Facts About Rat and Mouse Teeth

Rats and mice are on a topic that is sure to let out a few gasps. Humans are divided over these rodents. A few of us see them (mostly mice) as cute creatures. They keep them as pets. On the other hand, the majority of the human population will probably scream at the sight of them. They have good reason too as well.

These rodents are known to carry various diseases that have proven quite dangerous for the human race. In fact, dangerous is a small world once we ascertain the damage they have caused to human lives. The bubonic plague, caused by these rodents, have resulted in hundreds of millions of deaths. The bubonic plague is also known as the Black Death.

According to the US Centre for Disease Control, rodents can transmit 35 diseases to humans. The rat fever and salmonellosis are quite common. Hantavirus is also transmitted to humans through mice and rats. However, this article is not about how scary these rodents are or how many diseases they can transmit. Instead, we will be focusing on a few facts about their teeth.


  • Rats and mice have two types of teeth molars and incisors. The incisors are the front teeth, and they are four in total. On the other hand, they have twelve molars each. The incisors are responsible for cutting and piercing the food, while molars help in chewing the food.
  • The incisors never stop growing. However, nature has provided a mechanism for its natural filing. While gnawing, these rodents are able to file their teeth and keep them in top shape.
  • However, mice, rats, and other rodents can suffer from common teeth problems like overbite and underbite. If left untreated/unsupervised, these problems can aggravate and result in death. The reason is that underbite and overbite prevent these rodents from gnawing at the food. This can lead to starvation and, eventually, death. Moreover, since incisors keep growing, they can pierce the rodent, resulting in death. Therefore, if you own a pet mouse/rat, file their incisors regularly.
  • The molars stop growing after a while and cannot regrow in case they are broken.
  • Unlike humans, the teeth appear very early after birth. Under ideal circumstances, these rodents start to grow their teeth after 8 10 days of birth.
  • The lower incisors are nearly twice as long as the incisors on the upper part of the jaw. However, most people argue that they are of the same length. They are true in the sense that the lower incisors are not completely visible; they are covered by the jaw/lips. However, a closer inspection will reveal the hidden part of the lower incisors.
  • The incisors are strong enough to pierce human skin.


This concludes our article today. If you have a mouse/rat infestation, make sure to get rid of it immediately. These rodents are already responsible for millions of deaths. Contact with their droppings or fluids is also known to be harmful to humans. If you have one as a pet, make sure that it is properly vaccinated/immunized.

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