Click here to visit the most complete Maltese site on the WWW
Please bear in mind when reading topics pertaining to health issues, that most of these questions were answered by helpful Maltese owners with no formal education in veterinary medicine. When in doubt seek a professionals advise.
Archived Message

Overbite. . Problems?
by Charlynn
Overbite..Problems? Hello, Sunny has an overbite. The vet says that it may cause problems for him as an adult but maybe not. With his baby teeth I notice his bottom fangs created dents in the roof of his mouth, so I can imagine what his adult teeth might do? Does anyone have a maltese with an overbite and how did he/she do as an adult? The vet says I could either pull them or cut them down. I would prefer to just cut them if really necessary. I appreciate any input. Thanks!!!


Hi Charlynn, my girl Bailey has an overbite also and my vet said the same thing at 3 months - maybe it would bother her maybe not. Now she is 8 months and she really doesn't seem to have any problem with it. He will check her again when she is 1 year but so far - no problems that I'm aware of.
Robin D.

My puppy had an overbite when she was 3months old. She is now 1 year and it is what I would call a scissor bite. It improved as she got older? Go figure??
What's a scissor bite? My Tatoo has crooked teeth, top and bottom. Is that normal? Looks like he has a bit of an underbite. I keep checking his mouth while he is trying to sleep on my lap right now. Oh well, that's just pay back for all the times he wants to get a closer look at me when I am trying to read the paper! :) thanks.
A scissor bite is the top incisors just overlap and touch thier lower incisors (when mouth is closed). This is considered the most proper alignment for most breeds. In a level bite, their incisors meet edge to edge. Overbite means the top teeth are in front of the lowers, without touching (this can be a problem as the bottom teeth can injure the top of the mouth as Charlynn mentioned). An underbite is just the oposite (lower teeth in front of uppers) and is normal in some short-faced breeds, not in Maltese. Crooked teeth are not uncommon, but would be a falt if you were showing I suppose (I don't show so don't take my word for it). All in all, a small misalignment of bite is probably not going to cause any problems (its just looks), but the further away you get from the normal scissor bite, the more problems with eating and mouth injury can occure. Sometimes puppies bites will straighten out a bit.. but by 10 or 11 months.. they are pretty much set. Your vet can assess if there is likely to be a problem because of misalignment, and sometimes extractions or filing of teeth is necessary. Hope that answers your question.
Hi Aimee, thanks for the answer. I guess that Tatoo has a normal bite, although his teeth are crooked. I am not planning to show him, so I guess that's ok. Sometimes I feel like he's my real son...since I had very crooked teeth and had to wear braces 4 years to get the beautiful smile I now have. My husband has told me, however, that "doggie" braces are OUT! :) Go figure... thanks again.

Copyright 1998 © Jay Bianco All rights reserved.