Your gerbils’ teeth are very important to their health - gerbils eat a lot of hard foods, and so their teeth have evolved to grow constantly in order to cope with the wear and tear. If their teeth are damaged, or allowed to grow too long then your pets will have a lot of trouble eating and grooming themselves, so it’s wise to keep an eye on them.
Your gerbils' teeth are really important, so it's good to keep a close eye on them
To check your pet’s teeth, hold your pet on your lap, and very gently try to open their mouth - if this proves difficult, you can also very slowly lift up their lip a little to see the state of their teeth. Below are some things to be on the lookout for:
- Check the length of the teeth
Your pet’s teeth should be relatively even in length. If one of them is significantly shorter than the other, then it means that one of them has broken. If the difference in length is particularly obvious then this may mean that your pet needs to be taken to the vets to receive treatment.
Another potential problem is that your gerbil’s teeth are overgrown. Unfortunately, it’s very difficult to tell whether this is the case just by looking at them. A much better way of determining whether or not they are too long is to check whether or not your pet has any difficulty eating, so try offering them a bit of their favourite food and see if they seem keen. If they are interested in the food but seem unable to eat it, then there may be a problem.
- Check the shape of the teeth
Are the teeth properly aligned? Are they growing in the same directions as the ones next to them? If not, this could indicate a problem such as bar rub - misaligned and differently-shaped teeth can cause problems when it comes to eating and grooming.
- Check that your pet can eat
Ultimately, one of the most important aspects of your pets dental health is that they are able to eat properly. It’s wise to be constantly aware of how much your pets eat - this is one of the big, obvious indicators of their dental (and general) health.
Your pets' teeth should be nice and straight, not misaligned
If there is anything seriously wrong with your pets’ teeth, we recommend that you take them to a vet to get treated. You may only need to do this once, as vets often are able to give patients’ owners instructions on how to deal with the problem should it come up again. We can’t stress how important it is that you don’t try to treat the problem yourself without first receiving veterinary advice. Gerbils experience pain just as we do, and their teeth are very important to them - a poor treatment could be a severely painful and unpleasant experience.