Here we can see, “Issues with Rat Teeth”
Teeth problems in pet rats are common. Not all exotic pets have dental issues, but because rats have some teeth that grow continually throughout their lives, these teeth may need to be cared for on a regular basis. Knowing what to look for in the mouth of your pet rat might help you avoid serious oral injuries.
What Kind of Teeth Do Rats Have?
Dogs and cats are born without teeth, acquire deciduous (baby) teeth, and subsequently lose those teeth to make room for adult teeth. Rats, on the other hand, have only one set of teeth for the rest of their lives, and these teeth erupt in their jaws as early as age eight. These teeth, which are made up of twelve molars and four incisors, remain in the mouth of a pet rat for the remainder of its life. The incisors grow at a faster rate than the molars, but this constant growth of the front teeth can pose issues for your rat.
Examining the Teeth of Your Rat
Rat incisors are naturally yellow in colour and are tougher than human teeth. Their upper incisors should be around four millimetres long, while their bottom incisors should be about twice as long, measuring seven millimetres past the gumline. Because so many of the incisors are concealed beneath your rat’s lips, you’ll need to carefully pull back their cheeks and lips to ensure the teeth aren’t curving up and back into their mouth or into the side of their cheek.
Overgrown Rat Teeth
When the incisors, or front teeth, get enlarged, they are easy to spot. They normally develop long enough to curl and stick out between the lips, where they can get caught on items or, worse, grow into your rat’s gums or the roof of its mouth. Because rats molars, or back teeth, do not grow, they are not a concern for them like they are for guinea pigs and rabbits.
When rats gnaw on their food, their incisors get worn down enough. However, some rats are born with teeth or jaws that aren’t in the right place, or they get hurt at some point in their lives, which makes it hard for them to gnaw regularly.
Tooth Trims for Rats
Tooth trims are not painful if done appropriately. Trimming incisors can be done in one of two ways. The first method is to cut the teeth with standard dog nail clippers, as if it were a toenail. However, this isn’t the best approach to trimming your teeth. Because of the effort required to utilise the clippers, there is a greater chance of shattering or splitting the teeth. If the tooth is fractured up to the nerve or trimmed too short, this procedure might cause agony.
The second method is to use a handheld rotary tool with a cut-off wheel, such as a Dremel, to remove the superfluous tooth. Because rats’ mouths are so small, this approach necessitates a little more skill and anaesthesia or sedation, but it can be easily accomplished by a competent veterinary specialist. When cutting a tooth or nerve using a rotary tool, there will be no harm to the tooth or nerve if done correctly. Only harm to the gums or lips if the wheel grazes them or if the tooth is trimmed too short is a cause for worry. This is why, in order to correctly and safely trim rats teeth, they must be anaesthetized or sedated.
Owners of rats and other exotic pets with constantly growing teeth should be aware of the potential difficulties with their pets teeth. Overgrown teeth can cause major injuries, anorexia, infections, pain, and even death due to the inability to chew and swallow if not treated properly. Luckily, the problem of bigger teeth can be easily fixed by trimming the teeth often and keeping an eye on their length.
Preventing Overgrown Teeth in Rats
Providing your rat with something to chew on is the best way to keep their teeth at a normal length. Rat pellets, safe wood, and toys that allow a rat to chew will naturally wear these teeth down to a safe length. However, rats may be born with deformed teeth as a result of inbreeding, making it harder for them to chew and wear their teeth down properly.
Do rats’ teeth need to be trimmed?
The incisor teeth of a rat with regular teeth do not need to be trimmed. While the rat’s teeth develop during its life, they properly meet (occlude) and grind against one another to maintain a normal length. Lower incisors are usually twice the length of their upper incisors.
Can you brush rats’ teeth?
You are not required to brush your rat’s teeth. Doing so would almost certainly be difficult in any case. The fact that a rat’s front incisors never cease growing astounds most people. They will continue to grow for the rest of their lives.
Do rats’ teeth grow into their brains?
The incisors are a set of upper and lower teeth found in all rodents. These incisors, unlike human teeth, have no roots and never stop growing! Rodents grind their teeth against each other to prevent these teeth from developing into their brains. This friction is analogous to sharpening a knife with a grindstone.
Do rats bite humans in their sleep?
The majority of bites occur when the sufferer is sleeping. Rats bite exposed areas of the body, such as hands and fingers, while sleeping. Rat bites are rarely serious; most bites are easily wiped away and the patient is released.
Will a rat bite hurt?
Rat bites typically appear as a single small puncture wound or a series of small wounds. They also have a proclivity for bleeding and causing uncomfortable swelling. You may also observe pus if the bite becomes infected.
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