Overgrown Hamster Teeth: (+How To Keep Them Short)

Hamster’s teeth grow throughout their lives and thus need to be consistently trimmed and filed in order to keep them in good health and shape. Failing to do so may result in a harrowing situation as overgrown teeth can hinder their ability to eat and chew.

So, today we shall understand more about overgrown teeth in Hamsters and about how to keep them short!

In the wild, Hamsters chew in tree branches, hay, and other natural wood that helped to keep their teeth in shape. Therefore, even in captivity, we must provide them with a lot of chew toys, and safe/solid wood blocks or tree branches to keep our little one’s teeth in shape.

Some Hamster might have longer teeth even after foraging and chewing on toys. In such cases, it is advised to visit a vet.

Also, only if you are experienced, you can choose to trim their teeth at home. However, most owners prefer to get it done professionally by a vet.

Picture Credits: Nelson, The Syrian Hamster; Instagram Handle: nelsonandnorma

Why Do Hamsters Have Long Teeth?

The teeth of a Hamster continue to grow throughout their life due to the diet and living oconditions.

In the wild, Hamsters usually get a lot of hay, flowers, hardwood chips, and twigs as food. On the other hand, in captivity, we end up providing them with more treats, veggies, and soft hay, which is not enough to grind their teeth as needed.

For Hamsters in the wild, the roughage was enough to keep their teeth in shape. However, most Hamsters don’t get enough chew toys and a well-balanced diet to keep their teeth in shape.

As a result, many Hamster owners often find their little ones in pain at some point in their life. Hamsters need a lot of chew toys, solid but safe woodblocks, and branches to keep their teeth in shape.

How Long Should Hamster Teeth Be?

IncisorsHamsters have long, straight & brownish-yellow upper & lower incisors. Usually, the upper incisors overlap the lower incisors so that the Hamsters can shut their mouths properly.
Pre-molarPremolars are typically located inside the mouth of your Hamster and are not apparent in most circumstances. Since Hamsters don’t have a canine, they have empty space, followed by premolars. If they are visible, though, then it means that there is a problem.
MolarsAt the other end of the jaw, the molars are found and they are not visible to us. However they are generally smaller and encourage Hamsters to easily shut their mouth. Hamsters grind back their molar like incisors when chewing.

One of the most common health issues in Hamsters are dental problems. Make sure you look out for signs of discoloration, misalignment, sharp edges, and overgrown teeth. This can be a painful situation for little ones.

Do Hamster’s Teeth Continue To Grow?

Yes, the teeth of a Hamster grow throughout their lives. It may become too long if we don’t provide them with adequate care.

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

The main reasons of overgrown teeth in Hamsters is lack of proper diet balance and lack of chew toys.

How Fast Do Hamster’s Teeth Grow?

The rate of growth depends upon a lot of factors. If you trim your Hamster’s teeth regularly, they may grow around 4-5 mm every week or sometimes even more.

Their teeth generally grow inward, and it may hurt their gums and chin when overgrown.

Overgrown molars are the worst as it makes food swallowing really tough for our Hamsters.

The best way to keep their teeth in shape is to provide them with good quality hay and wooden chew toys.

Providing your Hamster with the wrong mix of diet i.e., more vegetables and treat and less hay and chewable can result in overgrown teeth.

Also Read:

What Happens If My Hamster’s Teeth Are Overgrown?

Overgrown teeth accompanies a lot of other health complications in Hamsters. Some of the common health problems are listed below:

  • Your little ones won’t be able to close their mouth completely.
  • If your Hamster does’t not chew food due to their overgrown teeth, they may starve to death within 48 hours.
  • An overgrown teeth may cut through their tongue and gums as they struggle to chew their food. This can lead to a lot of bacterial infection.
  • Overgrown teeth may become brittle, which increases the chances of breaking and having sharp edges on the same.
  • Your Hamsters might also have problem breathing as they are obligate nasal breathers.
  • Your Hamsters will stop to groom themselves. This will lead to poor hygiene, followed by countless other health problems.

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

A Hamster’s teeth grow throughout their lives, therefore it may grow disfigured. As a result, One or the other teeth might end up penetrating your Hamster’s gums and skin.

How Do I Know If My Hamster’s Teeth Are Too Long?

You must look out for a few visual and behavioral yo understand that your Hamster’s teeth have grown too long. Some of the signs are:

  • Reluctant to eat: If your Hamsters have overgrown teeth then they will mostly avoid their food. This is because they a tough time chewing their food due to their long teeth.
  • Discoloration of their teeth: Hamsters usually have yellowish teeth. If your Hamster has bright white teeth, then it might be a sign that something is wrong with their enamel. This can also be a sign of overgrown teeth.
  • Look out for sharpness: Your Hamster’s teeth may be long but it should never be sharp. If their teeth look sharp, this means it’s time to give them a trim.
  • Eye or nasal discharge: The roots of a Hamster’s teeth grow inward. When overgrown, it creates pressure at their nasal passage and leads to eye or nasal discharge.
Picture Credits: Mouse, The Syrian Hamster; Instagram Handle: thehamstercalledmouse

Note: It is important to keep track of your Hamster’s dental health. Regular inspections and early reviews can prevent a lot of major health issues in the long run.

How Do I Keep My Hamster’s Teeth Healthy?

One of the best ways to keep your Hamster’s teeth healthy is by providing them an appropriate amount of vegetables and treats in their diet.

Along with the diet, it is crucial to provide your Hamster with a bunch of toys and other stuff to chew on. This will make sure that their teeth get in shape naturally. You can also consider the following:

Also, never give your Hamsters cheap and inferior quality toys. It is recommended to not give them cat and dog chew toys as mostly they are made up of flimsy plastic and are huge for our Hamsters as well.

You can also add cardboard in your Hamster’s enclosure. However, you must keep an eye on your Hamsters as they might end up ingesting a lot of shredded pieces leading to intestinal blockage.

I personally have 3 different sets of toys for my Hamster, and I rotate them every time I deep clean their cage. This ensures that they never get bored with it, also they will have varieties of toys and surfaces to chew on.

You can check out this, Hamster Chew Toys, your Hamster will surely love it.

How Do I Check My Hamster’s Teeth?

Checking your Hamster’s teeth is a much difficult task than we think. By some way,, we can check their front incisors and ensure the same is in perfect shape.

However, checking their premolars and molars might need a trip to a professional vet.

It is very difficult to check your Hamster’s molars without keeping them under anesthetics. Vets are also most likely to use some sort of anesthetics to check their molars.

You need to watch out for other signs of overgrown teeth and see a vet if you’re uncertain.

Looking at their incisors will even give you a strong perspective. The incisors must be around 1/2-3/4 inch long, with the upper teeth overlapping the lower teeth.

If you find them longer or note that your Hamster is having a hard time holding his mouth closed, it’s a sign of overgrown teeth.

How To Keep My Hamster’s Teeth Short?

In the wild, Hamsters continuously chew on rough natural wood to keep their teeth healthy and in shape. In the same way, domestic Hamsters need to replicate their wild counterparts to ensure they have a healthy teeth.

Proving your Hamsters with a lot of rough natural wood and other chew toys is important to keep your Hamster’s teeth in the right shape.

Besides keep your little one’s teeth strong, chew toys are an excellent way to keep your Hamster’s entertained.

In some cases, even after doing eveything correctly, your Hamster might end up with overgrown teeth. In such cases, the only wat left is to trim down the teeth manually.

You can either get their teeth trimmed by a professional vet or you can manually trim their teeth at home. It is advised to do it yourself only if you have no other option left. The best option is to get it done by a vet.

Also, if your Hamster is suffering from any kind of dental problems, then it is recommended to serve them first cut timothy hay.

This type of high is rich in fiber by slightly lower in other nutrients. However, they are an excellent way to keep your Hamster’s teeth in shape.

Never provide your Hamsters with alfalfa hay as this type of hay has a high amount of calcium content. It can also lead to other health complications such as urinary tract infection and bladder/kidney stones.

Note: Trimming of a Hamster’s teeth is a very risky process, and you must always allow trained personnel do to the same. However, in case of an emergency or unavailability, you may attempt the same but with extra caution.

How Do I Trim My Hamster’s Teeth At Home?

Although trimming your Hamster’s teeth is not impossible, but it might not be as easy as it looks.

It is advised to attempt this only if you have steady hands, and you are confident about it.

Hamsters can get aggressive real quick as they do not enjoy when someone touches their mouth or nose area.

Therefore, you must be prepared for that. You must have someone sitting by your side, to hold your Hamsters just in case you are attempting it for the first time.

Also, you might need a few tools to get the process done:

You must make an attempt only when you are well equipped. So, here we go:

  • Once you get your Hamster out of their enclosure, give them a little time to be comfortable around you. Place them on a stable surface like a table top or countertop.
  • Then, wrap your Hamster with a towel to ensure they remain still and calm.
  • Open your Hamster’s mouth. Also, make sure that your hand as well as their tongue is out of the way.
  • Take any of the above mentioned tooth clippers which you may find suitable for the task and clip a small amount of tooth from the upper incisor. Make sure you do it little by little. Do not cut a large portion of the teeth at once or you may hurt your Hamsters. Also, trim one incisor at a time.
  • Once you are done, move to the bottom tooth and then repeat the process.

If your Hamsters have an overgrown molar or they do not allow you to cut their teeth, then it is recommended to visit a vet and get it done professionally.

Please do not make an attempt to trim their teeth by force pr against their will. You can hurt their gums or tongue badly.

How Much Does It Cost To Get A Hamster’s Teeth Trimmed?

The average cost to get your Hamster’s teeth trimmed should be anywhere between 80$-150$. However, the cost may vary from vet to vet.

The cost mainly depends on the area or state you live in and the availability of the service.

You can choose to negotiate with the clinic to settle for a low pay per visit if your Hamster’s teeth need regular trimming.

Also, you can get your little one’s teeth trimmed on an outpatient basis, under anesthetic.

Before doing it, you must ensure that you understand fully what this means. Your Hamsters may not be allowed to eat a few hours before the treatment.

Hamster’s Teeth Falling Out!

It can be a worrying situation if your Hamster’s teeth fall out. There are several reasons due to which their teeth may fall out. Some of the reasons are listed below:

  • A lack of Vitamin C, Calcium, and other essential nutrients in your Hamster’s diet, can weaken their teeth, which in turn can lead to falling out.
  • Your Hamster’s teeth might get displaced due to a physical injury and their teeth can eventually fall out.
  • Excessive pulling or chewing on cage wires can break your Hamster’s teeth.
  • Though it is rare, in some cases, Hamsters born with genetic problems may have a brittle set of teeth which may come out easily.

There are a lot of other reasons such as the removal of teeth by the vet due to medical complications and more.

However, the most crucial thing is to check if there are any sharp edges left behind, then you might need to trim the same before it ends up hurting your little ones.

Can Hamster’s Teeth Grow Back?

Your Hamsters might end up losing their teeth at any time in their life while eating, playing, or due to some physical injury.

Picture Credits: Dora, The Syrian Hamster; Instagram Handle: thehamstercalledmouse

In most cases, the root does not get damaged. Therefore, their teeth will grow back naturally as long as the root is not damaged permanently.

If your Hamster loses any of their teeth, it is possible that they do not show any signs of discomfort or ill effect. However, you must keep a check on their teeth. A rough broken tooth might have sharp edges that can injure their gums or tongue.

If your Hamster’s broken tooth start to grow back crooked, it is advised to take them to the vet to avoid any complication in the future.

Also, you must keep in mind that every tooth grows at a different rate, therefore you might need to trim the longer teeth to maintain the shape.

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Mohini

Hello, I am Mohini, the founder of this blog. I am a qualified Animal Nutrition. I am here to help everyone understand their pets better.

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