Teeth Issues in Hamsters

Teeth Issues in Hamsters

Here we can see, “Teeth Issues in Hamsters”

Not all exotics have tooth problems, but hamster teeth can be problematic. Like certain other exotic pets, Hamsters have teeth that continue to grow throughout their lives. Therefore, if your hamster does not wear down their teeth, you may need to have them trimmed regularly.

Hypsodont Dentition

Herbivores like rabbits and omnivores like chinchillas and hamsters have lengthy teeth that develop, necessitating tooth trimming. These are known as hypsodontal teeth. Hypsodont teeth have crowns (the visible part of the teeth) that extend far beyond the gums. As a result, hypsodontal teeth are abnormally lengthy compared to dogs, cats, or humans. Normal herbivores’ teeth keep at an ideal length due to the natural grinding motion of chewing on toys, hay, and other food items. Still, many need to have their teeth manually cut regularly due to various health and genetic concerns.

Teeth that are overgrown

When your hamster’s incisors, or front teeth, become enlarged, they are the simplest to spot.

They generally grow so long that they bend and protrude between the lips. They can become hooked on things or, worse, grow into the gums or roof of your hamster’s mouth if they grow too long. Molars, or teeth in the back of the mouth, can also develop to be too long in hamsters, but they rarely do. Molars are difficult to see without a speculum in the rear of the mouth, but hamsters with overgrown molars frequently hypersalivation and have difficulties chewing and swallowing.

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Trimming of Incisor Teeth

Tooth trimming is not uncomfortable if done correctly. However, because hamster jaws are so small, using a Dremel tool is not as safe as it is for larger herbivores like rabbits and chinchillas. To cut the enlarged incisors, use suture scissors or small nail clippers. It is important not to trim the teeth too short, as this can cause pain and possible trauma to the teeth. Many exotic pet facilities will conduct these tooth trims at a low cost with the assistance of a technician or a doctor.

Trimming of the Molar Tooth

Trimming molars can be more difficult than trimming incisors, but it doesn’t have to be done frequently. Molars are not as easily spotted as overgrown paws. Thus the pet is usually already being evaluated by a veterinarian. Suppose your hamster’s molars are excessively long. In that case, the veterinarian may be able to trim them while the pet is awake, using a surgical instrument specialised for bone or tooth removal called a rongeur (interestingly, the name “rongeur” is French for “rodent”) or a tooth-specific device. The enlarged piece is clipped off if your hamster permits it (which they usually don’t), and the doctor can grab the proper tooth. There is a risk of trauma, although, unlike dog nail clippers, rongeurs are sharper and rarely cause any harm. If the trimming is too complicated or the pet is too fussy (as is likely with your hamster), an anaesthetic or sedative can be used to complete the procedure. While your hamster is briefly unconscious, the teeth can be cut and filed down to the proper length. Although this is the best way to trim teeth, some owners may have budgetary restraints that prevent them from anaesthetizing or sedating their exotic pets.

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Owners of hamsters and other exotic pets with hypsodontal teeth should be informed of the potential issues. If not treated properly, overgrown teeth can cause major damage, anorexia, and even death due to the inability to chew and swallow. Fortunately, the problem of enlarged teeth can be readily handled with frequent tooth trimming and good chewing habits. However, contact your local exotics veterinarian if you need assistance with your hamster’s teeth.

User Questions

Can hamster teeth be broken?

Your hamster may occasionally break a tooth. When this happens, the opposing tooth tends to overgrow since there is nothing for it to press against. The veterinarian can treat the enlarged tooth by cutting it down to prevent it from causing injury.

Is it necessary to clip the teeth of hamsters?

Most pet rats and hamsters will not develop tooth problems over their lifetime. If your small pet spends the day happily chewing on toys and food, he will keep his teeth healthy, and you will not need to trim them.

Why is my hamster grinding teeth?

When hamsters are agitated or need some space, they will grind their teeth. It could also be a warning sign that they will bite, so keep your fingers away. Male hamsters often chatter to warn other hamsters to avoid their domain.

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What’s the deal with my hamster’s inaction?

Fear or surprise will cause a hamster to ‘freeze.’ Because their eyesight is limited, they must rely on listening and sniffing to figure out what’s happening. You can make your hamster’s environment less stressful.

What’s the deal with my hamster rolling on his back?

Some hamsters have favourite foods, while others will eat anything edible. If your hamster has been rolling and you don’t think it’s due to stress or disease, search for other signs of enjoyment or contentment, such as yawning and stretching. Your hamster might like the sensation of rolling around to unwind!


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