How To Keep Your Guinea Pig's Teeth Short? (+Long teeth problems)

How To Keep Your Guinea Pig’s Teeth Short? (+Long teeth problems)

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Guinea pigs have constantly growing teeth that must be trimmed and filed on a regular basis in order to keep them in good condition. A failure to do so can result in a terrifying situation, as overgrown teeth can make it difficult for them to eat and chew food properly. So, what will we be learning today is how to keep the teeth of your guinea pig as short as possible?

Wild guinea pigs used to chew on tree branches, hay, and other natural wood to keep their teeth in good shape, which was beneficial to them. As a result, even in captivity, we must provide our guinea pigs with plenty of hay, chew toys, and safe/solid wood blocks or tree branches to keep their teeth in good shape.

Even after consuming copious amounts of hay and chewing on their chew toys, some guinea pigs may develop longer teeth.

In such cases, taking your pet to the veterinarian to have their teeth trimmed would be an excellent choice.

Also, if you have dental experience, you might be able to do their teeth trimming at home. However, for the majority of owners, it is recommended that they hire a professional to do it.

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Guinea Pig Diet Plan: A Complete Guide To What Your Guinea Pigs Can Eat

 

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Why do guinea pigs have long teeth?

The diet and living conditions of the guinea pigs contribute to the continued growth of the guinea pig teeth.

In the past, wild guinea pigs were provided with a lot of hay and a few flowers as well as hardwood chips and twigs to eat as food.

While in captivity, however, we end up providing them with more treats, vegetables, and soft hay, which is not nearly enough to allow them to grind their teeth on a regular basis as they need to.

In the wild, the roughage provided sufficient nutrition to keep their teeth in good condition. Most guinea pigs, on the other hand, do not receive enough chew toys or a well-balanced diet that is rich in timothy hay to keep their teeth in good condition.

As a result, many guinea pig owners frequently discover that their guinea pigs are in discomfort at some point during their lives. A lot of hay and chew toys, as well as solid but safe woodblocks and branches, are required to keep the teeth of Guinea pigs in good shape.

As a result, make sure you limit the amount of extra vegetables and treats you give them and instead focus on providing them with what they require.

How long are guinea pig teeth supposed to be?

IncisorsGuinea pigs have upper and lower incisors that are long, straight & white. The upper incisors usually overlap the lower one in such a way that your guinea pig can close their mouth correctly.
Pre-molarPremolars are usually tucked inside your guinea pig’s mouth, and in most cases, they are not visible. As guinea pigs don’t have canine, the space of those is empty, followed by the premolars. However, if they are visible, then it means there is a problem.
MolarsThe molars are located at the far end of the mouth, and they are not visible to us. However, they are usually smaller and allows guinea pigs to close their mouth comfortably. Guinea pigs grind their molar down while chewing just like incisors.

Dental problems are one of the most common health issues in guinea pigs. Make sure you lookout for signs of discoloration, misalignment, sharp edges, and overgrown teeth. This can be a painful situation for guinea pigs.

Can guinea pig’s teeth get too long?

Yes, guinea pig’s teeth can become too long if we don’t provide them with adequate care.

Guinea pig’s teeth must be properly aligned, and they must be able to close their mouth properly.

Lack of proper diet balance and lack of chew toys can be one of the main culprits behind overgrown teeth in guinea pigs.

How fast do guinea pig’s teeth grow?

Guinea pigs’ teeth typically grow about 2mm per week, on average.

Their teeth are prone to growing inward, which can cause damage to their gums and chin if they become overgrown.

Overgrown molars are the worst because they make it extremely difficult for our guinea pigs to swallow their food.

Their teeth can only be kept in good condition by providing them with high-quality hay and wooden chew toys.

Overgrown teeth in your guinea pigs can be caused by feeding them the wrong combination of food, for example, more vegetables and treats and less hay.

What happens if your guinea pig’s teeth are overgrown?

There are many health problems that can accompany overgrown teeth. Some of the most common problems include:

  • Your guinea pigs won’t be able to close their mouth correctly.
  • The overgrown teeth can cut through the tongue and gums as they struggle to chew their food. This can lead to a lot of bleeding and bacterial infection.
  • Your guinea pigs might not be able to chew their food. As a result, they can starve to death within 48 hours.
  • The teeth can become brittle that increases the chances of breaking and having sharp edges on the same.
  • Your guinea pigs will not be able to self groom. This will lead to poor hygiene, followed by countless other health issues.
  • Guinea pigs might also have problem breathing as they are obligate nasal breathers.

One of the common problems with overgrown teeth is malocclusion. It means that the overgrown incisors might not overlap each other.

The teeth will keep growing, and they will grow misshapen. As a result, one or the other teeth might end up penetrating your guinea pig’s gums and skin.

How do you know if your guinea pig’s teeth are too long?

There are only a few visual and behavioral changes that you must look out for. These includes:

  • Reluctant to eat: Guinea pigs with overgrown teeth have a tough time chewing their food. As a result, some guinea pigs might become unwilling to chew their food.
  • Sharpness: Guinea pig’s teeth, including their incisors, should be long but blunt. If they look sharp, then it means it’s time to give them a trim.
  • Discoloration: Guinea pigs have a white enamel on their teeth. If at any point you find the teeth are yellowing, then it might be a sign of overgrowth.
  • Eye or Nasal Discharge: The roots of guinea pig’s teeth can grow inward. When overgrown, it can create pressure at their nasal passage and lead to eye or nasal discharge.

How do I keep my guinea pig’s teeth healthy?

One of the most effective ways to ensure healthy teeth in your guinea pigs is to provide them with plenty of hay and only a small amount of vegetables and treats in their diet.

Along with that, provide your guinea pigs with a variety of items to chew on to ensure that their teeth are naturally in good shape. Take into consideration the following:

  • Toss in some wood blocks or tree branches for good measure. Apple, pine, willow, and other trees are among the best options.
  • Plastic baby toys are an excellent choice because your guinea pigs will be able to chew on them for hours at a time. (Use teething toys designed specifically for teething babies.)
  • Towels or face cloths made of soft cotton or fleece are recommended.
  • Fill a wicker basket halfway with hay and set it in their playpen or cage to keep them company.
  • Rubber balls that are firm and durable should be provided.
  • Chew toys for small animals such as guinea pigs are available.

Please refrain from purchasing toys that are of poor quality and are inexpensive. Also, avoid chew toys for cats and dogs because they are typically made of flimsy plastic and are too large for our guinea pigs to use comfortably.

The use of cardboard is an excellent addition as well. However, exercise caution because your guinea pigs may ingest a large amount of the shredded pieces, which could result in intestinal blockage.

I like to have at least three different sets of toys for them, and I rotate them every time I deep clean their enclosure.

Having a variety of toys and surfaces to chew on will keep them entertained and prevent them from becoming bored with it.

How do you check a guinea pig’s teeth?

Checking the teeth of your guinea pig can be more difficult than you might imagine. Yes, you may examine their upper front incisors to ensure that they are in good condition as well.

Checking their premolars and molars, on the other hand, may necessitate a trip to the veterinarian.

There aren’t many options for checking their molars that don’t involve putting them under anesthetic.

For their molar examination, your veterinarian will most likely administer some form of anesthetic.

Other signs of overgrown teeth should be observed, and if you are unsure, you should consult your veterinarian.

Taking a look at their incisors can also provide you with valuable information. Ideally, the upper incisors should be approximately 1/2-3/4 inch long, with the upper teeth overlapping the lower teeth.

The presence of overgrown teeth, as indicated by their length or the fact that your guinea pig has difficulty closing their mouth, is a sign of dental overgrowth.

How to keep guinea pig teeth short?

Guinea pigs need to replicate their wild counterparts to ensure they have healthy teeth.

This means they need to be continually chewing hay and rough natural wood to keep their teeth in shape.

Providing your guinea pig’s with lots of timothy hay is important to keep your guinea pig’s teeth in the right shape.

Types of timothy hay

If your guinea pig has dental problems, then it is recommended to serve them with first cut timothy hay.

This hay is high in fiber but slightly lower in other nutrients. However, they are excellent for keeping your guinea pig’s teeth in shape.

You must also make sure you don’t provide them with alfalfa hay as those are higher in calcium and can lead to other health issues like urinary tract infection and bladder/kidney stones.

Providing your guinea pigs with chew toys is also an excellent way to grind those long teeth and keep your guinea pig’s entertained as well.

However, sometimes even after dong everything correctly, your guinea pigs might end up with longer teeth.

In such a scenario, the only way left is to trim down the teeth manually. You can go either way:

  • Get the teeth trimmed from a professional vet. They will use some equipment to grind their teeth into the right shape.
  • Or you can manually trim the teeth at home. Please be cautious and only attempt it if you need to trim the front incisors and have no professional help available at the moment.

Please note: Trimming a guinea pig’s teeth is a risky procedure, and you must always allow trained medical personnel to do the same. However, in case of an emergency or unavailability, you can attempt the same but with much caution.

How to trim guinea pig teeth at home?

It is possible to trim the incisors of your guinea pigs, but it may not be as simple as it appears at first glance.

You should only attempt this if you have steady hands and are confident in your ability to complete it.

Guinea pigs do not appreciate it when someone touches their mouth or nose area, and as a result, they may become a little aggressive.

As a result, prepare yourself for it. If you are doing this for the first time, you may need someone to hold your guinea pig while you perform the procedure.

So, before you begin, here are a few tools that you may find useful in completing this process:

Clippers of medical-grade quality or a Stainless Steel Pig Tooth Nipper

Please make certain that you only attempt the process when you are properly prepared. So, here’s what we’ve got:

  • After you’ve placed your guinea pig on a stable surface such as a table or countertop, pet and calm him or her.
  • Wrapping your guinea pigs in a towel will help to keep them calm and still during the procedure.
  • Open the mouth of your guinea pig. Keep your hand and their tongue out of the way so that they can’t get hurt.
  • Using any of the tooth clippers listed above that you think would be appropriate for the job, clip a small amount of tooth from the upper incisor. Make sure you do it in small increments at a time. Keep the guinea pigs safe by not cutting them too close to the bone.
  • Also, only trim one incisor at a time if possible.
    Once that is completed, move on to the lower incisors and repeat the procedure.

A visit to the veterinarian is recommended in cases where your pet guinea pigs have an overgrown molar or won’t allow you to trim their incisors properly at home.

Please don’t try to trim their molars while they’re sleeping. You have the potential to cause serious damage to their gums and tongue.

How much does it cost to get a guinea pig’s teeth trimmed?

The cost of trimming a guinea pig’s teeth will vary depending on your veterinarian, but you should expect to pay anywhere between 80$ and 150$ on average.

The cost of the service may vary depending on where you live, what state you live in, and whether or not the service is available in your area.

If your guinea pig’s teeth need to be trimmed on a regular basis, you may be able to bargain with the clinic to settle for a lower pay per visit.

You can have the teeth of your guinea pig trimmed on an outpatient basis while the animal is under anesthesia.

Make certain that you fully comprehend what is being said. Depending on the treatment, your guinea pigs may be denied food for a few hours before the procedure.

I would recommend that you look through our comprehensive guinea pig vet directory to find a reputable veterinarian in your area.

Why do guinea pig’s teeth fall out?

There is a lot of reasons that can lead to falling out of your guinea pig’s teeth. Some of the most common ones are:

  • A lack of vitamin c, Calcium, and other essential nutrients in their diet can weaken the teeth, and as a result, it will fall out.
  • A physical injury can displace the teeth that can eventually fall out.
  • Pulling or chewing on cage wires can lead to broken teeth.
  • Genetic problems are rare but in some cases, guinea pigs might be born with a brittle set of teeth that comes out easily.
  • Regular playing and chewing can also lead to natural fall out of teeth.

There can be a lot of other reasons like the removal of teeth by your veterinarian due to some medical complications and more.

However, the important thing for you to check is if there are any sharp edges left behind, then you might need to trim the same before it ends up hurting your guinea pigs.

Can guinea pig teeth grow back?

At any point during their lives, guinea pigs may experience tooth loss. They could end up losing teeth while eating, playing, or as a result of a physical injury, for example.

In any case, their teeth will regrow on their own accord as long as the root is not permanently damaged.

In some cases, losing one or more of your guinea pigs’ teeth may not cause any discomfort or have any negative consequences.

However, you must be on the lookout for broken teeth because a rough broken tooth may have sharp edges that can injure their tongue or gums if not treated immediately.

If any of the broken teeth grow back crooked, they must be treated by a professional veterinarian in order to avoid any further complications in the near future.

Also, keep in mind that every tooth grows at a different rate, which means you may need to trim longer teeth to keep them in proper proportion.