Groundhogs have humorously large front teeth. As a result, these creatures are often known for their chompers. Despite how large and intimidating their teeth may be, groundhogs are actually very docile and rarely bite humans.
In fact, groundhog teeth are primarily designed for eating and chewing plant matter, such as soft brasses, leaves, and berries. The incisors are specifically used for tearing apart matter while burrowing. Shockingly, these incisors never stop growing.
To learn more about groundhog teeth, keep reading. This article takes a close look at their teeth and bite, as well as the consequences of being bitten by one of these creatures. Keep reading to learn all of this and more.
Do Groundhogs Have Teeth?
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Yes. Groundhogs have many teeth. They have a total of 22 teeth. 18 are used for chewing, whereas the front 4 teeth are incisors used for gnawing and chewing. Much like many other rodents, the teeth of the groundhog never stop growing and grow at a rate of about 1/16 an inch every single week.
What Kind Of Teeth Do Groundhogs Have?
Groundhogs have two types of teeth: chewing teeth and incisors. Most of the teeth classify as chewing teeth, whereas the most obvious teeth in the front are incisors.
The 18 chewing teeth are exactly what they sound like. These teeth are specifically used for chewing purposes. These teeth are relatively flat since groundhogs have to chew a lot of plant matter and other chewy substances on regular basis for food.
Although most of the teeth within the groundhog’s mouth are chewing teeth, the 4 incisors at the front are the most obvious teeth. There are 2 incisors at the top and 2 incisors at the bottom. These incisors are the teeth that continually grow, and they are very sharp. These teeth are shaped like chisels.
Are Groundhog Teeth Sharp?
Yes. The groundhog’s incisors are moderately sharp. With a chisel shape, the teeth can cut through many different surfaces. The chewing teeth, however, are not very sharp and have flat surfaces instead. None of the teeth are nowhere near as sharp as the groundhog’s claws.
How Big Are A Groundhog’s Teeth?
The main teeth that scientists study are the incisors. Groundhog incisors have an average length of 4 inches, and they grow an additional 1/16 inch every week. The other teeth are much shorter and are not often measured as a result.
Because the incisors are constantly growing, it’s important for the groundhogs to keep their teeth ground down. Groundhogs will constantly chew on bark, leaves, and other surfaces in order to keep their teeth filed down. Many other rodents have this same predicament, including Guinea pigs and rats.
Unfortunately, some groundhogs suffer from misaligned incisors. Misalignment is incredibly dangerous because the alignment makes it difficult for the groundhogs to keep their incisors filed down. In severe cases, groundhogs can have terrible pain and trouble eating whenever their incisors are misaligned.
Do Groundhog Teeth Contain Iron Like The Beaver’s Teeth?
Even though groundhogs have strong teeth, they do not contain iron like beaver’s teeth. Beaver’s teeth stand out due to their distinctive orange color that is caused by iron. Because groundhog teeth do not contain iron, they have more of a white or yellow tint, not orange.
Even so, groundhog teeth are still incredibly strong. They’re able to chew through many surfaces and materials without the need for iron.
Can Groundhogs Chew Wood With Their Teeth?
Groundhogs can chew wood with their teeth, but they prefer chewing on softer plants, such as greens, grasses, and certain flowers. Occasionally, groundhogs will chew on tree bark, but they do not chew on wood as common as beavers.
Because the groundhogs’ incisors never stop growing, they will chew on just about anything. However, groundhogs prefer to chew on substances they can eat.
Most groundhogs prefer eating green plants, dandelion greens, grasses, clover, and other plants. These substances are edible and tasty to the groundhog, but they also keep the teeth filed down.
If the groundhog is desperate to chew on something, it will get ahold of tree bark. Often, it selects loose tree bark that it can get ahold of easily. It isn’t necessarily uncommon for groundhogs to chew on tree bark, but they certainly prefer softer substances in most cases.
Do Groundhogs Bite?
Like most other animals, groundhogs have the ability to bite. That being said, groundhogs very rarely attack humans. They are more likely to run and hide. Groundhogs mainly only bite whenever they feel they are in danger and need to protect themselves or their babies.
If you see a groundhog biting something, it is most likely biting organic material that is trying to eat, such as plants and sometimes small animals. If a large animal runs up to the groundhog, it will most likely run away and try to hide. If the groundhog needs to defend itself, it will resort to scratching and biting, but this is a last-case option for most groundhogs.
Still, groundhogs are considered very docile, timid creatures. It is incredibly rare for groundhogs to fight back. The few cases of a groundhog attack typically involve humans coming too close to babies and the mother feeling the need to defend her young. In these cases, the groundhog is provoked.
Do Groundhogs Have A Strong Bite?
Groundhogs have a strong bite, but it is nowhere near as strong as dogs or beavers. Instead, groundhogs typically have to work at something in order to bite through it. As such, groundhogs are not known for their strong bites, but they are known for their fearsome claws.
What Happens If A Groundhog Bites You or Your Pet?
If a groundhog bites you or your pet, it’s important to see a professional right away. The bite itself will be painful, and it may include exposure to diseases, such as rabies. If the groundhog is clean of any diseases, you and your pet will be perfectly safe, but the bite can be fatal if the groundhog has dangerous diseases and you do not seek proper medical attention.