Why do rats have orange teeth

Rat Teeth: Everything You Need To Know About It!

Crunchy, crunchy knuckle ... - have you ever thought about the teeth of your pet rats and asked yourself, for example, why they always have yellow teeth instead of crystal-white teeth? In this article we want you everything you need to know about the chewing tools of your fur noses convey. You'll be amazed how different it is from ours.

The teeth of pet rats

You probably know that your rats are rodents. Like all rodents, they have them two halves of the jaw, each with a pair of enlarged, curved incisors (lat. dens incisivus). The lower half of the jaw is not rigidly connected to one another, as is the case with humans, but can be opened in a V-shape if necessary, causing the pair of incisors to open like scissors. If you observe such a jaw position in your rats, this is completely normal and not a malformation.

The rat's dentition has 16 teeth, so half as many as that of the human being with his 32 teeth. The incisor teeth are in the front, then a larger gap (diastema) follows, which leads to the molars located further back. On each side of the upper and lower jaw there are three molars, the so-called molars. The special thing about rodents: The incisors are firmly connected to the jaws and therefore have no roots in the known sense.

Did you also know: Most rodents go through do not change teeth like humans. They have no milk teeth, but from birth the same teeth for the rest of their lives.

All important information for beginners at a glance

Do you want to get rats? Then be sure to note all the tips on our information flyer for species-appropriate rat husbandry.

The teeth of pet rats


Highly specialized and a little stroke of genius from nature - these are the incisors of rats. They are perfect gnawing tools. The front of the incisors is coated with a super hard, thick enamel. You can recognize it by its yellowish-orange color. In contrast, the inner side of the teeth is less hard and more white in color. Due to the different tooth enamel consistency, the incisors break when gnawing on the underside in such a way that one extremely sharp edge with which they can even bite through metal.

The incisors grow a lifetime, which is why pet rats are around them regular wear must strive. Since the enamel is so hard, you can do this not only by gnawing at wood and the like, but above all by rubbing the incisors together. You have surely heard this "crunch" from your favorites before and is part of the healthy tone in your pack. Incisor teeth grow about two to three millimeters per week.


Located just behind the incisors is a skin (Inflexum pellitum), which prevents the absorption of foreign bodies as well as toxins and bitter substances when gnawing. This protective function is reinforced by the following double-sided tooth gap (diastema), thanks to which the rat can suck in its lips. A filter passage is created in the rodent's mouth, which they close when necessary and remove indigestible food again.


Last but not least, the bit closes with each other three molars per side on the upper and lower jaw from. They do not have canines or anterior molars. In contrast to the incisors, the molars do not grow back, but stay the same. So unless they cause serious problems, they should not be sanded down or removed.

Dental problems in rats

As you can now surely imagine, will Dental problems, especially with the front teeth, quickly to one life-threatening danger. Therefore, always pay attention to changes in eating behavior. If a pet rat only reaches for soft food or refuses to eat it completely, the highest alarm is announced. You should see your vet as soon as possible.

Possible dental diseases can be:

Misaligned teeth: If the incisor teeth do not meet at the right angle, the rat cannot break them off properly. They grow uncontrollably and, in the worst case, can even pierce the skull. Tooth misalignment is usually hereditary.

Caries: Pet rats can also develop tooth decay from too much sweets, which destroys the all-important tooth enamel. Therefore, exactly the same applies to your favorites as to you: not in masses, but in moderation.

Conduct disorder: Due to incorrect posture, insufficient demands or also incorrect nutrition, pet rats can develop a behavioral disorder in which they constantly crunch on their teeth, wood, bars and other objects. The teeth are "worked down" so far that only stubs remain. Although the incisor teeth grow back again, this must be counteracted with appropriate therapy.

Jaw abscess: In most cases, an inflamed tooth is the cause of an abscess (accumulation of pus) in the oral cavity or in the jaw. But foreign bodies could also be responsible. If you have unusually watery eyes and a runny nose, you should definitely see your vet. Take a look at ours on this topic Rat pharmacy.

Clues that can tell you something is wrong:

  • sudden discoloration of the teeth
  • Avoid hard foods
  • Loss of appetite
  • constant gnawing of objects
  • shortened teeth
  • Sensitivity to pain in the face
  • purulent discharge around the nose and eyes


As you can see, the characteristics of the teeth of rats differ significantly from those of humans. Regular care and control as well as a balanced diet are still essential so that your darlings can have a long and healthy life.

Have your rats ever had dental problems?