Do bearded dragons have teeth? Bearded dragons, scientifically known as Pogona vitticeps, are a species of lizards native to Australia. They can be seen in many colors and sizes, ranging from reddish-brown to yellowish-orange. As with other reptiles and lizards, they have scales covering their bodies. But do they have teeth?
- The answer is yes, Like Lizard, bearded dragons do have teeth and how many teeth does a bearded dragon have? They have a total of about 80 teeth that are located on the upper and lower jaws. These teeth are made of keratin, similar to the material used to make human fingernails and hair.
Unlike our teeth, however, bearded dragons’ teeth do not grow throughout their life and cannot be replaced if lost or damaged. Bearded dragons use their sharp teeth primarily to wrap food items while eating rather than bite or tear apart prey like some other reptiles. With these specialized tools, they can easily crush vegetation and hard-shelled insects.
Bearded dragons may also use their sharp incisors to display dominance in a social hierarchy. Male bearded dragons may sometimes show their teeth while head-bobbing, which is a courting or territorial behavior used to get the attention of potential mates or competitors.
Do Bearded Dragons Have Teeth – Types, Dragons Eat & Clean Dragons Teeth
Types Of Bearded Dragons
Bearded dragons can be divided into three types based on size and features. These include standard, leatherback, and hypo-leatherback.
Standard Bearded Dragons Teeth:
The standard bearded dragon is the most common type found in captivity. They are typically 8-18 inches long and weigh around 250 grams when fully grown. Their scales are slightly softer than other dragons, allowing them to regulate their body temperature better. They have large heads with prominent eyes and a spiky beard that gives them their name.
Leatherback Bearded Dragons Teeth:
Leatherbacks are larger than standard dragons and can grow up to 24 inches in length, and weigh up to 800 grams when fully grown. They have a harder, thicker body than the standard type, and their scales are much larger. This makes them better suited for hotter climates.
Hypo-Leatherback Bearded Dragons Teeth:
Hypo-leatherbacks are smaller than leatherbacks and can grow to about 10 inches long, weighing 200 grams when fully grown. They have the same thick scales as leatherbacks but lack the spines that differentiate between the two types.
How To Open Your Bearded Dragon’s Mouth?
1. Begin by gently stroking your bearded dragon’s neck and head to help it relax.
2. Place one hand on the back of its head and one behind its throat, then slowly open its mouth with your thumbs.
3. Be careful not to exert too much pressure or force when opening their mouths, as this can cause discomfort or harm.
4. Once you’ve opened their mouth, check for any signs of injury or infection, such as discolored gums, missing teeth, abscesses, etc.
5. Lastly, close the dragon’s mouth by pressing down lightly with both hands on either side of the jawbone until it shuts naturally.
It is important to remember to handle your bearded dragon carefully and not exert too much pressure when opening its mouth. Doing so can cause them discomfort and even harm. If you suspect any signs of injury or infection, it is best to seek veterinary care as soon as possible.
How To Clean Your Bearded Dragon’s Teeth?
- Before beginning, wash your hands thoroughly to reduce the risk of transferring any bacteria or germs that could harm your bearded dragon.
- Gently hold the dragon by its neck and lift its head upwards so that you can see inside its mouth.
- Use cotton swabs dipped in warm water and gently clean around the teeth while being careful not to scrub too hard.
- Once finished, use a soft-bristled toothbrush specifically designed for reptiles and lightly brush the teeth in small circles until they are clean.
- Lastly, rinse with warm water and dry with a clean cloth before releasing your bearded dragon back into its habitat.
What Do Bearded Dragons Eat?
- Bearded dragons are omnivorous, eating plant and animal matter.
- They should be fed various foods, including insects (crickets, mealworms, etc.), fruits, vegetables & greens (lettuce, kale, squash, etc.), and a small amount of commercial reptile food pellets or sticks.
- Insects should comprise the bulk of their diet as they provide essential nutrients for growth and health maintenance.
- Fruits and vegetables should also be offered regularly to give them additional vitamins and minerals that they may not get from their insect-based diet alone.
- Commercial reptile food pellets or sticks can also be offered as a dietary supplement but should only make up some of their diets.
Signs Your Bearded Dragon May Have Periodontal
1. Bad breath – Periodontal disease can cause a very unpleasant smell from the mouth, similar to rotten eggs.
2. Discolored gums – The gums may appear yellow or green if periodontal disease is present.
3. Unusual behavior- If your bearded dragon is unusually sluggish or unresponsive, it may indicate periodontal disease.
4. Loss of appetite – When bearded dragons have advanced periodontal disease, they may experience a drastic loss of appetite as the pain from the infection makes eating difficult.
5. Excessive drooling- Drooling is another common symptom of periodontal disease in bearded dragons.
If you suspect that your bearded dragon may be suffering from periodontal disease, bringing them to a reptilian veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment is recommended.
Periodontal Disease Treatment
- Antibiotics – Depending on the severity of the infection, your veterinarian may prescribe antibiotics to treat periodontal disease.
- Tooth extraction- If a tooth is severely damaged or affected by an infection, it may need to be removed surgically.
- Pain management – To help manage any pain associated with periodontal disease, your vet may recommend pain relief medications.
- Diet modifications – To help support the healing process, ensuring your bearded dragon has a proper and balanced diet is important.
- Follow-up visits- After treatment, follow-up visits should be scheduled regularly with your vet to ensure the infection has cleared and your bearded dragon is healthy.
Maintaining good oral hygiene, following a balanced diet, and having regular check-ups with a vet can help prevent periodontal disease in your bearded dragon and keep them living a happy and healthy life.
Do Bearded Dragons Know Their Owners?
Bearded dragons can recognize their owners and become accustomed to them. They may show signs of pleasure when being handled, such as bobbing their heads or opening their mouths. Bearded dragons can learn to trust their owners with consistent care, time, and patience.
Do Bearded Dragons Bite Hard?
No, bearded dragons rarely bite. It is usually a gentle warning bite that does not hurt if they do. It may be their way of telling you that they are uncomfortable with being handled, so it is important to respect their boundaries and take them gently.
Do Bearded Dragons’ Teeth Fall Out?
Bearded dragons do not have teeth that fall out. However, they can suffer from periodontal disease, an infection of the gums and mouth caused by bacteria. Plus, they can experience tooth decay if their diet is not balanced or if they need proper oral hygiene.
Are Bearded Dragons Poisonous?
No, bearded dragons are non-venomous and harmless to humans. They may seem intimidating due to their size and spiky appearance, but they are generally docile and good-natured.
Bearded dragons are a popular pet choice due to their docile nature, easy care needs, and attractive appearance. Although they do not have teeth that fall out, it is important to watch for signs of periodontal disease and take measures to prevent it. You can help keep your bearded dragon healthy and happy with a proper diet and regular vet check-ups.