-6), followed by the canines (week 3-5) and the premolars (week 5-6). The total number of milk teeth is 28, then, after the growth of the permanent teeth, a healthy dog will have 42 teeth. The permanent teeth are much larger than the deciduous teeth.

However, some dogs develop oligodontia (not all the teeth have erupted) or polyodontia (too many teeth). According to vets, at 7 months a puppy should already haveall the necessary teeth have grown in.

In small ornamental breeds, pseudo-polydontia (milk teeth not coming out and a double row of teeth) is common. The main reasons for this are:

Insufficient development of the masticatory muscles;

Insufficient resorption of the roots of the milk teeth;

Reduction in the size of the jaws and gums;

Poor nutrition (soft and liquid food, calcium deficiency).

Bite abnormalities

Prognathia – protrusion of the upper jaw. Such a bite is not considered normal for any breed of dog.
Prognation – protrusion of the chin. In some short-nosed breeds (Boxers, English and French Bulldogs, Shih Tzu) this bite is considered normal.

When the upper and lower canines lean against each other, this is called a straight bite. However, constant contact between the upper and lower canines can lead to wear and tear, periodontal pain and premature tooth loss.

A bite, known as an overbite, occurs when the canines the maxillary and premolar teeth fit together normally, but one or more of the lower molars are protruding before the upper molars. This bite is not considered a genetic defect, but is often caused by games where the dog pulls hard on the rope with its teeth, or by the failure of the milk teeth to fall out in time.

A crooked mouth, or crooked bite, occurs when one side of the jaw grows faster than the other. A crooked bite is a severe hereditary defect.

An open bite is when the canines are upright and not in contact with each other. In this anomaly, the animal’s tongue often hangs outwards.

Bite correction

All bite adjustments can be divided into removable and non-removable.
Removable braces fit firmly against the dog’s teeth and push them in the right direction. Once every week or two, the caps need to be replaced with new ones, which vary by 1-2 mm. Therefore, a complete series of caps is produced in the laboratory at once. They have the advantage that they can be removed to feed the dog.

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