Hamster teeth are just as important for a hamster to have as human teeth are for humans. Hamsters use their teeth to chew food, groom themselves and defend themselves from predators. Hamsters’ teeth grow continuously throughout their lives, but they don’t always do a good job of keeping them clean, which can lead to dental problems in the future.
Hamster teeth can get dirty and break easily, or even start to rot if they are not properly cared for. Hamster owners should pay close attention to their hamsters’ teeth because neglecting them could lead to a variety of health problems that will require veterinary intervention.
In this article, I will cover how you can keep your hamster’s teeth clean as well as what is involved in caring for them when there is a problem.
Why Are Hamster’s Teeth Important ?
Teeth are an important part of a hamster’s life. They help them to chew and grind their food, which is essential for digestion. As they grow older, hamsters will need to have their teeth maintained and filed down so that they can continue eating comfortably.
Failure to do this could lead the hamster to starvation or death from malnutrition. The best way for you to keep your pet’s teeth healthy is by providing them with a diet rich in hay and fresh vegetables such as kale, carrot tops, cabbage leaves, and broccoli stalks- all of which offer plenty of fibre and calcium!
What Type Of Teeth Do Hamster’s Have?
As I previously mentioned, the teeth of hamsters continue to grow forever. Hyposondontal is the term used to describe these kinds of teeth. While they seem to be rather long when compared to other species, they are even more longer when measured below the gum line.
Hamsters have two types of teeth, incisors and molars.
Hamsters have two large incisors on the top and bottom of their mouth that are used for cutting food.The hamster’s front four incisor teeth are very sharp and thin that they can easily slice through your hamster’s food. Hamsters use these to grasp onto their food and tear into it. Hamsters have 4 incisors in total.
They chew their food with their back teeth- called molars- which grow in rows from the inside of their mouth on both sides. Hamsters can have up to 12 molars at a time.
Hamster teeth grow continuously throughout life, which is why it’s important to give your hamster chew toys made from wood or other natural materials so they can wear down their ever growing teeth.
What Should Normal Hamster Teeth Look Like?
Hamsters’ incisor teeth should be straight, not curved and yellow-brown in color. The yellow-brownish color is on account of their natural enamel Color.
The top and bottom pairs of their front teeth should match in length and should be free of any blood, pus, etc.
If your hamster’s teeth appear to be more flat than pointy, then they are likely just wearing down naturally from chewing on wood or cardboard.
If you notice that their incisors are starting to look longer, that means it’s time to have them filed down by a veterinary professional. Hamsters with overgrown teeth will not be able to eat properly and may start losing weight as they become malnourished.
What Happens If Hamster’s Teeth Overgrow?
Hamster teeth can become overgrown, which is when they start to protrude out of the mouth. Hamsters may find it difficult to eat and drink properly if their teeth are too long. In addition, hamsters with overgrown teeth often develop problems with dental abscesses (pus filled cysts on or around their teeth).
Hamsters with long or misaligned front incisors will often need surgery in order for them to eat properly again.
If a hamster’s teeth aren’t worn down naturally, they can grow too long and cause problems with eating. Hamsters that don’t chew on hard things like wood won’t be able to keep their teeth from growing too much, which will lead to dental issues such as:
- Overgrown Hamster Teeth Will Get Extremely Dirty: Hamster teeth that aren’t properly taken care of and overgrown will become extremely dirty and they will also smell bad.
Hamsters with overgrown or misaligned incisors can end up developing dental abscesses, which are a type of oral infection caused by the build-up of bacteria in their mouths. Hamsters may develop these if they have poor nutrition, do not wear down their teeth sufficiently or have a genetic predisposition.
Hamsters will start to show obvious signs of pain and discomfort, such as lethargy, loss of appetite, and swelling around the face, which is when they need an urgent dental appointment with your veterinarian.
- Overgrown Hamster Teeth Might Result In Broken Teeth :Overgrown hamster teeth, along with substandard care, may cause tooth breakage. Overgrown teeth, which are most visible outside the lip, have a tendency to knock against one other. When this happens, one or more teeth may break off.
Hamsters with overgrown incisors may also chew on the bars of their cages, breaking off teeth accidentally and causing discomfort when they try to eat. Once teeth are broken off in a hamster’s mouth, it becomes very difficult for them to get adequate nutrition as well, because most food items have sharp edges that could result in cut damage, leading to an animal being unable to digest their meals properly, resulting in not only nutritional deficiency, but sometimes even death if left unattended.
- Overgrown Hamster Teeth Can Cause Teeth Rot : Hamsters with overgrown teeth may also develop dental rot. Hamsters can get tooth rot, which is often related to jaw tumours that affect the bone near their incisors.
The most common symptoms are: -Gum inflammation/swelling;-Bad breath;-Drooling / difficulty swallowing. Hamsters with dental rot and associated tumours will usually have a history of being in pain and having trouble chewing.
- Overgrown Hamster Teeth Can Cause Abscesses : Hamsters with overgrown teeth may develop abscesses, which are a type of oral infection caused by the buildup of bacteria in their mouths. Hamsters will show obvious signs of pain and discomfort, such as lethargy, loss of appetite and swelling around the face when they have an urgent dental appointment with your veterinarian.
Hamsters with dental abscesses will need to have a tooth or teeth removed. Hamsters that don’t get the problem treated early may develop serious complications which can lead to more severe illness.
If you notice any problems like this with your hamster’s teeth, it’s important to give them veterinary attention as soon as possible. Hamsters with overgrown teeth may need antibiotics or pain killers in order to eat and drink again normally, which is why they should not be left untreated.
Dental Symptoms to Be Aware Of:
Hamsters with dental problems may start to show signs of discomfort when they eat or drink. Here are some symptoms you can watch out for:
Hamsters with dental issues show signs such as:
- Difficulty swallowing
- Bad breath
- Lethargy or depression
- Loss of appetite
- Swelling around the face
When your hamster has any of these symptoms, it’s important that you contact a veterinarian right away. If the problem is not treated early on, it can lead to more severe problems and sometimes even death if left untreated.
How To Take Care Of A Hamster’s Teeth :
Hamsters will wear down their teeth by gnawing, chewing and grinding on hard objects. This helps to keep the incisors at a normal length and prevent overgrowth, which can lead to pain or other complications like dental abscesses that may need surgery in order for them to eat again normally.
- Provide Chew Toys: Hamsters need to chew and gnaw on hard objects which will help keep their teeth worn down and healthy. Providing your hamster with things such as untreated wood or cardboard, for example, is a good way of keeping the animal’s teeth at a reasonable length.
Hamsters should also be given untreated cardboard tubes to play with, as these are another good way of allowing the animal’s teeth to wear down naturally without needing human help.
- Provide Hamsters With an Appropriate Diet: Hamsters should be provided with a healthy, well-balanced diet. Hamsters in the wild eat grains and seeds, so your hamster’s diet should consist of items like sunflower seeds or pellets that are specifically made for hamsters, which will help keep their teeth at an appropriate length by providing them with the needed nutrients they need to stay nourished.
- Provide Fruits And Vegetables: You should offer your hamster a variety of foods, including fruits and vegetables like: -Apples (remove core) -Carrots (chopped) -Fruits (fresh or dried) -Lettuce (not iceberg) -Mealworms or crickets in small amounts.
- Provide Exercise Wheels And Toys:Hamsters can get bored easily if they don’t have anything to entertain them, and this sometimes makes them chew on stuff like cage bars. This in turn damages their teeth.Which is why it’s important for owners to provide their pets with things such as hamster wheels, toys, etc. that can keep them occupied .
- Avoid Human Food And Treats : Hamsters should be given healthy treats like pellets or dried fruit, which can help keep their teeth at an appropriate length. Cereals,Cheese Cookies, Crackers. These types of human snacks will only offer your hamster empty calories and sugars that hamsters should not be fed, as these will only cause them health and dental problems in the future.
- Feed Hamster Treats In Moderation : Hamster treats should be given in moderation because hamsters are not designed to eat large amounts of sugar. Hamster treat items like nuts, fresh fruits, or dried fruit may make your pet sick if you give them too many, so it’s important that these treats are given with caution.
Hamsters can become overweight and diabetic if given the wrong type of food, which is why it’s important that hamster owners provide their pets with healthy treats.
- Schedule Regular Veterniary Visits : Hamsters have a tendency to chew on things they shouldn’t. To ensure the teeth stay in perfect condition, schedule an appointment with your vet at least once every six months for routine check ups and preventive care packages.
Make sure that any problems are caught in time and not after they’ve developed into major issues. Your hamster’s teeth will always be checked by your veterinarian, and if anything is found then steps will be taken immediately so you don’t have sleepless nights worrying about what might happen next for them.
Schedule regular checkups with the animal hospital staff!
Hamsters’ teeth grow throughout their lives and if correct care is not provided, then they can overgrow and cause a host of problems for your beloved hamster.
Always provide them with soft chew toys and watch out for any distressing symptoms such as difficulty eating, drooling or lethargy, which can be signs that the teeth need attention.
If you’re worried about how to take care of hamster teeth, then we recommend giving them plenty of soft chew toys, untreated wooden blocks, and a healthy diet like carrots, cucumbers, and bananas (without the peel). We also advise watching our video on dental health for more information!
These simple steps will make sure that your pet’s teeth remain healthy!
Why Does My Hamster Have Yellow Teeth?
Hamster teeth are yellow by nature and there is nothing abnormal about this colouring. Hamsters do not have pearly whites like human beings, but they can still be pretty cute! In fact, you should start worrying if you notice that your hamster’s teeth have begun to turn white- which might indicate dental issues with them.
The yellow colour is because of the enamel coating that is on hamsters’ teeth. This is provided by nature in order to supplement their non-stop chewing activity.
However, if your hamster’s teeth start to turn black, it means that they need attention as this could indicate dental problems such as abscesses, which can cause other health issues for them too.