French Bulldogs are lovable, energetic, and friendly little creatures. In this article, we will discuss why your Frenchie might have an underbite and if it’s normal. We collected this information from some reputable sources with a lot of expertise in French Bulldog care.
Is It Normal To Have an Underbite?
It is indeed normal for French Bulldogs to have an underbite. Sometimes, they are more pronounced than others. An underbite is inevitable in French Bulldogs due to the structure of their skulls. Some short-faced Frenchies have pronounced lower jaws, which causes their lower teeth to poke out when they are at rest. Some competitions can even disqualify your dog if it doesn’t have a noticeable underbite at the age of 5 months, so in that case, they are also a blessing.
If you want to learn more about why your dog has an underbite, the problems associated with it, and what you as an owner should do, then read on.
What Is an Underbite?
An underbite is common in some breeds of dogs. When teeth are not aligned properly, it causes the lower jaw to jut out further than the upper jaw. The result is visible lower teeth when the dog’s mouth closes. Underbites can be very mild, requiring no action. But in some dogs, they can be very severe and may even warrant surgery.
Identifying if your dog has an underbite is not that hard. There are many variations from breed to breed. If the lower teeth are visible but comfortable and functional, then there is no issue. On the contrary, if your dog has tooth-to-tooth or tooth-to-tissue contact that shouldn’t be there, it causes problems.
The alignment of the upper and lower teeth is referred to as occlusion. Normal occlusion is when the teeth in the upper jaw hang over the lower ones by a fraction. In normal occlusion, there are no teeth that rest above each other or rub against the gum tissue. When the teeth are not aligned normally, then we refer to it as malocclusion. A class three malocclusion is known as an underbite.
Reasons for Underbites in French Bulldogs
French Bulldogs are more susceptible to having teeth problems than other dogs because they are short-nosed (brachycephalic) and have an underbite genetically. Heritage is the main reason for the underbite. This trait has passed down in French Bulldogs as a result of breeding from generations. All dogs have 42 teeth. If your dog is a short-nosed breed, it would have to fit those 42 teeth in a smaller space. This causes an underbite as the top teeth will not fit perfectly with the lower ones. Some other causes can include the following.
· Dental malocclusion
A dog may have an underbite if there is an abnormality in the position of teeth arrangement, but the facial structure is normal.
· Skeletal malocclusion
An abnormality in the facial structure of your dog can lead to its teeth not aligning well together, which also causes an underbite.
Both of these reasons are also somewhat genetic. Genetics can increase the chances of malocclusion, and then these traits are passed down to the other generations.
Problems Associated With French Bulldogs’ Underbites
A large number of French Bulldogs have an underbite, but it varies in severity. It is not very common for French Bulldogs to have problems with it. A small underbite is perfectly normal. You should keep an eye on your dog and watch out for any associated issue. A dog with an unhealthy underbite can face some difficulties, which can include the following.
1. Loose teeth
Short-nosed French Bulldogs have so many teeth to fit in their mouth, so they are most likely to have loose or crooked teeth.
2. Damage to teeth and tissue
When their teeth don’t align properly, which is called malocclusion, the teeth wear out, and the teeth and gum tissue collide. When a dog’s mouth closes, some of the teeth rest over each other and not in the empty spaces in the jaw. This can cause its teeth to wear out with time, especially if your dog likes to chew a lot. The soft tissue of the inside jaw of the lower teeth gets damaged and infected, which can be very painful.
3. Infections and diseases
As the underbite causes wounds in the gum tissue, the dog becomes more susceptible to bacteria and various infections and mouth diseases. Despite an underbite, dogs are more prone to gum diseases because the pH level of their mouth is basic, which leads to the rapid formation of plaque. According to statistics, there are about 600 different types of bacteria in a dog’s mouth.
4. Difficulty in eating
This is one of the biggest problems. If the underbite is severe and the dog has wounds in its mouth, it will have a hard time chewing and eating. This can lead to serious illness as your dog will be weak due to a lack of nourishment.
What Should the Owner Do?
If your dog has an underbite and you are seriously concerned that it could be a problem in the future, then the first thing you should do is to consult a vet. The vet will check for any soreness or infection and give a professional opinion on whether the underbite is problematic or not. Even if your vet clears your dog for underbite issues, you should still keep an eye out and regularly check for blood in the saliva or discomfort while your dog eats.
A Few Things an Owner Can Try
If you are worried about your Frenchie’s underbite problem, you can try a few things to give your furry buddy some relief. Surgery really should be the last resort.
- Keep your Frenchie away from chewing toys. Every French Bulldog loves to chew but for the sake of their health, take them away. Chewing can cause the teeth to rub against the gums more and exacerbate the issue.
- If your vet has shown concern about the underbite situation, then you need to pay close attention. Keep an eye on your dog and look for any signs of behavioral change. Give them love and affection if they are in pain.
- If the underbite has already caused wounds or sores in their mouth, then the dog can’t eat typical food. Look for soft food that it can easily chew and swallow. It will also help to heal the sore faster.
There are no quick fixes, and there isn’t anything that the owner personally can do for underbites. But if it is causing your dog much discomfort, then there are a few ways to help your pet.
Some of the possible medical procedures for adult dogs include the following:
- Teeth extraction
- Teeth filling
- Canine braces
- Non-surgical ball therapy
Shopping for a Puppy With an Underbite
If you are shopping for a French Bulldog and have found one with an underbite, you need to consider a few things before bringing the puppy home.
You should mentally prepare yourself for any future underbite-related problems your dog might face. According to statistics, 80% of dogs have an active dental disease after the age of three. Although you may find the underbite cute, your focus should instead be on the well-being and happiness of your dog. You should also know that slight underbites in puppies are not permanent and may go away with time.
While underbites in some puppies go away with time as they develop and the misalignment corrects itself, some small dogs that show signs of an underbite will have it even when they grow up. Generally, after the age of 10 months, the teeth alignment will be permanent, and it will not change with time. However, it may still vary from breed to breed.
Common Dog Breeds With Underbites
Development of an underbite is possible in any dog, but it is more common in some breeds. It is mostly genetic, and short-faced dogs are particularly prone to having this trait. Some breeds that are more likely to have an underbite are:
- Shih Tzu
- English Bulldog
- French Bulldog
- King Charles Spaniel
- Lhasa Apso
- Boston Terrier
French Bulldogs’ Teeth Progression
Just like human babies, French Bulldogs are also not born with teeth. The milk teeth will come after they are past two weeks. In general, a puppy will have 28 teeth, while an adult dog will have 42 teeth. As soon as your Frenchie reaches the age of three months, its adult teeth will start coming out. It will have a complete set of teeth when it reaches the age of 7 to 8 months.
French Bulldogs are adorable creatures and even look cute with a small underbite. An underbite is genetic and totally normal. But some cases of underbites can be painful, causing harm and pain to the dog. The owner should look out for such issues and seek professional help in that case.