Ever wondered why a rabbit is constantly shaking its head, grinding its teeth, and sometimes even making popping sounds?
The explanation lies in the fact that rabbits’ teeth continue growing throughout their lives. This means they have to grind them down, as if on perpetual chewing gum, or risk them getting too long. Why they can’t just use their front paws to keep their teeth trimmed is still unknown.
So when you see your bunny shaking its head and grinding its teeth, it’s not because it’s angry or annoying – it’s just keeping its chompers in check!
Are their teeth similar to ours?
No, their teeth are very different from humans. Rabbits have open-rooted, incisors that grow throughout its life. These teeth are constantly cutting against each other and the lower jaw is pulled forward in order for this process to take place. Their teeth are designed differently which makes grinding them down a necessary daily task.
What would happen if they didn’t grind their teeth?
If rabbits didn’t grind their teeth, their incisors would continue growing until they inhibited the rabbit’s ability to eat and drink. The overgrown teeth can also curve inward and puncture the roof of the mouth or the soft tissue of the lip.
Why are some rabbits are more prone to grinding?
Although all rabbits grind their teeth, there are some factors that may increase the frequency of tooth grinding in a given individual. Factors may include genetics, problems with the teeth or jaw, gastrointestinal stasis (e.g. from hairballs), pain (such as dental problems, arthritis, etc.), and environment (loud noises).