Rabbit Teeth: Facts, Problems, and Solutions for Overgrown Rabbit Teeth

Last Updated on May 30, 2023 by

You may have noticed that your rabbit’s teeth are growing a little bit too long. If so, you’re not alone. This is a common problem among rabbits and there are certain things rabbit owners can do about it.

In this article, we will be discussing rabbit teeth facts (how they grow), rabbit teeth problems (why they grow too much), and what you can do to solve the problem if your bunny has overgrown rabbit teeth.

What are rabbit teeth and what do they look like

Rabbit teeth are the rabbit’s front incisors that they use to nibble at their food.

The rabbit’s main set of teeth is made up of four upper and six lower incisors, one on each side in both top and bottom jaws. The rabbit doesn’t have canine or premolar teeth as humans do. Rabbit molars are also much smaller than human molars.

This is likely due to how they have evolved over time and have adapted to a particular type of diet, involving primarily hay and vegetables.

Rabbit teeth cross section
Source: Dr Christoph von Horst (Flickr)

What causes rabbit teeth problems?

You might be surprised at how common is this problem among pet bunnies.

Overgrown tooth is one of the most common dental health problems among bunnies. This usually occurs due to poor diet or lack of water intake. And most of the time, the less hay they eat, the less opportunity they will get to grind down their teeth.

One thing you should know that is very interesting about rabbits is that their teeth never stop growing! That’s right, a bunny’s incisors start growing from birth and just keeps growing.

So, what stops it from growing? That, ladies and gentlemen, would be the food they eat. Specifically, hay. Gnawing and eating hay grinds down their teeth which stops them from growing too long.

But even if your bunny rabbit has healthy molars, overgrown rabbit teeth can still happen.

What are the symptoms of rabbit tooth problems?

The most common symptom is a rabbit that seems to be eating only on one side or pawing at the top gum area with its back feet.

The second most common symptom is drooling from an open mouth as if it’s trying to spit out food.

Other possible signs include weight loss, excessive salivation, and redness around your bunny’s lower jawline (where his teeth would meet).

What should you do for rabbit overgrown tooth problems?

If certain treatments don’t work, vets will trim down rabbit incisors through surgery so they’ll fit in their own mouths again by snipping them off level with the rabbit’s gum line.

Rabbits, like humans, will need to wear an upper denture that attaches to their lower teeth for as long as those incisors are in a reduced state. Rabbits can’t grow new teeth so they’ll have to go through this process again if it happens later on when their rabbits’ bunny overgrown tooth problems get worse than before.

If your rabbit has any of these symptoms, contact your vet and schedule an appointment ASAP!

You want to make sure you find out what the problem is quickly so you can treat it accordingly while there’s still time left – which could be anything from removing rabbit molars through surgery or filing down rabbit incisors.

If you’re not sure how to check if your rabbit has overgrown teeth, watch this video:

When should you see a vet for your bunny’s overgrown tooth problem 

If any of these symptoms occur with your pet bunny, it’s time to see a vet:

  • Your rabbit is lethargic and seems depressed.
  • Your rabbit’s appetite has decreased or it doesn’t seem like they are eating as much anymore.
  • They have a sudden loss of weight that can lead to obesity if the condition continues for too long, which in turn might affect your rabbit’s heart health.
  • Their drool production increases due to dental problems where food isn’t being properly chewed before swallowing because their teeth are fighting each other for space when chewing. This includes excessive saliva on its fur near the mouth or chin area from grooming around its face – instead of just fluids produced by glands near the eyes and nose which rabbits do to keep themselves clean after meals.

How to solve your rabbit’s problems with their teeth

Talk to your vet about what you should do next if your bunny has any symptoms listed above.

If it seems like surgery is the best solution for them, contact a reputable veterinarian in order to schedule an appointment as soon as possible! It might seem scary at first but removing bunny teeth through surgery could save their life- so don’t be afraid to follow up on this!

If filing down rabbit incisors is the best option for your rabbit, find a rabbit-savvy veterinarian and do an initial consultation to see what they recommend.

You may be advised to have them professionally filed down, or you might just need some tips on how to file their teeth at home.

As always, pay close attention to the health of both your rabbit’s body and mouth. And act quickly if you find something amiss.

How to prevent overgrown teeth in rabbits

A bunny with overgrown rabbit teeth may look like it’s constantly trying to chew on something in the air. They might drool from their mouth because they can’t open wide enough for one of their molars to pass through easily.

Sometimes their gums will swell and cause irritation or infection around the tooth root, which is another common symptom.

In rare cases, a rabbit could have an irritating abscessed area near the front incisors due to prolonged biting against hard surfaces.

How to trim rabbit’s teeth if necessary 

If you choose to skip seeing a vet, you can still help fix your rabbit’s teeth at home. But you’ll need to be very careful. Here is a useful video outlying the steps you need to take:

When your rabbit has overgrown teeth, it can cause them a lot of pain and make eating difficult for them to do.

You should consider trimming their rabbit teeth if they are causing problems such as:

  • Difficulties in breathing or swallowing due to too much food getting caught on top of their teeth
  • Changes in fur texture near the mouth from stuff that is stuck between their teeth during grooming
  • Excessive drooling or saliva production because there isn’t enough space for all that liquid inside the mouth anymore (that might be caused by an everted upper lip)
  • Difficulty chewing with one side of its jaws more than another side due to tooth overcrowding
  • Chronic head shaking or ear twitching

It’s best to get a vet or a professional breeder to trim your rabbit’s teeth. But if you’d like to do it your own, here’s a video guide on how to trim your bunny’s teeth:

A few other things that might help with an overgrown tooth, including calcium supplements and dental chews

In most cases where overgrown rabbit teeth are concerned, you should opt to consult a rabbit veterinarian for help.

Rabbits have a natural habit of chewing and gnawing. Get them chew toys to nibble on! It will keep them happy and may help maintain their oral health.

But most importantly, make sure your bunny eats enough hay every day so they can naturally wear down their molars. This is still the best (and cheapest) way to prevent them from getting overgrown teeth.