Rabbits’ teeth grow throughout their life.They are worn down to an even surface by the chewing and nibbling actions of a rabbit eating. If the incisors overgrow they may protrude from the mouth or curl round making eating and grooming progressively more difficult. Overgrowth of molar teeth causes sharp spurs which cause pain and laceration in the cheek and tongue. Drooling of saliva is often seen with molar problems. A significant and serious complication of molar problems is abscess formation.
Dental problems in rabbits can be caused by congenital defects, trauma, foreign bodies, tumours and incorrect diet. There is a progressive problem of acquired dental disease in pet rabbits that is common and due to diet and lifestyle.The first stage of disease is poor enamel quality and long tooth roots. These teeth then distort and stop wearing against one another correctly.
Overgrown incisors can either be clipped or preferably trimmed with a high speed bur. Sometimes they can return to wearing correctly.The best long term solution however is usually to extract the incisors. Molar teeth are clipped or burred under general anaesthesia. Diseased teeth may again be extracted, especially where the opposing tooth can also be removed. The procedure will need to be repeated every 3-
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