Just like humans, dogs can have misaligned teeth. While you may think your pet's under or overbite is cute and adds to his or her charm, in some instances it can create problems eating and is often the reason the pet has other dental problems. Hopefully, you notice the problem while the dog is still young and can get a veterinarian's evaluation on the situation. Here is some information on the common misalignment problems and what can be done to correct them.
When teeth start to grow and develop in dogs is much more important than it is in humans. Puppies are born with a longer upper jaws than lower jaws to facilitate nursing. As they grow, the bottom jaw will extend to meet the upper. If the lower teeth grow out before the jaw does, they can be held back in the gums by the upper teeth. This, in turn, will keep the lower jaw from growing properly. When the lower permanent teeth are too far inside the mouth, the dog will experience pain as they cut into the upper palate. This condition is usually noticed when you take the puppy in for vaccinations. The vet will suggest removing some of the lower teeth to allow for the growth of the lower jaw. Since these are merely "baby" teeth, it will not affect anything in a negative way and may allow the "adult" teeth to grow in the correct place and alignment.
If your dog's teeth are crowded together, it makes it harder to remove stuck pieces of food. This can lead to tooth decay, a buildup of plaque, and periodontal disease. These problems can result in pain for the animal, difficulty eating, and eventual tooth loss. There are two options for treating crowded teeth. The vet may remove a few teeth, allowing the rest to shift and separate, or your dog may be fitted with braces to move the teeth into place. Tooth removal is usually done when the dog has a smaller mouth than what is normal so all the teeth will not fit without crowding.
Your dog relies on you to take care of him or her, and this includes proper dental care. If there is a problem with the placement of the animal's teeth, be sure to have a vet check things out. Taking care of a problem as soon as it is noticed can save your pet from pain and will reduce further dental problems. If you're looking for a vet, check out a clinic like Clayton Veterinary Associates.