Dental disease is one of the life-threatening medical conditions that a rabbit could encounter. To avoid the issue, a lot of rabbit owners are always concerned about the dental care of their rabbits. So, many of them usually ask the question, how many teeth do rabbits have?
Rabbits are herbivores and they have to chew their natural diet. They have cheek teeth and incisors. The cheek teeth consist of premolars and molars. They have 6 incisors, 10 premolars, and 12 molars. This makes the total number of rabbit teeth 28.
Most rabbits grow teeth throughout their lifetime. This article will explore some facts on how many teeth do rabbits have, likely medical conditions, and preventive measures. Keep reading for more information.
The function of rabbits’ teeth
Now that you know how many teeth do rabbits have, it is time to discuss their functions. Though there are 6 incisors, 4 upper incisors, and 2 lower incisors. However, only 2 upper incisors are visible while the rest are smaller and are behind. The two smaller incisors can also be referred to as the peg tooth.
The formation of the incisors makes it possible for rabbits to naturally file down the incisors to prevent overgrowing. The larger incisors are mainly used for tearing, slicing, and grasping. The cheek teeth or the premolar and molar serve for grinding and chomping. When the mouth closes, the lower incisors of the rabbit will be in-between the upper incisors and the peg tooth.
What you should know about rabbit teeth
This article is about how many teeth do rabbits have. But there are also some facts you should know about rabbit teeth. For instance, the total number of rabbit teeth also implies that they have 4 fewer teeth than humans. Below are some facts you should know about rabbits’ teeth.
Rabbits’ teeth could be divided into two categories
Rabbits have incisors and cheek teeth. The cheek teeth could be further divided into premolars and molars. The rabbit incisor is 6 in number and there are two bigger ones located at the upper and lower jaw. The remaining two are on each side of the ones on the upper jaw. The molars and premolars are for chewing and chomping. All these make up the total of how many rabbits do rabbits have.
Rabbits grow teeth throughout their lifetime
It has been stated earlier that rabbit teeth are prone to breaking. This could also reduce how many teeth do rabbits have. The good news is that rabbits can easily grow their teeth again. This is because they have aradicular hypsodont teeth. Rabbits will grow their teeth as long as they are still living.
Rabbits’ teeth share some features with humans
Humans have two sets of teeth which are known as milk teeth and permanent teeth. Rabbits also have the same feature. Most children will lose their milk teeth and begin to grow permanent teeth around 6 years. Baby rabbits also lose their first set of teeth around 4 months. Permanent adult rabbit teeth will make the total of how many teeth do rabbits have 28.
Growth can be controlled with a diet
Rabbits grow their teeth frequently. Yet, there is a level the teeth will grow to and it will become abnormal. Abnormal growth does not reduce how many teeth do rabbits have. This could lead to dental issues when the growth is not controlled. To avoid the issue, most rabbit diets consist mainly of fiber.
Signs that your rabbit teeth are in good condition
If you seek knowledge on how many teeth do rabbits have, you should also know about the condition of the teeth. Both wild and domestic rabbits are susceptible to dental disease. But the chance of occurring is very high in domestic pets. Here are some of the signs that your rabbit teeth are okay.
Absence of lumps
You will notice whether the number of how many teeth do rabbits have is fine or not during the periodic check-up. A rabbit without any traces of lump around the head and lower jaw is okay.
The color of how many teeth do rabbits have is another way to know whether your bunny has dental disease or not. The incisors should be white or creamy if the teeth are okay. A rabbit that is dentally okay should also have pink gum.
If your bunny teeth are still okay, the teeth in the upper and lower jaw must align. Moreover, the bottom shape of teeth should be well-formed.
Some common rabbit dental problems
If you are asking questions about how many teeth do rabbits have, you should also know that rabbits are prone to many dental problems. It could be critical if not diagnosed and treated early. This is particularly about pet rabbits. Let’s take a look at some of the common rabbit dental problems.
Some people also refer to it as misalignment. This arises when the rabbit teeth, especially the incisors fail to align properly. When this happens, the ability of the rabbit to bite or chew become degraded. Misalignment could cause serious health issues for the rabbit when not treated early. This does not affect how many teeth do rabbits have.
Tooth infection is another common rabbit dental problem. In some instances, tooth infection could lead to tooth root abscesses. The issue begins when there are bacteria in the root of the tooth. This could happen when there is an untreated dental problem. When this happens, your pet could show signs of discomfort, and swelling in the face.
Most wild rabbits do not suffer from dental problems, especially overgrowth. This is because they eat a lot of food and sometimes eat something different from the normal diet. This is not the same with pet rabbits.
Cause of rabbits’ dental problem
Even when you know how many teeth do rabbits have, you should also know the cause of their dental issue. In most cases, they are unnoticed because the pet could hide the pain from the owner. The following are some of the common causes of rabbit dental disorders.
Lack of proper diet
Proper diet and care are essential to the rabbit. The dental disorder is one of the consequences when the rabbit lacks a good diet. It is the most common cause of dental issues for rabbits. Rabbits’ teeth are not the same as other animals. They grow teeth throughout their life. This means that they should be fed fiber most of the time.
Age of the rabbit
Age is a degrading factor in humans. Some activities that could be performed at a younger age might not be possible again as we grow old. This is also applicable to rabbits. Older rabbits are more prone to dental disease than baby rabbits. It is strongly advised that you inspect the teeth of older rabbits regularly.
Rabbits could also have dental disease through trauma, lack of care, and untreated wounds. For instance, the rabbit might not feed properly when it is stressed. Over time, this will lead to dental problems. Moreover, when the rabbit has an untreated injury such as a dental fracture, it could result in dental disease.
What are the symptoms of rabbit dental problems?
Knowledge of how many people do rabbits have has revealed the number of teeth. Yet, rabbits might not show any symptoms at the initial stage. But when the disease is severe, you will likely notice some changes in the rabbit. The following are some of the common symptoms you can look out for.
Untreated dental disease in rabbits could lead to facial swelling. In most cases, this is caused when there is a formation of abscesses in the root of the affected tooth or teeth. The area of the face where the swelling occurs could show the location of the tooth.
Decreased food intake
Once the disease is critical, you will likely notice a change in the eating pattern of the rabbit. In most cases, there will be a reduction in food intake. Moreover, the rabbit could be selective in the type of food it eats. In some instances, the rabbit would prefer to eat smaller and softer food. Also, when the teeth are overgrown, the tongue could be trapped. Thus, it becomes difficult for the rabbit to move around.
Signs of discomfort
The critical dental disease could make the rabbit feel uncomfortable. The rabbit will feel pain doing everything it was doing with ease before. At times, you could hear teeth grinding. The rabbit could also isolate itself from its friend. This will affect its eating pattern and other behaviors.
How to diagnose
Bunnies will hide symptoms of dental diseases most time. Proper knowledge of how many people do rabbits and diagnoses will help reveal the true status of the rabbit. Here are some of the diagnostic methods.
Treatment of dental disease is easier when the issue is detected earlier. The level and the success of the physical examination of the rabbit depend on how cooperative the rabbit is. If dental disease is suspected, the vet might give the patient anesthesia before performing other physical examinations.
The vet might not see some essential parts of the teeth during a physical examination. Thus, the use of radiographic examination is very important. For instance, radiography is needed for the examination of the jawbone and tooth root.
How to treat rabbits’ dental problem
Most dental diseases in bunnies can be managed with treatment. Since you know how many teeth do rabbits have, you should also remember that rabbits’ teeth grow throughout their lifetime. The following are some of the available treatment options for bunnies’ dental disease.
Tooth extraction could be the best option if there is a loosed, or fractured tooth, an abscessed tooth, or a misaligned tooth. The age of the rabbit and the location of the affected tooth are some of the things that would be considered before extraction. This might reduce the total of how many teeth do rabbits have. But another will grow with time.
Reduction of crown height
Crown height reduction or the reshaping of the teeth is an effective treatment method if the disease is detected early. This could also be used alongside other preventive measures. But this method could be repeated, especially when the issue is at a critical stage. Yet, the use of improper tools for the reduction could affect how many teeth do rabbits have.
A vet could also suggest surgery if that is the effective option, especially when the disease is severe. This implies that the rabbit must be in stable condition before the surgery. Moreover, the pet also needs further care before full recovery. The vet would analyze the situation before suggesting surgery.
How to prevent rabbits’ dental problems?
Though domestic rabbits are prone to dental disease, the good news is that the disease is preventable. This will also aid your knowledge of how many teeth do rabbits have. Highlighted below are some of the things you can do to prevent bunnies’ dental disease.
Rabbits will grow teeth throughout their lifetime. Thus, they need nutrients that will support their growth. They need to feed on a diet with high fiber content and chewing elements. They also require a diet with enough calcium. You should regularly feed them with good hay, pellets, vegetables, and enough water.
Bunnies love to chew. This desire helps them to maintain healthy teeth. You can encourage chewing by providing your rabbit with chewing toys.
How many teeth do rabbits have should be included in what would be examined during checkups? It is almost impossible for you to examine more than the incisors at home. You can seek the service of a vet for a proper examination. You should also report to a vet if you notice any signs.
Knowledge of how many teeth do rabbits have is good. Since rabbits are prone to dental diseases, you should also deploy some preventive practices. Some of what you can do have been highlighted in the article.