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Why Do Gerbils Grind Their Teeth? (Explained)

It is amazing how nature distinctively creates every animal with an instinct to know when something is amiss. 

Humans know when to brush and floss their teeth, and gerbils know when to grind their teeth. 

You might be curious as to why your gerbil is grinding its teeth. Could it be that your gerbil is angry or sick, or could it be that your gerbil is doing what it needs to do to have healthy teeth?

Let’s find out why gerbils grind their teeth.

Why do gerbils grind their teeth?

A gerbil grinds their teeth as an act of filing down their teeth to prevent them from overgrowing. Overgrown teeth cause dental health problems including the development of sores, infection, and loss of weight due to difficulty in eating or drinking. Grinding of teeth naturally keeps the teeth to a good level.

Gerbils Need Suitable Material for Gnawing

Did you know that your gerbil needs an ample supply of gnawing materials, such as cardboard and/or wood?

If your gerbil’s teeth grow too long your gerbil will develop potential dental problems.

If they are unable to grind their teeth, not only will your gerbil develop dental problems, but also serious health problems as well such as infections due to sores created in the mouth due to overgrown teeth tearing the cheeks.

If this happens it could also lead to your gerbil’s demise. If your gerbil is constantly grinding its teeth, don’t worry. Now you know why. However, you can always help.

Need to Know Facts About Your Gerbils Teeth

A gerbil has a set of 16 teeth, but the most important teeth are the grinding teeth. The set includes 4 incisor teeth for biting, and 12 molars for grinding.

They do not have canine teeth. They are instead replaced by a diastema teeth spacer that separates teeth of different functions.

A gerbil’s bottom incisors should not grow longer than ¼ inch or 6 millimeters and the top incisors should not be more than 1/8 of an inch or 3 millimeters. 

Any teeth grown beyond these measurements pose a health risk. Your gerbil’s instinct will guide your gerbil to sharpen and grind its teeth before it becomes a major concern. 

Never underestimate your gerbil. At this point, it seems that your gerbil knows more about teeth grinding than you. 

Do not take it personally, just get to know the needs of your pet and how you can assist in making sure your gerbil stays happy and stress-free.

What Can You Do to Help Your Gerbil with its Grinding Process?

You can check your gerbil’s teeth regularly and make sure they are not growing too long since they do grow at an alarming rate. This is particularly true of their front teeth.

If your gerbil teeth are overgrown, you need to take your gerbil to the vet and have them ground. 

Chewing on objects keeps your gerbils’ teeth at their regular length and prevents them from experiencing dental problems over time. 

Provide them with chew toys and tree barks from Mulberry, Magnolia, or Poplar trees which are safe and can be bought from the pet store. 

If the chew items are not toxic, your gerbil will be just fine. 

If your gerbil also loses a tooth in the process, fear not. Your gerbil’s tooth will eventually grow back. This is one of those built-in features of Mother Nature. 

You can also help by supplying your gerbil with plenty of toys to chew on and hard foods such as carrots and nuts. 


Gerbil Dental Problems

Gerbil Vet