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Do Rabbits Ever Suffer From Dental Problems?

Rabbits have teeth that grow continuously throughout their lives, which means that they need care for teeth problems and that you should stay aware of any possible signs that warrant a trip to the vet.

Rabbits do indeed suffer from dental issues. For example, their teeth may grow at different rates, which means they wear down at different rates. Additionally, their teeth may become overgrown if they aren’t cared for, resulting in damage to their mouth. 

In fact, your rabbit may suffer from some serious dental issues that need to be taken care of immediately, to keep them healthy. 

See our Orlando rabbit vet today!

Overgrown Teeth

Rabbits have incisors, premolars, and molars. When these sets don’t wear at the same rate, malocclusion, or an imperfect alignment of the teeth occurs.

In this case, sharp, overgrown teeth can cut your rabbit’s tongue, cheeks, or gums. They might even trap the tongue or hit the back of the mouth, preventing them from closing it. In serious cases, this might lead to abscesses in the mouth and further issues with drooling, grooming, and weight loss.

What Causes Teeth Issues?

You would think that your rabbit’s teeth should grow at a normal pace like our human teeth, but the difference is that our teeth grow and then stop. Rabbits’ teeth continue to grow, which means they must go through normal wear and tear.

You can help them by giving them a proper diet of roughage or fiber—not by only relying on pellets. While they may like their pellets, this will not help them grind their teeth down. Hay needs to account for 80-90% of a rabbit’s diet. 

Of course, your rabbit also may deal with malocclusion as a hereditary factor or by not getting enough vitamin D.

Possible Problems

Your rabbit’s overgrown teeth can cause more problems like advanced dental disease, which can also be caused by a broken or infected tooth. In this case, your rabbit may suffer from physical pain and swelling, but there are other signs you should keep an eye out for to ensure your rabbit stays well.

Signs to Notice

Take a moment to consider whether your rabbit might be dealing with any dental issues. You can look for simple signs like if their teeth are overgrown or if they are drooling around the mouth or onto their paws.

Check their face for any signs of swelling in the cheeks, chin, or jaw, and even by the ears. You might even see a rash near their eyes or discharge around their nose. Of course, one of the most obvious signs is losing a lot of weight.

What to Do

If you notice any of these signs, it’s time to bring your rabbit in to see your vet. Your veterinarian is the one who will be able to determine the cause of the problems and therefore be able to recommend a diet that will help their teeth grind down.

They will also be able to help your rabbit get their teeth to the proper size, and in serious cases, help handle any surgical procedures as well.


Rabbits have strong teeth, but they can still suffer from dental problems. Keep an eye on your rabbit to check for any signs that they may be dealing with dental issues. If you see any signs, take them to the veterinarian as soon as possible. Give us a call today and one of our vets will be able to manage any issues and can even recommend a diet for your rabbit to help prevent any future problems. 

Author: Santiago Diaz
As a veterinarian focused exclusively on avians, exotics, and wildlife, Dr. Díaz has lectured widely, including at a National Veterinary Conference, the Merck Merial Conference, the Morris Animal Foundation Conference, and at various veterinary technician schools throughout Florida. ​