How Many Teeth Do Rabbits Have?

We may earn a small commission for purchases made through affiliate links in this post.

Besides ears, a rabbit’s teeth are one of its most distinguishing features. But how many teeth do rabbits have, really? In short, adult rabbits have 28 teeth: 6 incisors, 10 premolars, and 12 molars. Unlike humans, rabbits’ teeth grow throughout their lives, so it’s important to take good care of them to avoid tooth loss.

How many sets of teeth do rabbits have?

Rabbits are diphyodonts, which means that just like us they have two sets of teeth over their lifetime. The first set of teeth is called milk teeth and the second set is called permanent teeth.

Their front teeth, called incisors, are used for grasping, tearing, and slicing food. They also have one set of molars and another set of premolar teeth in the back of their mouths, which they use for grinding food.

In total, adult rabbits have 16 teeth at the upper jaw, and 12 at the lower jaw.

How many incisors do rabbits have?

A healthy adult rabbit has 6 front teeth called incisors: 4 on the top (2 of them placed behind the large upper incisors, which are much smaller and often called auxiliary incisors or “peg teeth”), and 2 incisors teeth on the bottom. The incisors can be distinguished from the other teeth by their long, sharp structure.

Rabbits teeth structure illustration

One of the things that differentiate rabbits and rodents is their peg teeth. While rabbits have 2 small peg teeth behind their large top incisors, rodents do not have them.

How many premolars and molars do rabbits have?

Adult rabbits have 10 premolar teeth: 6 upper and 4 lower, as well as 12 molar teeth: 6 upper and 6 lower (3 molars on each side of their upper and lower jaws).

According to the book “Rabbit Health in the 21st Century” by Kathy Smith, Rabbits’ premolars and molars look the same and it’s hard to tell them apart. Also, they are often referred to as “cheek teeth”.

Do rabbits have canine teeth?

Rabbits are often thought to have canine teeth, but this is not true. Just like guinea pigs, rabbits do not have any canine teeth. In fact, the rabbits’ incisors are separated from the cheek teeth by a gap called a diastema on both the upper and lower jaw.

Rabbit teeth layout diagram

Does baby rabbits are born with teeth?

Another interesting fact not many people know is that baby bunnies are not born with their teeth. Baby rabbits or kits usually grow their first set of milk teeth 19-21 days after birth. That is approximately the time kits will start tasting grass and try on their mom’s food.

How many teeth do baby rabbits have?

2 to 3 weeks after birth, baby bunnies’ will have a full-grown set of 16 deciduous teeth (milk teeth). A study, that checked the timeline of tooth replacement in baby rabbits, showed that by the time the bunnies were 35 days old, all of their cheek milk teeth have fallen out to prepare for their adult teeth eruption.

The rabbits’ milk teeth will eventually be replaced by 28 adult teeth. The process of losing and gaining teeth is called tooth replacement. It usually takes place over a period of several months. By 6 months of age, a rabbit should have all of its adult teeth in place.

How fast do rabbit teeth grow?

Both rabbits and rodents have open-rooted teeth, which means their teeth continue to grow throughout their life. However, not all teeth grow at the same rate. Rabbits’ incisors (front teeth) grow quicker than the molars (back teeth). Additionally, the lower teeth growth rate is higher than the upper teeth.

A rabbit’s diet can also affect the rate of tooth growth. According to studies that checked teeth growth rates in rabbits on different diets, growth rates were approximately 1.9 mm/week for upper incisors and 2.2 mm/week for lower incisors.

Growth rates of premolars, or cheek teeth, were 2.14 ± 0.28 mm/week in rabbits on a grass/sand/rice hulls pelleted diet and 0.93 ± 0.18 mm/week in rabbits on a hay diet.

Similarly, rabbits’ diet needs to contain enough roughage or fiber in order to help keep their teeth worn down. If they don’t have enough roughage, their teeth can grow too long and cause gum pain, which may lead to malnutrition and weight loss. The most common forms of roughage are hay and grass.

However, you can also give your bunny a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, pellets, and other fiber-rich foods.

Do rabbits lose their teeth?

As mentioned previously, baby bunnies lose their milk teeth and replace them with a full permanent set of teeth at 6 months of age.

Also, just like humans, adult rabbits can lose their teeth too. This can happen for a variety of reasons, including infection, trauma, and old age. If your rabbit is losing its teeth, it’s important to take it to the vet to make sure there isn’t an underlying problem.

What happens if an adult rabbit loses a tooth?

Although rabbits’ teeth keep growing from the root constantly, a permanent tooth that is lost (including the root) won’t regrow. This can be a problem for older rabbits. Improper diet or malnutrition may cause permanent teeth to stop developing. If this is the case, the tooth will not continue to grow and will fall out on its own.

In addition, the tooth that is growing on the opposite side of the one that was lost, won’t wear down since it won’t have anything to rub against. Be sure the tooth is trimmed regularly to avoid more dental problems.

Conclusion

Rabbits have two sets of teeth throughout their life. At 6 months of age, milk teeth are replaced by 28 adult permanent teeth. These teeth will keep growing throughout the rabbit’s life and a proper diet is essential for keeping them at a healthy length.

Rabbits can also lose their teeth for a variety of reasons, including age, disease, trauma, or nutritional deficiencies, so it’s important to keep a close eye on your rabbit’s teeth if you notice anything unusual.

About the author

Li-ran B.

Li-ran pretty much grew up in a household that was like a tiny zoo, full of all sorts of animals. However, rabbits and guinea pigs were always his go-to buddies. To this day, that love for these adorable creatures (including Tutti, a sweet and sassy Dutch rabbit) is still going strong.