Are you planning to get a baby guinea pig as a pet? If you are, then there may be many questions running through your mind. A common question that arises in many people’s minds when buying a baby guinea pig is – Do baby guinea pigs have teeth?
This article answers the question as mentioned above and highlights some essential details about the teeth of baby guinea pigs.
So Do Baby Guinea Pigs Have Teeth? Yes, baby guinea pigs are born with teeth. Baby guinea pigs have a proper set of teeth in the front and along their cheeks that are always growing. Even though these teeth aren’t supposed to fall out, in the case they do, they will grow back.
A majority of people assume that baby guinea pigs have baby teeth that eventually fall out as they mature, but that isn’t that case.
Guinea pigs’ teeth are consistently growing. Hence, they need to wear them out to ensure a proper length; otherwise, they may face malocclusion or misalignment of teeth.
When a baby guinea pig nibbles on grass or other foods, their teeth wear down and align properly. When the top and bottom incisors are equal in length, it means that their teeth are healthy.
How Many Teeth Do Baby Guinea Pigs Have?
A baby guinea pig is born with two upper and lower incisors that are pretty visible. Furthermore, they have a total of twenty teeth. Besides the incisors, you will find a pair of upper and lower premolars and three pairs of upper and lower molars inside your tiny pet’s mouth.
A highly interesting fact is that instead of canines, baby guinea pigs have diastema. A diastema is basically a gap between two teeth and is pretty common amongst humans and mammals.
Baby guinea pigs have open-rooted teeth that grow continuously and consistently. To address this, you need to make sure your baby guinea pig is given the correct diet. Very often, your baby guinea pig’s teeth grow too much, making it difficult for them to gnaw and chew.
The front teeth of a baby guinea pig are pretty sharp, so it is recommended not to let them nibble on anything. The enamel of their teeth is white, just like humans. Moreover, many people do not realize that guinea pigs have molars mainly because of the fat pads in their cheeks that make them invisible.
Now that you are aware of how many teeth baby guinea pigs have, it is also essential to know that your fluffy little friend’s teeth should be healthy at all times. Any sort of dental issue can affect the overall wellbeing of your baby guinea pig.
How Can I Shorten My Baby Guinea Pig’s Teeth?
If your baby guinea pig is experiencing difficulties with its overgrown teeth, you can start by taking it to a vet for teeth filings. The vet will file your baby guinea pig’s teeth every 4 to 8 weeks.
Moreover, if you provide your baby guinea pig with a proper diet, you can extend the time between the visits. However, it is recommended to take the vet’s opinion before taking any step.
How Do I Know If My Baby Guinea Pig Has Overgrown Teeth?
There are two ways to find out if your baby guinea pig has overgrown teeth.
The first indicator is weight loss. Overgrown teeth make it difficult for baby guinea pigs to chew and eat food, resulting in weight loss.
Secondly, your baby guinea pig won’t be able to shut its mouth or swallow properly if its teeth are overgrown. This leads to a lot of drooling. If the fur around your furry little friend’s mouth is usually wet, you should check for overgrown teeth.
Why Is My Baby Guinea Pig Grinding Teeth?
Baby guinea pigs grind their teeth in response to pain. Baby guinea pigs grind teeth when they face digestive issues and dental problems.
Common Baby Guinea Pig Dental Problems
Sometimes, even regardless of taking care of your baby guinea pig’s teeth, your little pet can fall prey to any one of these following diseases.
Baby guinea pigs have open-rooted teeth that are continually growing. Sometimes, the roots of your pet’s teeth can get pushed up and start growing inside their jaw. This is how elongated roots are caused.
The problem is that even an oral examination does not reveal this. However, if they have elongated roots, you will notice certain bumps in their lower jawline.
The key to finding out whether your baby guinea pig is experiencing elongated roots is to keep a check on their eyes. If their eyes are bulging or tearing, it can be a sign that the roots of their top teeth aren’t growing correctly.
Teeth that aren’t worn out properly and are overgrown are known as maloccluded teeth. Even though it seems like only the front teeth are being affected, in fact, both the front and the back teeth are affected at the same time.
As this oral problem gets worse, the ability of your baby guinea to chew will gradually deteriorate. Moreover, their front teeth won’t be receiving a reasonable level of wear, which is necessary.
Malocclusion can also cause infections, injuries, and sores in your baby guinea pig’s mouth, making it difficult for them to lose weight.
Broken Teeth and Tooth Loss
Baby guinea pigs are often susceptible to broken teeth due to various reasons, such as accidents and lack of Vitamin C. If your baby guinea pig is normal and healthy, the damaged or lost tooth will grow back relatively quickly.
Why do Baby Guinea Pigs Lose Teeth?
Now you know the answer to the question, “do baby guinea pigs have teeth?” it is time for you to know about why baby guinea pigs lose teeth.
While it is pretty uncommon for baby guinea pigs to lose teeth, when it does happen, there can be a few reasons behind it.
Your baby guinea pig can lose its teeth if it doesn’t receive proper nutrition. Especially when they are young, guinea pigs need to get appropriate doses of vitamin C through their diet. A lack of vitamin C can often result in scurvy.
In some cases, their teeth become so loose that you can move them with your finger. Loose teeth make it uber-difficult for your tiny little pet to eat.
They also ruin the alignment of the rest of their teeth. So, make sure you give your baby guinea pig at least 90 milligrams of vitamin C a day to keep its teeth healthy.
A guinea pig can injure itself pretty severely, losing a tooth or teeth in the process. Baby guinea pigs can lose teeth if they chew on hard materials or pull on cage wires.
If your guinea pig does lose its teeth, you don’t need to worry that much as their teeth grow back quickly.
Conclusion: Do Baby Guinea Pigs Have Teeth?
The answer to the question, do baby guinea pigs have teeth, is rather simple. Yes, baby guinea pigs have teeth that last them till their adulthood. They don’t have teeth that fall off as they mature, so if your baby guinea pig’s teeth are falling, you should consult a vet.