Overgrown teeth in herbivores such as rabbits, degus, chinchillas, guinea pigs, can cause major health problems. These animals have teeth known as elondont meaning they grow continuously.
Normally these small herbivores graze almost constantly, wearing down their teeth gradually. But when tooth growth rates and wear are out of balance, problems occur.
The incisors (front teeth) are the usual culprits, They can grow so long that eventually they stick out of the mouth or can curve and grow into gums or palate.
Molars as well can become overgrown. While incisor problems are easy to see, molars are more difficult. Signs of pet with overgrown molars are difficulty chewing and swallowing and increased salivation.
Overgrown teeth must be trimmed for the health and life of the pet. Often anesthesia is necessary. Tooth trimming should be performed by a professional. If not done properly, the teeth can split or break. Sometimes if there are problematic teeth, the veterinarian will recommend extraction.
It’s very important to keep watch on your herbivore’s teeth to avoid any serious problems from occurring.