Bearded dragons have teeth. They have teeth that are triangular in shape. The teeth of bearded dragons are attached to their jaws. The teeth of bearded dragons are sharp which enables them to chew on a wide variety of food items like various insects, vegetables, and fruits.
What is the actual teeth structure of bearded dragons like? Are their teeth sharp? How should you take care of their oral hygiene? Let’s discuss these important topics in this post.
- Bearded Dragon Teeth Structure
- How to Examine A Bearded Dragon’s Mouth?
- Can Bearded Dragons Get Teeth Problems?
- What Should You Do If Your Bearded Dragon Has Dental Diseases?
- Top 5 Causes for Damage to Bearded Dragons Teeth
- 5 Effective Ways to Prevent Dental Problems in Bearded Dragons
Bearded Dragon Teeth Structure
Bearded dragons have teeth right from birth. They have approximately 80 teeth in their both jaws combined.
The upper jaw consists of roughly 11-17 teeth on each side, whereas the lower jaw has around 13-20 teeth on each side.
Bearded dragons have two types of teeth in their jaws. The teeth in their upper jaw are acrodont teeth, and their lower jaw has pleurodont teeth.
Human teeth have roots and sockets (holes in which each tooth fits in). Bearded dragons belong to the Agamidae family known for having acrodont teeth. Bearded dragons have acrodont teeth in their upper jaws.
These teeth do not have any roots or sockets. Instead, they are fused to the jawbone. They are short and triangular in shape. These teeth are present in bearded dragons as a single triangular cusp. They are placed near the back of the mouth.
Acrodont teeth are used for chewing food and do not grow back if they get broken.
The lower jaw of a bearded dragon has pleurodont teeth. Like acrodont teeth, the pleurodont teeth are also attached, but they are attached to the inner edge of the jaw.
They still don’t have proper roots, but they are attached deep enough in the bone, to regrow if broken.
Pleurodont teeth are used for gripping food or insects. These are fewer in number as compared to the acrodont type of teeth.
How to Examine A Bearded Dragon’s Mouth?
Having a bearded dragon as a pet, you will have to examine its teeth from time to time or if it shows any symptoms of tooth disease.
In order to inspect your bearded dragon’s teeth, gently pick up the bearded dragon. Ensure that it is comfortable and not scared while you are inspecting its teeth.
Very gently and carefully apply gentle pressure on the sides of your bearded dragon’s head, near the mouth. This very gentle pressure can force the bearded dragon to open its mouth, and you can examine the teeth and mouth.
Check for any signs of discoloration of teeth, inflammation of gums, or missing teeth.
However, it is crucial to note that if you are new to this, or are not confident about this, do not attempt it. You may accidentally end up hurting your bearded dragon.
Instead, consult a vet for instructions to examine your bearded dragon’s mouth and teeth.
Can Bearded Dragons Get Teeth Problems?
Bearded dragons are prone to periodontal diseases. These diseases related to the teeth structure can lead to common problems like:
- Gingivitis (inflammation of the gum/s)
- Heavy calculus buildup (hardened dental plaque)
- Mouth rot
- Gingival recession (gum recession)
- Osteomyelitis (a bacterial infection that can cause tooth loss)
- Deep bone infections
Most of these teeth-related problems are caused by dietary habits. Your bearded dragon’s teeth need to be examined and cleaned regularly.
It is important to understand that teeth problems can have a direct impact on the overall health of your bearded dragon. Periodontal diseases can also cause a lot of pain and suffering to your pet.
Following are some of the symptoms your bearded dragon has teeth trouble:
- Loss of appetite
- Swelling around the mouth
- Bleeding in the mouth
- Soreness on the mouth
- Red swollen gums
- Receded gum line
- Missing teeth
- Change in color of the teeth to a darker color
- A build-up of tartar or plaque
What Should You Do If Your Bearded Dragon Has Dental Diseases?
If your bearded dragon shows any of the symptoms mentioned above, it is best to consult a veterinary doctor immediately for further guidance and treatment.
Do not try to treat your bearded dragon at home. Follow the treatment course as suggested by the vet. The veterinary doctor could go for professional dental cleaning or prescribe a course of antibiotics or anti-inflammatory medicines based on the disease.
If dental problems are neglected for a long time and not given immediate attention, they can affect your bearded dragon’s overall health.
Top 5 Causes for Damage to Bearded Dragons Teeth
There are certain dietary habits that can ruin your bearded dragons teeth. There are also other causes why your bearded dragon has teeth problems.
- Too Much Soft Food
Offering too much soft food only in the diet can harm your bearded dragon’s teeth. Constantly offering soft-bodied insects, cooked soft food, or shredded food can lead to inviting periodontal diseases.
- Too Much Sugar in the Food
Providing a sugar-laden diet to your bearded dragon frequently can cause tooth problems like tooth decay. Too much sugar can lead to tooth decay and can cause the teeth to fall off if not given immediate attention.
- Bad Nutrition
A diet deficient in vital nutrients like calcium can affect the health of bearded dragon’s teeth and bones thereby inviting dental problems.
- Extremely Hard Food
Offering hard food like a large vertebrate insect can damage the teeth of your bearded dragon. It can cause undue pressure on the teeth while chewing and can cause the teeth to fall out because of the strain.
- Stress and Lower Immunity Due to Other Physical Diseases
If your bearded dragon is stressed, or has some bacterial or fungal infections, it can reduce its overall immunity and thereby affect the dental health of your pet.
5 Effective Ways to Prevent Dental Problems in Bearded Dragons
There are several ways in which you can prevent any serious dental health issues for your bearded dragon.
- Providing a Good and Healthy Diet
Ensure that you provide a good nutrient-rich diet to your bearded dragon. Include a variety of food.
- Ensure it contains crunchy and solid food.
- Do not offer only soft food.
- Avoid offering too many sugary fruits or food items.
- Restrict the fruit content to two to three times a week.
- Do not offer any hard vertebrate insects which will be tough to chew for your bearded dragon.
- Maintaining Good Oral Hygiene
Arranging regular visits to the vet for periodic cleaning and maintenance of your bearded dragon’s teeth is advisable for ensuring long-term good dental health.
It can involve regular teeth cleanings, and check-ups. If you have to clean your bearded dragon’s mouth at home, it is best to learn from a veterinary doctor about the procedure and the precautions to be taken while doing so.
- Calcium and Vitamin D3 in Diet
Bearded dragons need calcium to maintain good dental and bone health. Dust the food with calcium and Vitamin D3 supplements for improving your bearded dragon’s bone and dental health.
- Installing UVB Lighting in the Terrarium
Exposure to UV lighting is important for the absorption of calcium in the body. Install a good UVB light within the pet enclosure so that your bearded dragon can bask in it and have better health.
- Providing a Stress-Free Environment
A good clean hygienic pet enclosure with optimal living conditions will keep your bearded dragon stress free.
Bearded dragons under stress can resort to actions like banging their heads on the walls of the pet enclosure. This action can make them damage or lose their teeth.
It is of utmost importance that you keep your bearded dragon in a stress-free environment.
Though bearded dragons have tiny teeth, their dental health is a crucial factor determining their overall health and well-being. Establishing a good dental care routine, regular visits to the veterinary doctor, ensuring a hygienic and healthy environment, and supplying a nutrient-rich diet will prevent any dental problems in your bearded dragon.
- Can Bearded Dragons Bite You?
Yes, bearded dragons can bite you. They bite with the teeth present on their lower jaw. Bearded dragons are not aggressive by nature. Although they can bite you in extreme cases. Their bites can be slightly painful.
Adult bearded dragon bites can be slightly venomous. Basic first aid is recommended in case you get bitten by your bearded dragon.
- Do the Teeth of Bearded Dragon Fall Out Naturally?
No. The teeth of bearded dragons do not fall off naturally. However, they can fall off in case of decay or under physical force or strain.
- Are Bearded Dragons Born with Teeth?
Yes, baby bearded dragons have teeth, as bearded dragons are born with teeth. This is a biological mechanism so that baby bearded dragons could have survived in the wild on their own.