September 28, 2022
Do all guinea pigs come with teeth that grow continuously?Guinea Pig Teeth, Dental Disease, And Dental Care

Guinea Pig Teeth, Dental Disease, And Dental Care

Do all guinea pigs come with teeth that grow continuously? Guinea pigs’ constantly growing teeth are also “elo-don’t” dentitions. They have incisors and front teeth, which keep growing if you don’t check them regularly. Their unique sense of having ever-growing dentition is unique. Guinea pig teeth are similar to human nails. It’s essential to introduce them to biting and chewing methods. This helps in managing the growth of their teeth. The overgrown teeth in Guinea pigs lead to painful dental issues.

What’s Special About Guinea Pig Teeth?

Ever Growing Teeth:

Guinea pigs belong to the rodent family known as Caviidae. Similar to the rodents, Cavies are elodonts, a condition where the teeth grow continuously. The teeth do not stop growing during the entire lives of Guinea pigs. If they fall out, the teeth will grow back. They have a total of 20 teeth.

Incisors:

Cavies feature four long, thin teeth in front of the oral cavity. These teeth are known as incisors. There are two upper incisors and two lower incisors. The incisors are the teeth that help them grab food. They are also meant for grooming purposes. Behind guinea-pig incisors, instead of canine, there is a diastema, a gap between the premolars and incisors.

Premolars:

Cavies have around 4 upper and lower premolars, two on each side. Premolars come after the incisors and next to the molars. Removal of the teeth helps grind the food that Guinea pigs usually survive on.

Molars:

Next to the premolars, there are around 12 molars. These molars are utilized for heavy-duty grinding. Again, molars are for chewing food, and that too in bulk. There are around 6 molars on each side of the oral cavity 3 upper and 3 lower. Molars are also ever-growing and develop for the entire life.

Guinea Pig Dental Problems:

Guinea pig’s teeth have open roots. They have long-rooted teeth, which can result in several dental issues like malocclusion or broken teeth. However, most of the  Guinea pig’s dental problems can easily be treated.

Tooth Loss:

Tooth loss is mainly because by Vitamin C deficiency in guinea pigs’ diets. This results in broken teeth. Apart from it, there is a deficiency of calcium and Vitamin D in guinea pigs resulting in broken teeth. These minerals are essential for strengthening muscles, teeth, and bones. As Cavies are elodonts,  there is a high chance their teeth will grow in different directions. This results in pressure on surrounding teeth leading to a painful impact for Guinea pigs. It is therefore essential to get guinea pigs checked regularly.  If there is tooth loss, it is essential to get it checked for the formation of blood clots.

Elongated Roots:

Elongated roots in Guinea pigs press other teeth around, leading to a painful jaw. A dental examination helps in finding out this condition. The jawline at the bottom might have bumps which tell us whether Guinea pig’s teeth have long roots or not.

Malocclusion:

Malocclusion indicates that there isn’t a proper alignment of teeth in guinea pigs. This can cause several issues like less wear of teeth and deterioration of oral health. If Guinea pigs swallow their food without undergoing any grinding process, this will result in a lack of wear over the teeth. When malocclusion results, teeth move in various directions. For instance, upper molars move towards the inner side of the cheeks.

On the other hand, lower molars will affect the tongue, causing pain for Cavies. This results in improper closure and opening of the mouth. In addition, incisors might overgrow, leading to malalignment and affecting the growth of premolars. This can cause abscesses, sores, or infections within the Guinea pig oral cavity.

Development Of Spurs:

They are the type of Spike- like feature over the upper and lower teeth. They are usually found in upper Guinea pig teeth. These spurs result in stabbing the cheek or the lips projecting inwards. The spurs can also cause pain to the tongue. The spurs are present on both sides, and they face each other leading to the formation of the bridge over the tongue’s center.

How To Wear Down A Guinea Pig’s Teeth:

Guinea pig’s continuous, long curvy teeth grow continuously. Therefore, it is essential to wear down Guinea pig teeth; otherwise, it will hurt their oral cavity. Hold the Cavy firmly and wrap them in a small towel to avoid inconvenience. It is of great importance to have two people on the ground. One for holding guinea pigs and stopping them from moving and forcefully opening the mouth, and the other person should clip the teeth.

Clipping is done in a slant direction, pointing towards the oral cavity. It is essential to leave the teeth half inches long before it starts turning Opaque. It is essential to cut each tooth separately as combining the cutting process might shatter, split or break the teeth. You can use a nail filer for smoothening and filing the sharp edges of the teeth.

How Many Teeth Do Guinea Pigs Have?

Guinea pigs feature a total of around 20 teeth. They come with a pair of premolars, incisors, and 3 pairs of molars in the lower and upper Jaws. The incisors in Guinea pigs are present in front while the molars and premolars are positioned inside the oral cavity. Instead of canines, they have diastema. Molars are not visible in the oral cavity of Guinea pigs because they have a fatty layer within their cheeks.

Preventing Tooth Problems within Guinea Pigs:

Preventing dental health issues within Guinea pigs is easier, and you need to follow simple modifications.

Make them feed hay which is the perfect balance of fiber and Calcium, which strengthens guinea pig teeth. It helps in keeping the oral cavity healthy.

Make sure to give Guinea pigs enough amount of vegetables and fruits. This helps guinea pigs cope with enough Vitamin C, calcium, and other minerals. Give them healthy veggies such as parsley, spinach, cabbage, and Kale. And fruits like apples, pears, raspberries, strawberries, and peaches. Vegetables and fruits are the secondary diet source for Guinea pigs, while the primary diet includes fresh grass and hay.

Make sure to offer them fresh pellets with Vitamin C.

you can give safe wooden sticks to guinea pigs for chewing, making their teeth stronger. Give them basswood, hazelnut, oak, maple, apple, and so on. You can also give them wooden boxes or chewing toys that help them strengthen their teeth.

It is vital to monitor the teeth regularly with weekly checkups. This prevents guinea pigs from dental health issues like malocclusion or broken teeth. Make sure to take your Guinea pigs to regular vet visits who are experts and identify their dental health conditions.

Do You Have To Cut Guinea Pig’s Teeth?

Yes, you need to cut guinea pig teeth because they might overgrow and affect the oral cavity leading to painful impact. Overgrown teeth can result in soreness, bruising, or redness. They affect the inner surface of the cheek or tongue, preventing guinea pigs from feeding food.

How Should Guinea Pigs’ Teeth Look?

Cavy’s teeth are supposed to be white. However, they are brown, yellow, or black in unhealthy oral conditions. Curved or overly long teeth in Guinea pigs make it difficult for them to consume food leading to dental pain. The discoloration is a major sign to identify that guinea pigs are suffering from dental pain. Temporary staining may be due to foods like beetroot or strawberries. However, if your guinea pigs consume a regular fiber diet, this won’t result in discoloration.

How Do I Know If My Guinea Pig Has Overgrown Teeth?

Guinea pig teeth are overgrowing in nature, especially incisors, which grow for the entire lies. The growth rate for each Guinea pig is around 0.1-0.3mm daily. The typical incisors in guinea pigs possess a total length of around 2.6 to 3 cm. Guinea pig teeth that grow more than 3 to 3.5 cm are overgrown.

How Many Sets Of Teeth Do Guinea Pigs Have?

Guinea pig teeth are 20 in total. They have a pair of premolars, three pairs of molar teeth, and incisors in total in the lower and upper jaw. The incisors and premolars are visible while the molars are hidden inside. Guinea pigs feature a fatty layer that covers the molars.

How Big Can Guinea Pigs’ Teeth Get?

Guinea pig teeth are open-rooted, which means they grow continuously. To distinguish between rodents and mammals, Guinea pigs come with enough amount of workload on their teeth. It’s all because of the high fibrous diet, which results in quick wearing down of the teeth. Offering a correct fibrous diet is vital to prevent misalignment and overgrowing teeth. The incisors in guinea pigs grow around 5-7.5 cm during a year, and if they are aligned correctly, they can grow to around 1.5 cm and length.

What Do Guinea Pigs Use Teeth For?

Guinea pig’s teeth overgrow for their entire lives. They are rodents that can eat hay and grass, leading to wear and tear over the teeth. With the evolving diets, these overgrowing teeth start adapting to the diet. They use their teeth for grabbing food and for grinding purposes.

FAQs:

What Are The Signs Of Tooth issues within Guinea Pigs?

Certain symptoms indicate that guinea pigs are suffering from potential dental health issues. There might be reluctant to feed. Their teeth have sharp edges with discoloration, and they express nasal discharge with watery eyes. Cavies are suffering from weight loss and drooling.

They might also suffer from redness in the gums. They also show signs of reduced motion. In long-term guinea pig dental health issues, weight loss is one of the most obvious signs that you can see. Excess salivation can also observe that guinea pigs suffer from skin health issues like dermatitis. To avoid severe dental issues, it’s important to visit the vet after every 2 to 3 months.

The dental health issues are identified with special tools like an otoscope or speculum. This tool helps in the examination of teeth. You can also undergo a T scan or X-ray to assess the severity.

Do Guinea Pigs feature Baby Teeth?

There are no such baby teeth in guinea pigs that will fall out and allow the permanent teeth to move in within the oral cavity. The Guinea pig has a full set of teeth in the upper and lower jaw, which keep growing and do not fall out.

Can I File My Guinea Pigs’ Teeth?

Yes, you can file guinea pig teeth, but you must have two people on hand. It’s only meant for experienced individuals as it is not a simple task. It is essential to take the help of professionals. They are confident enough to identify the dental health issues and help you with dental issues.

Why Did My Guinea Pig’s Teeth Fall Out?

Guinea pigs might lose teeth because of dental injuries like broken teeth. Tooth fractures are malocclusion. If they try biting on hard objects, Guinea pigs might lose teeth; however, they will return.

How Long Should A Guinea Pig’s Bottom Teeth Be?

Guinea pigs have dual incisors on top, with two at the bottom of the oral cavity.  Please incisors grow to around one to 1 to1.5 cm long.

How Quickly Do Guinea Pigs’ Teeth Grow?

Guinea pig teeth keep on growing. Incisors can grow to normal length within just 2-3 weeks. So don’t worry if your guinea pigs lose their teeth.

What Do Guinea Pigs Need To Chew For The Teeth?

Guinea pigs chew on items like wooden blocks, sticks, or chew toys. Chewing these items helps maintain healthy teeth, preventing dental issues like malocclusion. Wooden sticks are safe, and Guinea pigs can easily chew them. Invest in the wooden blocks or chewing togs from a safe store.

How Do Guinea Pigs Keep Their Teeth Healthy In The Wild?

In the wild, guinea pigs eat a variety of hay, twigs, or grasses during the day.  These are the vital food ingredients that help in keeping the teeth healthy. The primary diet of guinea pigs includes a fibrous diet to keep their teeth strong and healthy.

Final Words:

Guinea pig teeth are overgrowing teeth, and they are open-rooted, which is why you must weekly check the jawline of Guinea pigs to identify any dental health issues. Getting guinea pig teeth checked regularly every 6 months with a professional vet is vital. To prevent the growth of long teeth within Guinea pigs, you can feed them fiber-rich hay, twigs, or wooden sticks.

References:

https://www.google.com/search?q=ncbi+guinea+pigs&oq=ncbi+guinea+&aqs=chrome.1.69i57j33i160l2.5343j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/article/120207-guinea-pigs-europe-south-america-pets-animals

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK231932/

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