Rabbits' continuously growing teeth (especially molars) must be kept worn by chewing grass and hay; otherwise the teeth crowns grow too long.
If the top and bottom teeth start pressing together when the mouth is closed, the teeth can no longer grow upwards. Instead they grow backwards into the jaw. It's these overgrown tooth roots projecting into the jaw and skull that cause so many problems for rabbits and for fibrevores in general. Uneven wear can also result in sharp spurs developing on the sides of the cheek teeth. These spurs cause painful damage to the soft tissues of the cheeks and the tongue each time the rabbits move their mouths.
Signs that a rabbit is suffering from dental problems are:
- runny eyes
- jaw swellings
- facial abscesses
- difficulty eating
- reduction in the amount of faeces being produced
- reduced interest in eating hay.
If you observe any of these symptoms please consult your vet immediately.