Most people who are planning to buy a bearded dragon will wonder what are some of the dangers that come with owning one. Like most animals, when provoked or scared, they will become very aggressive. When this happens, most animals will use their teeth to defend themselves. Therefore, most will wonder if bearded dragons have teeth or not?
Bearded dragons do have teeth and it’s used primarily for feeding. The front teeth are used to catch and hold insects such as crickets and mealworms. The back teeth are used to chew their food. Other than feeding, they also use their teeth to bite when engaged in a fight or to defend their territory.
If your planning to buy a bearded dragon, their teeth are one important element that can’t be ignored. Without their teeth, they will have a hard time catching and eating their food. This could lead to them being sick and have other health issues.
Therefore, it’s important to know a little about their teeth and how to properly care for them so they will live a happy and healthy life.
Bearded Dragon’s Teeth
Bearded dragons two different types of teeth. One of them is called acrodont teeth. These teeth are fused to the jaw bone. Acrodont teeth are found towards the back of their mouths. They are primarily used for chewing foods.
The other teeth are called pleurodont teeth, which have roots and can fall out. These are located at the front of the mouth. There are only a few of them and it’s generally used for biting foods.
Their teeth will vary in shape and size depending on the species. The pleurodont teeth are long and sharp, while the acrodont teeth are short and triangle-shaped.
Their teeth help them eat a range of insects and plants. In the wild, there are a variety of insects to eat. Since they will encounter different types of insects each day, their teeth are well-suited to eat anything that crosses their path.
How Many Teeth Does a Bearded Dragon Have?
The number of teeth a bearded dragon has will vary from one to the others. For the acrodont teeth, some will have between 11 to 17 on each side of the upper jaw. On the lower jaw, there will be 13 to 20 on each side.
For the pleurodont teeth, a bearded dragon will have 4 on both the lower and upper jaw. Larger species of bearded dragons will have pleurodont teeth that are even, while smaller species will have uneven teeth.
Do Bearded Dragons Teeth Grow Back?
Unfortunately, the majority of bearded dragon’s teeth do not grow back.
Their teeth are really strong and will last their entire life. However, as the bearded dragon age, their teeth will begin to wear. Sometimes, it will wear to their jaw bone and this is normal for adult bearded dragons.
As long as the bearded dragon is fed properly, you should never have to worry about them losing any teeth. Calcium is the most important minerals for bearded dragons as their bone and teeth need it to keep it strong.
However, if you notice the bearded dragons are losing teeth, then there is an underlying issue. It’s important to find the issue as soon as possible. Letting the issue persist could lead to more teeth loss and even death can occur.
6 Reasons They May Lose Their Teeth
There are many reasons why a bearded dragon may lose their teeth. Instead of going through all of them, below are the 6 main reasons why they may lose their teeth:
- Gingivitis – This means the bearded dragon has gum disease which causes the gum around the teeth to recede. If you notice they have gingivitis, this is permanent and their gums will not grow back. Since their teeth are over-exposed, it will make it vulnerable.
- Stress – When bearded dragons get stressed, their usual response will be to bang their head against an object. Stress can be brought on by their environment or the size of the cage. These reptiles need a large cage to move around. Also, try to mimic their natural environments as much as possible.
- Soft Food – Too much soft food can be a bad thing for bearded dragons. In their diet, they need both soft food and hard food to keep their teeth strong. Soft food is things such as vegetables. Hard food can be things such as crickets and roaches.
- Nutrition – Bearded dragons require the proper amount of calcium in their diet to keep their teeth healthy. Too much or too little of calcium can cause their teeth to have problems.
- Fighting – This is usually an issue if you have more than one bearded dragon in the same cage. These reptiles are territorial and will fight each other for it. During a fight, they will bite each other and may result in a loss of the tooth.
- Weak Immune System – When the bearded dragon is sick or ill, teeth loss may occur. This happens due to their teeth being weakened by an illness. The teeth can become brittle and biting anything hard could break their teeth off.
How To Tell If Your Bearded Dragon Is Losing Teeth?
Bearded dragon’s teeth are what helps them catch and eat their food. Without teeth, it will make it harder for them to eat their food. Therefore, it’s important that they have all their teeth intact.
Sometimes, they may lose their teeth and it may cause health problems. Below are some of the signs to look for if they are suffering from tooth issues:
Eating – You may notice the bearded dragon is eating slowly than normal, or not even eating at all. This is usually what happens when they bite down on their food and it causes pain.
Swelling – There may be swelling around the mouth area when the bearded dragon is having teeth issues. The swelling will be around the problem teeth. The swelling will make their mouth larger than usual.
Teeth Changing Color – The teeth of the bearded dragon will change to different colors if it has issues. The colors you should look for are green, black, brown, and yellow. Each of these colors means different things. Therefore, it’s best to consult with a veterinary so they’ll be able to tell exactly what the issue is.
Red Gums – This is a concern for the bearded dragon as it can affect their overall health. When the gums turn red, it a sign of gum disease. If you notice this, take the bearded dragon to the veterinary right away.
Mucus – There will be an increase of mucus in their mouth if there’s an issue with their teeth. The mucus may even flow down their mouth as well.
Weight Loss – They will begin to lose weight due to not being able to eat. If you noticed they are getting smaller, their skin becomes saggy than usual, check their teeth first.
How To Prevent Tooth Damage To Bearded Dragons
Bearded dragons require both soft and hard food. It’s not recommended to feed them strictly soft food as it could cause damage to their teeth. Soft foods can include anything that is plant matters, fruits, and vegetables.
Soft foods cause damage to their teeth by getting stuck in between and around their teeth. As time goes by, these buildup of food will start to cause teeth issues.
As for hard food, they should be fed crickets, mealworms, superworms, and beetles. These are the staple food that they are accustomed to. Hard food will not get stuck on their teeth often so there will be less chance for teeth issues.
Environment & Stress
It’s important to provide them with a stress-free environment. This means the cage should be the correct size for your species of bearded dragons. The cage should be large enough where they are able to move around freely without having to bump into anything.
As for the environment, you should try to mimic their natural habitat as much as possible. Their natural habitat consists of woodlands and desserts. They spend most of their time in trees and bushes. When it gets too hot, they will bury themselves in the ground. Therefore, you should have decorations of trees, bushes, and rocks. As for burying, putting a hidebox in the enclosure will provide them a place to hide in.
Should You Clean Bearded Dragon Teeth?
It’s recommended to clean your bearded dragon teeth. It should be done as part of your routine care. Cleaning their teeth will help prevent disease and promote a healthier life.
As humans, without any cleaning, the food they eat will start to accumulate on their teeth known as plaque. All of this plaque, if not cleaned, will start to harden into tartar.
Cleaning their teeth should be done a couple of times per week. This will help slow down the bacterial action.
When cleaning bearded dragon’s teeth, you’ll need a cotton bud that’s soaked in a chlorhexidine solution.
Chlorhexidine is an antiseptic and disinfectant that’s effective again viruses, fungus, and bacteria. This solution is considered non-toxic and safe to clean the teeth of the bearded dragons.
This solution is only effective when it’s used at full strength. The concentration needs to be at the correct level for it to be effective and won’t cause the bearded dragon any harm. The concentration could be as little as 0.05 or 0.2%. If you are unsure, discuss this with a veterinary that specializes in reptiles.
Is a bearded dragon bite dangerous?
Bearded dragons are not aggressive and holding them will not cause them to bite. However, if they are handled roughly, these reptiles may bite. The bite will cause a painful injury due to their sharp teeth. Bearded dragons have venom in their saliva, but it’s not toxic to humans. However, you’ll want to wash off the wound with antibacterial soap to prevent infection.
Dan got started with his first reptile, which was a green iguana, at the age of 10. From there, he has raised many different species of reptiles. Besides caring for reptiles, he enjoys woodworking, playing basketball, and spending free time with my 4 wonderful kids.