What should I do if Rabbits with overgrown teeth?

How do rabbits grow? Rabbit tooth care precautions? Rabbits have teeth that are constantly growing and these teeth can be problematic.

Knowing how to trim your rabbit’s teeth and what to do if they appear to be growing too large can help prevent serious problems.

Normal rabbit teeth

Rabbits have 28 permanent teeth. Most herbivores, including rabbits, hamsters, and horses, have long, continuous, very long teeth above and below the gum line.

The front teeth are called incisors and they are most often noticed, but rabbits also have molars at the back of the mouth, which can be a problem as they are harder to see.

Normal rabbit teeths

How do rabbit teeth grow so long?

The natural crushing action that occurs when rabbits chew on fibrous plants often wears down their teeth enough to keep them at their desired length despite their constant growth. But pet rabbits often have to have their teeth trimmed manually due to many health, environmental and genetic factors.

While many rabbits may have overgrown teeth, the incisors are most visible when they are full. They can grow so long that they can start to curl up and stick out between the bunny’s lips.

This is a problem because they can get stuck on things like cage bars, or worse, they can grow into the rabbit’s gums or palate.

But just like incisors, molars can also become too long. Molars are difficult to see without using a special instrument called a speculum in the back of the mouth, so rabbit owners often don’t know if these teeth are too large.

Rabbits and other exotic pets with overgrown molars tend to drool excessively and have difficulty chewing and swallowing, although these are good signs your rabbit needs to look out for.

If the rabbit cannot eat, the ileum can grow rapidly and become life-threatening.

How to deal with overgrown rabbit incisors?

Fortunately, you can easily manage your rabbit’s overgrown front teeth. Trimming teeth is painless if done correctly, but there are two commonly used methods.

Method 1 – Nail clippers

The first method used to trim a rabbit’s teeth is to use regular dog nail clippers to trim the teeth, just like trimming toenails, but this method is not the preferred method of trimming the teeth.

There is a high risk of cracked or split teeth due to the force required to use the scissors. This method can cause pain if the tooth is split to the nerve or cut too short.

Method 2 – Rotate Tool

The second method requires the use of a hand-held rotating instrument, such as a Dremel instrument or an auger, to cut off the excess tooth.

This method requires more skill and sometimes requires anesthesia or sedation to keep the rabbit still, but can be easily done in a veterinary office.

This method does not cause trauma to the teeth or nerves. The only concern is that if the knife accidentally scratches the gums or lips, or if the teeth are trimmed too short, it could hurt the gums or lips.

Teeth trimming is available at low cost at many exotic pet hospitals, but your rabbit may need a sedative for the procedure to be done safely and correctly.

What should I do if Rabbits with overgrown teeth?

Treatment of overgrown rabbit teeth

Trimming rabbit molars is more difficult than trimming incisors. Rabbit owners don’t easily see molars, so they may not see overgrown molars until the rabbit has problems eating or drooling.

Your veterinarian will use a speculum to look at the molars and confirm that they are too long.

Next, your rabbit must be sedated to cut the molars. Use a toothpick or special file to smooth these teeth, but a dental x-ray may also be recommended to see if overgrown teeth are diseased and need to be extracted.

How to Prevent Rabbits from Overgrowing Teeth

While there is no way to stop your rabbit’s teeth from growing, there are simple steps you can take to prevent them from overgrowing.

1. Dental Exam

If possible, check your pet’s teeth weekly for signs of overgrowth.

2. Fiber foods

Feed your rabbit a high-fiber diet to help them grind their teeth and mimic what they eat in the wild. Leafy greens like grass, kale, and hay are all good for rabbits.

3. Chew toys

Chew toys are vital to your rabbit’s oral health, so provide plenty of safe items for your rabbit to chew on. Safe wood blocks and other plants, specialty bunny chews, and homemade toys are all good options.


Hopefully, through this article, you will learn more about rabbit health. Remember to watch out for overgrown teeth in rabbits as it can greatly affect their health.

Feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions. I will reply!

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