Caring for Your Bearded Dragon’s Teeth
How to Watch for Signs of Periodontal Disease
Did you know that bearded dragons are born with their teeth? That’s right—they can chomp on vegetation from day one. Unlike our teeth, your beardy’s teeth are fused to his jawbone. But there is one similarity between your teeth and your bearded dragon’s teeth: They must be cared for to avoid any oral or periodontal problems.
As the School of Veterinary Medicine at UC Davis reported, bearded dragons and other lizards are prone to periodontal diseases—infection of the gums—mostly due to their diet. It is important to include dental care in your overall care plan for your pet dragon. These are a few tips to keep in mind as you care for your bearded dragon’s teeth:
- Check his teeth regularly. This article from LafeberVet includes a helpful photo and description of how to get your bearded dragon to open his mouth. Generally, using your thumb and forefinger, you will apply some gentle pressure above his mouth near his eyes on both sides of his head. Once his mouth is open, look for any changes in the condition of his teeth and gums: Signs of inflammation, discoloration, rot, or broken or missing teeth.
- Clean his teeth twice a week. Using a small cotton ball moistened with water, gently wipe your beardy’s teeth and gums. Do not use toothpaste! You can ask your veterinarian about using a diluted antiseptic solution to prevent viruses, fungus, and bacteria.
- Provide ongoing preventative dental care. Keep his teeth healthy and strong with regular checkups and manage his risk for oral disease. Ask your veterinarian to check your pet’s teeth during his annual checkups.
- Be mindful of your pet’s diet. Feeding your bearded dragon too much fruit or too many soft-bodied insects can impact his oral health. Aim to offer a well-rounded diet and a variety of foods and insects. Also make sure your pet is getting enough calcium, either through dusting or gut loading his insects or feeding him calcium-rich insects like Phoenix Worms and BSF Larvae.
If you have concerns about your bearded dragon’s teeth, reach out to your veterinarian right away. Keep his teeth pearly white with ongoing dental care and a diet of high-quality feeder insects from ABDragons!