Guinea Pig Teeth
A Guinea Pig teeth are “Open Rooted” and grow continuously. The enamel is White in colour and the front teeth can be sharp. Due to fat pads in the sides of the cheeks it is normally impossible to examine them properly without the use of an instrument called “Buccal Pad Separators” which are designed to hold the cheeks back aiding examination. Alternatively most Vet may wish to view the back molars by administering Sedation/General Anaesthetic to get a good view of the back teeth and make sure there is no ulceration or Lesions to the back of the mouth.
Good teeth are essential for your pets health. A nutritious diet and adequate Vitamin C will help them grow strong. In a healthy Guinea Pig the biting, chewing, and Grinding of food (Especially Hays, Grasses and Abrasive foods) assures there teeth stay at there proper length. A length which varies between Guinea Pig to Guinea Pig depending on size of there body (Especially there head size). Routine Tooth Trimming is not normally necessary and may interfere with your Guinea Pigs ability to eat.
Guinea Pigs have a total of 20 teeth which consist of the following :-
- A Pair Of Upper and Lower Incisors (Front 4 Teeth)
- No Canines (Instead a Gap called the Diastema)
- A Pair of Upper and Lower Pre-
- Three Pairs of Upper and Lower Molars.
How do I know if my Guinea Pigs Teeth are ok?
- Observe any changes in how your Guinea Pigs eats food.
- Examine you Guinea Pigs Teeth regularly for breaks and irregular wear (like slanted Teeth) during your weekly health check.
- Weigh your Guinea Pig weekly! Weight loss can be an early indicator of problems like malocclusion.
What kind of other problems can Guinea Pigs have with there teeth?
Some problems that Guinea Pigs can have with there teeth are :-
Who can fix my pet’s teeth if there is a problem?
An experienced Vet or Animal Dentist can help deal with problems that arise. If your Vet is unfamiliar with Guinea Pigs teeth he/she can consult with A Veterinary Dentist. If your vet does not seem positive in doing your cavy’s teeth then please ring round for a vet which is happy to do the procedure.
My Guinea Pigs Teeth keeping Breaking is there reason for this?
The answer to this is Yes! There will be a reason for this. If your Guinea Pig keeps breaking a Tooth there may be many reasons for this. I have found that our Guinea Pig Snowy has broken his Upper Incisors twice now within the last 3 months. After dental work was performed on the 13th March 2013 our Vet advised us that whilst working on his Manibular Teeth he noticed they were very weak and brittle. All of our Guinea Pigs are on Low Calcium diets due to Calcium Crystals/Sludge in their Urine. The Vet now believes he may be suffering from Vitamin C Deficiency and has now provided us with a Supplement which contains high levels of Vitamin C amongst other Vitamins. See Vitamin C Deficiency Page.
What if my Guinea Pigs Front Teeth Breaks?
Usually if your Guinea Pig breaks one or both of the incisor teeth at the front of the mouth they will grow back very quickly, usually within 2-
If you take your Guinea Pig to a Vet and they advise you to get his other incisors reduced because they are long seek advise from a more knowledgeable Vet.
This should not be Done under any circumstances.
Is there any time when a Veterinarian may be able to reduce the Front Incisors in length?
Yes, The only time your Veterinarian would normally reduce the Front Incisors is if any of the following occurs :-
- One front incisors snaps (this could be completely off, or half way).
- Excessive Growth (This means that the Incisor is outside the mouth either up or lower-
rubbing on the outer surface of the face)- If this should arise make sure your Veterinarian checks the back teeth. (See Images Below For Examples)
Are there any Genetic Teeth Problems?
The answer to this is Yes!
- Some Guinea Pigs are born without teeth (See Lethal’s)
- Some Malocclusion is believed to be Genetic, especially in cavies under two years of age.
- And Rarely, a Guinea Pig grows an extra set of front teeth which is very similar to “Peg Teeth” found on Rabbits.
What devices or tools may be used on my Guinea Pig?
- The Chin-
Sling can provide support for Cavies which have weak jaws and encourages normal wear of the teeth and also helps build muscles.
- Buccal Pad separators are used to examine the back teeth by moving the cheek fat on the Side of your Guinea Pigs mouth away.