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Why Is My Guinea Pig Grinding His Teeth? (Causes & What To Do)

Why Is My Guinea Pig Grinding His Teeth? (Causes & What To Do)

The owner will get to know about their guinea pig’s feelings by their teeth. Whenever a guinea pig is relaxed or happy, they start chattering their teeth, which signifies enjoyment. But when your guinea pig is grinding his teeth, then it means something is wrong. But what?

Teeth grinding is usually a sign of pain in guinea pigs. If your guinea pig is going through some health issues or dental problems, they will grind their teeth to show discomfort. Annoyance with cagemates could be a possible reason for teeth grinding as well.

When the guinea pig is being petted, a low sound occurs, known as teeth chattering.

This noise is disparately spaced because the noise of tooth grinding is louder as compared to other animals.

The shaking and bulging eyes are also caused by tooth grinding. By the above symptoms, the owner can know about the pain their guinea pig is suffering from.

What does guinea pig grinding teeth mean?

The guinea pig shows its annoyance by grinding their teeth. It can be annoyed by their owner or by their cagemates.

However, teeth grinding can even indicate trouble or pain.

Grinding due to pain is commonly higher and frequent, then grinding because of annoyance.

Along with tooth grinding, the following are the warning signs that indicate that your guinea pig is in pain.

  • Avoiding engagement: Since guinea pigs are social creatures, therefore they refuse to engage themselves with humans and other pets.
  • Lethargy: Unwilling to exercise especially in the morning when guinea pigs have a lot of energy.
  • Lack of grooming: Guinea pigs never neglect to groom themselves as they are clean animals
  • Loss of appetite: When guinea pigs refuse to drink or eat.
  • Strange posture: The digestive issue can be estimated if the guinea pig hunched over. If they have an impact on an injury, they will avoid placing a heavyweight on a particular limb.
  • Biting and nipping when you try to catch them: Most guinea pigs tolerate it as they dislike handling. If guinea pigs become aggressive when you try to pick them, this may occur because they are in pain.
  • Avoid sleep: Guinea pig needs proper rest, but if they are incapable of dozing off, it means they are awake due to pain.

Guinea pig grinding their teeth

Once you establish that your guinea pig is suffering from pain, then it is vital to find the cause.

Try to assess the sources that discomfort your guinea pig. That will help to speed up the treatment plan.

  1. Pain caused by surgery: A recent surgery can leave your guinea pig in pain for a few days. For example: It is normal for a guinea pig to grind their teeth for a day or two after major surgery.
  2. Injured or broken limbs: Accidentally dropping or falling from the height may cause injury as guinea pig’s don’t have strong bones.
  3. Dental pain: The growth of guinea pig teeth never stops. They may suffer from anxiety if their teeth are not trimmed regularly.
  4. Joint pain: It occurs as guinea pig age up. They even become susceptible to arthritis conditions. That means whenever guinea pigs will move. Their limbs will get hurt.
  5. Urine infection: Female guinea pigs are prone to UTIs. Which is common in middle age. Incontinence and reluctance to urinate are the warning signs.
  6. Gastrointestinal problem: A Guinea pig may experience issues with an intestinal blockage. They must be addressed urgently as this is deadly for a guinea pig.

Guinea pig grinding teeth due to pain

Hormonal imbalance in guinea pigs

First, you need to know about the cause to cure the pain of guinea pigs. It would be best if you did not serve your guinea pig with human paracetamol or ibuprofen for curing as these medications are toxic for your guinea pigs.

To assess the particular pain-points, you can run a test on your guinea pig.

You will get surprised that your guinea pig will not allow you to touch them. Your guinea pig will reject handling if they are in pain. You may wear gloves for your safety as they are in pain they may nips or bites you.

  1. For checking tooth pain: You should offer their favorite treats to your guinea pig. They are likely in dental discomfort if your guinea pig refuses to eat. Mostly sugary treats are not resisted by the guinea pigs.
  2. To check the impact of injuries or muscular pain: Gently try to touch your guinea pig limbs. It is better to start by petting their back and head. It’s better when they get relaxed, then only you make a move to their limbs. You will get your answer if they flinch or fleas.
  3. For checking the urinary infection: There is a need to pay close attention to your guinea pig waste. For blood specks, you must test their urine, but be aware that red pee doesn’t cause equal bleeding every time.

Usually, Antibiotics help to clear up the infection. Sometimes the oral painkillers are also offered by the doctors.

Degenerative issues such as limb pain and arthritis, require long-term care. You should find supplements that will help you to ease your guinea pig discomfort. Even you can regularly massage your guinea pig limbs.

Only doctors can cure dental pain. Because with the help of professional equipment, your guinea pig teeth can be trimmed.

Please encourage your guinea pig to chew a penalty of hay. As this is the natural way by which their teeth can be trimmed easily.

Guinea pigs grind their teeth when stressed

guinea pig hiding places

The tooth grinding in guinea pigs can also be caused by stress. Your guinea pig can be suffering from anxiety at a mental or physical level.

Generally, it is hard to realize if your guinea pig is upset with you. The strain triggers that affect guinea pigs include the following:

  • Unpredicted and loud noises
  • Too much time left alone
  • Change in a routine which includes the change in their feeding and playing time.
  • Presence of predatory animals
  • Maximum time spent in their enclosure.
  • Unhygienic and little enclosure
  • Insufficient ventilation and cramped temperature
  • Too much blazing light
  • Excessive handling from humans
  • Dominance by other guinea pig
  • The inability to run, play or exercise leading to boredom.
  • Loss of a companion

For the guinea pigs, stress is not only mentally draining. It is physically dangerous for them as well.

A stressed guinea pig is likely to fall sick as their immune system also gets compromised, which is potentially life-threatening for them.

Guinea pig grinding teeth and drooling

Ptyalism is the medical condition during which guinea pigs have excessive secretion. Drooling is those symptoms of ptyalism which are exhibited by guinea pigs.

They will additionally suffer from insignificant pain, which can be caused by tooth grinding.

The following are the points that show the warning signs of ptyalism:

A guinea pig can suffer from ptyalism due to various factor. One of the most common factor is overheat due to hot weather.

Moreover, this could lead to gum sickness, oral abscesses, or misaligned teeth. It could be caused by guinea pigs chewing inappropriate materials, or it may well be biology or bad luck.

Guinea pigs will be at specific risk if they do not eat hay.

It is crucial to get guinea pigs to a vet for treatment because ptyalism is painful. To ensure that there is no critical problem hiding beneath, the vet will run some tests.

Lifelong care is needed to be required if the guinea pig’s diagnosis is only petalism.

You have to review your guinea pig diet to make sure that they eat enough fiber, which is good for their health.

To urge relief from the immediate discomfort, the guinea pig may need dental treatment. The antibiotics facilitate the cure of the infection that will arise from ptyalism.

Guinea pig grinding teeth and not eating

How much lettuce should we serve to our guinea pigs?

There is a severe problem if your guinea pigs are grinding their teeth. Beside from ptyalism the following are the possible explanations points:

  • Overgrown teeth: If your guinea pig’s teeth are too long. There is a necessity to trim them. If the highest row and bottom row overlap with one another, by this, they are not able to eat because of pain.
  • Stress and anxiety: When guinea pigs are stressed, they will lose their appetency. It would be best if you encouraged your pet to eat, drink, and check out to calm them.
  • Gastric blockages: Your guinea pig will not consume extra food if they are not able to digest their meal. They cannot even be eliminated.
  • Bacterial infection: Guinea pigs do not want to eat once they are sick. Because of microorganism infection, their immune system might get weak.

Your guinea pig may need intravenous fluids and syringe feeding of critical care if they are not drinking or eating. That will take some time while the reason is to seem for.

Guinea pig grinding teeth when petting

If it feels like your guinea pig is grinding their teeth while you are stroking them, then it might not be a teeth grind at all. Chances are they are purring with joy. It includes guinea pigs softly chattering their teeth.

It would be challenging to tell the difference until you recognize the distinction between these sounds.

However, guinea pigs don’t enjoy being cuddled or held for a more extended period. It’s essential to learn your guinea pig’s subtle cues that it had enough. These includes:

  • Swelled eyes and looking around the room: Guinea pig tries to find an escape route to rush towards their cage.
  • Shifting and twisting in your laps: This will make you know that your guinea pig is feeling uncomfortable and impatient.
  • Make low growls: If the guinea pigs need to be alone then they grow to tell their owner that they are restless and get pissed off with the eye.
  • Teeth chattering: The guinea pig’s soft teeth chattering becomes loud. The guinea pig gets bitter from your attention. As an alternative, they required to return to their cage as they are growing anxious.
  • They start biting or nipping: Your guinea pig may resort to physical means in case you miss all the subtle cues. 

Since every guinea pig has a unique personality. There is no hard-and-fast rule to estimate how much petting is sufficient. Some guinea pigs need to be stroked all day, whereas others get exhausted after five minutes.

Guinea pig grinding teeth while sleeping

Just like pampering, those guinea pigs who grind their teeth during sleeping are more probably self-soothing. It means they are expressing their happiness or satisfaction only if they are relaxed enough to sleep lightly.

Whenever your guinea pig suddenly drops down after playtime and falls asleep on the spot, this means that they are likely murmuring.

Mostly when they lie with their belly revealed. Without feeling completely relaxed and safe, no guinea pig could sleep in such an uncomfortable posture.

Bad dreams can also be the reasons that may cause a guinea pig to grind their teeth while sleeping. Guinea pigs dream whenever they sleep, which means that they can also have bad dreams. It will cause a feeling of worry or nervousness.

Guinea pigs forge emotional memories based on their experience. A guinea pig is running in their sleep, which indicates that they are dreaming of a fun interval. But unfortunately, your guinea pig can also dream about an unfortunate occurrence.

Do not try to wake up your guinea pig when sleeping, even if they seem to be suffering from anxiety.

Ultimately, your guinea pig will wake up on their own accord. While sleeping, please give them a soothing massage and handle, to make them feel calm. Doing so could stop them from teeth grinding.

Teeth Grinding vs. Teeth Chattering

The following are the points which help in differentiate between teeth grinding and teeth chattering:

  • Volume: The teeth grinding is a loud angry sound that is impossible to ignore. While teeth chattering causes a melodious and gentle tone.
  • Frequency: It’s a slow, confusing action when guinea pigs start grinding their teeth. Whereas chattering is near-constant.
  • Eye movement: It is crucial to observe your guinea pig when they move their teeth. They are chattering in contentment if their eyes are closed. When they are in pain or frightened, they mostly get bulge and alert.
  • Body movement: When guinea pigs start shaking their body and grind their teeth, then it means they are in stress or in pain, which needs to be cured as soon as possible.

Guinea pigs are not vocal animals. With time you will get to know about your pet and their mannerisms. 

For understanding the mindset of your guinea pig, it is vital to learn the pattern of their tooth movement. Guinea pigs do not show the sign of their ill health until they cannot hide them anymore.

Source: Bruxism, Dental problems in guinea pigs, Guinea pig dental health.

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