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The Tooth About Guinea Pig Teeth

The Tooth About Guinea Pig Teeth

Guinea pig teeth can become a troublesome health issue for many of our little friends. Especially older pigs seem prone to guinea pig teeth problems. That’s why we’ve put together the ultimate guide to the right guinea pig floss-ophy (don’t worry, you don’t actually have to use floss with your pigs) that keeps your cavies cavities-free.
Find out the tooth about guinea pigs teeth and answers to your most urgent questions, including ‘How many teeth does a guinea pig have?’ and ‘How long should guinea pig teeth be?’!

1. How many teeth does a guinea pig have?

How many teeth do guinea pigs have? They have 20 teeth. Pictured is a smiling guinea pig with a magnifying glass over their teeth

Guinea pigs have a total of 20 teeth - that’s 12 less than an adult person! Guinea pigs have

  • 4 incisors
  • 4 premolars
  • 12 molars

You’ve probably spotted your pets’ incisors, the long teeth at the front of their mouth. Your guinea pigs’ incisors cut off pieces of food. That’s how they manage to eat even the crispiest carrots. The food then moves to their premolars and molars, a guinea pigs’ back teeth, in the back of their mouths. The molars grind the food down, so the pigs can swallow their snack comfortably. Very important for the little food lovers!

2. What are the guinea pigs teeth called?

Pictured is a guinea pig skull with labels on their teeth: incisors, premolars, and molars.

Guinea pigs have

  • incisors
  • premolars
  • molars

3. How long should guinea pig teeth be?

How long should guinea pig teeth be? Pictured is a guinea pig with a ruler next to their teeth, showing that the incisors should be around 0.6 inches or 1.5 centimeters long.

Guinea pig teeth grow their entire lives - around a whooping 2.9 in (7.5 cm) per year. The tooth is, there is no one right length for guinea pig teeth. The incisors are usually around 0.6 in (1.5 cm) long in a healthy guinea pig, but they constantly grow and wear themselves down.

So how can you tell how long guinea pig teeth should be? If they’re working fine, don’t injure the pig’s mouth, and are even and white, your guinea pig’s teeth are probably okay.
If you’re worried that your guinea pig has long teeth because your pig isn’t eating well, is drooling, or seems in pain, it’s best to head to the vet for a thorough check.

Ever wondered about guinea pig kisses? Take a look at this smooch-able blog!

4. How do I check my guinea pigs’ teeth?

Regular checks can prevent guinea pig teeth problems. Pictured is a guinea pig saying, 'I love my hooman's lap.'

It’s always a great idea to perform a weekly health check on your piggies. Simply add the teeth check to your to-do list and get another pair of hands on board for piggy handling.
Here is our simple step-by-step guide for your guinea pig teeth check:

  1. Wash your hands
  2. Ask someone to hold your guinea pig securely in their lap
  3. Sit in front of your pet
  4. Use your forefinger and thumb to gently open your pig’s mouth
  5. Check the incisors are even, white, and the lower set fits under the upper set
  6. Check for visible sores or injuries in your pet’s mouth
  7. Give your pig their favorite treat - they deserve it
  8. Well done, you’re finished!

The premolars and molars are in the back of your pigs’ mouths, so your vet can check them more easily at the annual wellbeing check.

Another piggy part to check during the weekly check are their nails.

5. How do I keep my guinea pigs’ teeth healthy?

Guinea pig teeth grow all their lives, so they wear them down by chewing. Pictured is a guinea pig eating hay from a hay bag.

Your piggies’ dental health is mostly about their diet. In the wild, guinea pigs keep their teeth trimmed by chewing on long grasses. In our homes, we can offer good-quality hay and grass to keep our piggies’ teeth healthy. You can keep your pets’ hay in a hay bag or rack, or a large pile in their cage.
They also need plenty of vitamin C in their food, so remember: a piece of bell pepper a day keeps the vet away. If you add the right pellets and treats, your pig has the best chance for great dental health. Let’s prevent cavities in cavies!
Top tip: wooden accessories can also encourage your pig to chew more and steer clear of guinea pig long teeth.

6. What are common guinea pig teeth problems?

The most common guinea pig teeth problems are

  • abscesses and ulcers
  • fractures and tooth loss
  • infections and mouth sores
  • plaque
  • malocclusion (teeth that don’t align)
There are many different guinea pig teeth problems. Pictured is a guinea pig with a toothache.

    Guinea pigs teeth that are either too long, broken, or lost can lead to other dental problems. If you notice any of the above guinea pig dental problems, you should book your pet in for a vet visit immediately. Often, if a guinea pig’s mouth is sore, they’ll stop eating which can become very dangerous for our furry potatoes.

    7. Guinea pig broken top teeth - what do I do?

    If a guinea pig has broken top teeth, it's best to contact their vet. Pictured is a phone, calling the vet.

    If you notice your guinea pig has broken top teeth, don’t lose your nerve! You should call your nearest exotics vet immediately. They can treat your poor piggy for pain and possible infection, and also book them in to sort out the guinea pig teeth problem. Often, when you find a guinea pig with broken top teeth, they need to be filed down to the same length.
    A guinea pig with broken top teeth may need regular check-ups and sometimes even regular teeth trimming. Your vet will let you know when they’d like to see you again.

    8. My guinea pig’s back teeth are too long - what now?

    Vets can help with pain, infection, and guinea pig teeth trimming. Pictured is a guinea pig at a vet practice.

    A guinea pig’s back teeth are known as their molars, and they grind down your piggy’s food. If your guinea pig’s back teeth are too long, it’s time to call an exotics vet. They can safely perform guinea pig teeth trimming, so your pet can go back to enjoying their favorite snacks.

    FAK - Frequently Asked Kavees: 1. Do guinea pigs have baby teeth? Unlike people, guinea pigs don’t have baby teeth. A guinea pig’s teeth grow all their lives, so they simply wear down their teeth by chewing. 2. Do guinea pigs have canine teeth? Guinea pigs don’t have canine teeth. In fact, there’s a gap in their mouths where other animals have canine teeth. That’s because guinea pigs are herbivores, meaning they live off plants. No need for canine teeth here! 3. Do guinea pigs teeth ever stop growing? Guinea pig teeth never stop growing. They grow around 2.9 in (7.5 cm) per year, the same length as a credit card. 4. Can dental disease in guinea pigs ever heal? Unfortunately, guinea pigs are often stuck with guinea pig teeth problems. After a guinea pig teeth trimming, piggies need regular check-ups at the vet and even regular guinea pig teeth trimmings to keep them eating well.

    Conclusion

    The best hack to stop guinea pig teeth problems is the right diet. Add piles of hay to your pigs’ home, plus a few wooden accessories, and the little pets can keep their teeth nice and clean. Regular guinea pigs teeth checks are also a great idea. Your vet can help you sort out any problems.

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