Do Rabbit Teeth Keep Growing?


Does your rabbit have a head for heights? Perhaps it’s not that your pet is an acrobatic master, but rather a natural climber. All rabbits are born with sharp upper incisors that grow slowly throughout their lives.

These teeth keep growing up to 2mm a month (that’s 0.02mm per day). In other words, they continue to grow until they are removed by a veterinarian or until your pet reaches old age.

While rabbits have the same upper and lower front teeth as other mammals, the incisor’s mouth of rodents is smaller than civets and some carnivores. This makes them ideal for eating grass, twigs and other vegetable matter that isn’t high in abrasiveness. Here are some reasons why bunny teeth keep growing:

Do Rabbit Teeth Keep Growing?

Yes. For the entirety of your rabbit’s lifespan, its teeth will never stop growing. The majority of herbivores like rabbits have open rooted teeth unlike humans and some other animals, so their teeth will always grow longer. 

How Long Does a Rabbit’s Tooth Grow?

A fully grown rabbit has 28 teeth comprising of 6 incisors (4 uppers and 2 lower incisors), 12 molars (6 upper and 6 lower molars)  and 10 premolars (6 upper and 4 lower premolars).

Unlike the regular teeth structure, you’re familiar with, rabbits do not have canines. This is because rabbits are herbivores so they do not need canines. Canines are only useful for omnivores and carnivores because they (canines) help in tearing meats.

The only visible parts of your rabbit’s teeth are the incisors, especially the two long incisors at the front of your rabbit’s teeth.

Why Do Rabbits Have Such Long Teeth?

Rabbit’s teeth are long because the teeth are open rooted so their teeth never stop growing. Open teeth are not exclusive to rabbits as some other herbivores like horses also have open teeth. Since their teeth never stop growing, it only makes sense that they are long.

Besides, long teeth are not bad for rabbits as long as they don’t overgrow. as they need them to constantly chew. We all know rabbits love eating and chewing. It would be so uncomfortable to chew for hours with short teeth.

Rabbits’ diet consists of raw food and sometimes hard roughage which would cause them to lose their teeth completely if they had short teeth.

How To Maintain a Healthy Growth of Your Rabbit Teeth

Have you ever wondered why wild rabbits’ teeth rarely overgrow? It is because of their diet. Wild rabbits usually feed on naturally or wildly grown grass hay along with dry stems and twigs.

Apart from that, wild rabbits are mostly always munching on one thing or the other. They have the freedom to eat or chew whatever they want and they do.

This is actually because it exercises the teeth and causes them to wear down. Yes, you read it right-wear down. Wearing down teeth in rabbits is not a bad thing. It is very healthy and recommended because it is a completely natural way of trimming your rabbit’s teeth.

How Long Does a Rabbit’s Tooth Grow?

If not properly maintained, a rabbit’s tooth, especially its incisors can grow as long as 2mm in a week, 1cm in a month and even up to 12cm just in one year. 

Why Do Rabbits Have Such Fast Growing Teeth?

Your rabbit’s teeth should grow longer than 2mm in a week. If your rabbit’s teeth grow longer than this in a week, then it is most likely a result of other underlying dental problems which you cannot be sure of unless you visit a vet.

Some of these underlying dental problems are genetic imbalance, dental misplacement (your rabbit’s teeth are scattered) and imbalanced bone from too much consumption of calcium.

Can Rabbits Molars Overgrow?

Yes, teeth overgrowth in rabbits is not exclusive to incisors. The molars can overgrow which is harder to detect and might have severe consequences. And this is why you need to visit the vet with your rabbit regularly.

Can Rabbits Premolars Overgrow?

Just like the molars and incisors, your rabbit’s premolars can overgrow. Like the molars, you cannot easily detect an overgrowth. Overgrown premolars are detected, handled and treated the same way as molars.

What Happens When Your Rabbits Incisors Overgrown?

The following are the noticeable or behavioural signs that your rabbit’s incisors are overgrown:

  • The two front incisors grow over the lower lips and become crooked.
  • Because of their crookedness, the front incisors might frequently get hooked on objects

The following happens when you don’t trim your pet’s overgrown incisors:

  • Your rabbit’s incisors will frequently get hooked on random objects straining the gums and can even severely injure the gums.
  • Your rabbit’s upper incisors can cut your rabbit’s lowers lips and lower gums.
  • Untrimmed overgrown incisors can be infected leading to a serious disease.

What Happens When Your Rabbits Molars and Premolars Overgrow?

The following are the noticeable or behavioural signs that your rabbit’s molars and premolars are overgrown:

  •  Your rabbit salivates excessively.
  • Your rabbit’s food choice changes. Your rabbit might start opting for more soft leafy veggies instead of dry grass and twigs.
  • Your rabbit might even stop eating altogether because of pain.

The following happens when you don’t trim your rabbit’s overgrown molars and premolars:

  • Your rabbit can stop eating any food. If this continues for days, your rabbit will die

What Can I Do To Prevent Rabbit Teeth From Overgrowing?

To help your rabbit avoid suffering from overgrown teeth, you should do the following:

  • Always examine their teeth at least every two weeks not only to check for overgrowth but also to check for gum diseases. It is easy to examine your rabbit’s incisors. It is the opposite for the molars and you might need to visit the vet to examine your rabbit’s molars.
  • Feed your rabbit plenty of roughages consisting of grass hay, leafy vegetables, vegetable stems and dry stems and twigs.
  • You do not have to feed your pet all the time to help your teeth because of added weight and calories. This is why we have chew toys for rabbits. You can make a homemade toy of plain unpainted and untreated wood, tree barks and twigs for your rabbit.

Should You Cut Your Rabbit’s Teeth?

You should not entirely cut or remove your rabbit’s teeth yourself. Rather, you can trim them, but only if they are overgrown.

You can take them to the vet to remove the affected tooth completely if there is an ingrowth of disease-causing organisms like bacteria or the presence of a disease. Of course, you wouldn’t know that yourself unless you take your rabbit to a vet.

What Are The Pros and Cons of Trimming Rabbit Incisors with Nail Clippers?

  • Nail clippers are easier to find and are more affordable
  • You can injure your rabbit while trimming its teeth if you are not careful enough.
  • You can trim your rabbit’s incisors too low.
  • The force which you would need to trim your rabbit’s incisors can dent or break your rabbit incisors.
  • You can injure the nerves touching your rabbit’s gums which can cause numbness and diseases.

What Are The Pros of Taking Rabbit To Vet for Overgrown Incisors?

  • It is safer
  • Your rabbit will be examined properly; so if its molars and premolars are overgrown, it will be safely trimmed before it becomes a bigger problem. 
  • If you take your pet to the vet, the vet can find out if there are diseases present in the teeth and remove them.
  • The vet’s tool cannot hurt the nerves touching your rabbit’s gum.

What Are The Cons of Taking Your Rabbit Vet To Trim Overgrown Incisors?

  • It is more expensive than using nail clippers.
  • The tool, used for the trimming might cause pain.
  • Your rabbit might be sedated before the procedure.

Can You Trim Rabbit Overgrown Molars and Premolars Yourself?

Do not try to trim your rabbit’s molars yourself. You can hardly even detect overgrown molars and premolars without visiting the vet.

You cannot see your rabbit’s molars or premolars without a speculum; so you’d end up severely injuring your rabbit if you try to.

How Should You Clean Your Rabbit’s Teeth?

Your rabbit’s teeth wear down and repair themselves from time to time. So do not try to clean or brush your bunny’s teeth.


Always pay attention to your rabbit. Watch for any unusual or strange behaviour. Also, pay your vet bi-weekly visits not only because of your rabbit’s teeth but also because you should always let your rabbit have a general check-up now and then.

Written by Justin Michaels

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