Malocclusions in Dogs and Cats

What is a Malocclusion?

Every species has a very particular way in which their upper teeth and lower teeth are supposed to fit together in the mouth. Malocclusion is when the teeth don’t fit together correctly, this can be a problem with the jaw or with the teeth themselves.

What are the types of Malocclusions?

How do these affect my dog or cat?

When your pet’s teeth don’t fit appropriately like a jigsaw puzzle, they can rub together incorrectly which can mage the tooth. As the damage gets worse, it can expose the inside of the tooth, which can cause pain, infection, and even cause the tooth to die! Also, when the teeth don’t fit together, it can make typical behaviours such as chewing and picking up toys very difficult for your pet.

What can I do about my pet’s malocclusion?

Talk to your veterinarian! Your veterinarian will be able to tell you if your animal has a malocclusion, and which type it is. They will also be able to tell how the malocclusion is affecting your pet’s day to day life. Sometimes no treatment is necessary, but they may recommend procedures to fix the alignment of the teeth which can often involve removing teeth. There are even some specialized procedures that can realign your pet’s teeth with braces, just like in people!

Written by Dr. Bassey, DVM