Dental Health for Boxers

Apr 13, 2021 | Case Studies

Hi, meet Ginger! 

Ginger is a 3-year-old purebred boxer who came into Pet Dental for a dental cleaning. While in for her cleaning, Ginger had some extractions and received gingival trimming to help with conditions commonly seen in Boxers.

Notoriously, boxers are known for a few things, like being upbeat and playful while also very patient and protective. Although, maybe one of the most recognizable things about Boxers is their very prominent underbite.

Boxers and Underbites

We classify an underbite as a class III malocclusion. This means that the bottom jaw is of normal length but the top jaw is shorted. While it may be very standard for the breed, and people think it is cute, it can cause a lot of discomfort and bite issues for the breed.

Looking at the photos of Ginger’s occlusion you can see that her upper incisors (small single-rooted front teeth) are causing trauma to the distal aspect (backside) of her lower incisors and the gingiva. Additionally, her lateral 3rd incisors were hitting her lower K9 teeth causing severe attrition (tooth on tooth contact), which is painful and can be detrimental to the vitally of those adult K9 teeth.

Class III malocclusion (underbite) before procedure 

Class III malocclusion (underbite) after procedure 

Gingival Hyperplasia/Enlargement

On top of Ginger’s underbite issues, Boxers also get a condition called “gingival hyperplasia/enlargement” which Ginger presented with as well. Gingival hyperplasia is a common, benign condition in which the gingiva grows at an abnormal rate and can cover the crowns of the teeth (the part of the tooth we see). This creates “pseudopockets” that trap debris (hair, food, rocks, sand) and bacteria and affects periodontal health. To treat this we perform gingival trimming, which we did for Ginger. This procedure requires a steady hand and an eye for the natural curvature of the gingival margin as you don’t want to cut too much.

Before the procedure

After the procedure

Follow Up Care

Ginger was sent home with antibiotics, analgesics, and instructions to feed soft food only for two weeks. At her recheck appointment, her gingiva was healing well, her extraction sites were completely healed and Ginger seemed comfortable. Way to go Ginger see you at your 6-month twice-yearly cleaning!

Two weeks after the procedure

Two weeks after the procedure