Posted: April 1, 2007, 2 a.m. EST
Mice are susceptible to several dental problems, including malocclusion, infected gums and broken teeth.
Malocclusion: The incisors of mice are always growing, and are kept in check by frequent gnawing on food, chew toys and wood blocks. Some mice have teeth that are not properly aligned, which prevents one or more incisors from wearing down normally. These teeth can grow so long they will curve around and damage the mouse’s mouth. This condition is called malocclusion.
A mouse suffering from malocclusion needs a veterinarian to trim its teeth regularly to keep them at the proper length.
Infected Gums: If a mouse has a swollen mouth and refuses to eat, it could be suffering from infected gums. A veterinarian can diagnose and treat your mouse. A tooth may need to be pulled, and the mouse will probably be put on a regimen of antibiotics.
Broken Teeth: If your mouse breaks one of its incisors when gnawing on something hard, it may need to have the other incisor trimmed down to match it so the teeth grow back at the same length. This prevents misalignment of the teeth when the mouse eats.
Keep your mouse’s teeth healthy by examining them regularly when you handle your small pet. Ask your veterinarian to check the teeth whenever he or she exams your mouse for anything.