Do Chameleons Have Teeth? (& Will They Bite You?!)

Published Categorized as Chameleons
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If you’re going to have a Chameleon as a pet, then you’ll need to learn a lot about their body language and physical makeup.

One common question is whether a Chameleon bites or not. 

In this article, we’re discussing all Chameleon teeth. For example, we’ll talk about whether Chameleon have teeth and what their teeth are like.

You’ll learn how to take care of your Chameleon’s teeth, what to do if they bite you, and how to prevent yourself from getting bitten. 

Do Chameleons Have Teeth?

The short answer is yes. Chameleons do have teeth. However, you might believe that they do not have teeth at first glance because they’re so hard to see.

There’s a lot to know about Chameleon teeth and how to care for them when you have this reptile as a pet. So, let’s learn more about their dental health.

Chameleon Teeth

Even though it’s hard to see from the naked eye, but Chameleons do have teeth. In fact, they have about 15 to 22 teeth in their mouth.

They’re tiny, sharp, and triangular. The teeth in the front of their mouth are much smaller and harder to see than the teeth in the back of their mouth.

What’s unique about their teeth is that they’re acrodont. This means a Chameleon’s teeth are fused with their jaw since they don’t have roots.

With how sharp their teeth are, Chameleons can chew their food. For instance, depending on the species, they eat a varied diet. Some food needs to be chewed well for them to swallow it easily.

In addition, the teeth are sharp enough that Chameleons can hold larger prey in their mouths. 

chameleon teeth
Green Chameleon – check out those teeth!

Can Chameleon Teeth Regrow?

No, Chameleon teeth do not regrow. Unlike humans and other animals, Chameleons are born with their teeth and have those teeth for their entire life. There are no “baby teeth” or “adult teeth.”

If you happen to notice that your Chameleon is losing their teeth at any age, then that means there’s an underlying health problem. So you’ll want to bring them to the vet right away to see what’s going on.

For example, a Chameleon’s teeth might fall out due to the following reasons:

  • Fighting with other Chameleons 
  • Gum recession
  • Chomping on hard objects
  • Illness

Unfortunately, if this happens, the teeth will still be lost. You can treat them for the illness if that’s the cause, but the teeth will not grow back. 

How To Care For Chameleon Teeth

The best way to care for your Chameleon’s teeth is to feed them a good diet.

For instance, a Chameleon’s teeth are made of calcium. This is one of the reasons calcium is so important for your Chameleon’s nutritional needs.

If you don’t think your Chameleon is getting enough calcium, then you can always give them calcium supplements with their meals.

In addition to growing their bones, their teeth will remain healthy as well.

Also, your Chameleon should go to the vet at least once a year for their annual checkup. This is to ensure they’re growing and developing well. However, your vet will also be able to check out your reptile’s teeth.

Finally, Chameleons prefer to be alone. So, it’s not a good idea to house two Chameleons together. However, if you do, you’ll want to keep an eye on them and keep them separated enough, so they don’t fight.

Chameleons can hurt their teeth and lose them if they fight. Two males will especially be territorial around one another. In addition, a male could bite a female when trying to mate.

Can You Brush A Chameleon’s Teeth?

Brushing teeth is an important part of dental hygiene. However, you shouldn’t try to brush your reptile’s teeth on your own.

When you bring them to the vet for their checkup, ask your vet to take a look at their teeth. If they look like they could use a quick brushing, your vet will do it.

The vet has the tools to properly brush a Chameleon’s teeth and knows how to do it well so that they don’t get bitten. 

Can Chameleons Bite Humans?

Yes, Chameleons can and will bite humans. However, they’ll only bite a human (or another creature) if they have a reason to.

For example, a Chameleon will bite due to the following reasons:

  • They’re hungry
  • They feel threatened
  • They’re being handled too much

Do Veiled Chameleons Bite?

Yes, a Veiled Chameleon will bite. However, like all other Chameleon species, they’ll only bite if they feel the need to.

A Veiled Chameleon bite will hurt just as much as another Chameleon bite. However, this particular Chameleon is one of the largest of this reptile, so their bite might sting longer than a smaller Chameleon. 

Do Jackson Chameleons Bite?

Jackson Chameleons also bite. They, too, have small, sharp teeth that allow them to hold onto prey. If they feel threatened or are hungry, they might mistake your finger for an insect. 

Why Might They Bite You?

As mentioned earlier, Chameleons like to be alone, and they also don’t like to be handled too much. So, if you’re holding them a lot and trying to cuddle with them, your Chameleon is bound to get stressed or annoyed. Thus, they might bite you.

Also, if they believe you or something else is threatening them or might be dangerous to them, they could bite. Most of the time, though, your Chameleon will change color and hide from whatever makes them scared.

Finally, Chameleons will bite if they’re hungry. These reptiles will bite just about anything trying to get something into their stomach.

How To Prevent A Chameleon From Biting You

So, if you have a Chameleon as a pet, there are ways you can prevent your Chameleon from biting you. Of course, they won’t do so to be aggressive, but only if they feel like they need to protect themselves.

In other words, the best way to prevent your Chameleon from biting you is to let them know you’re not a threat.

Upon bringing home your reptile friend for the first time, they’re most likely be scared and stressed. They could also be shy and won’t want to come out for a while.

If this is the case, you’ll want to leave them alone for a little while. Let them get used to their new surroundings.

For the first week or so, move slowly around your Chameleon. Let them know that you are someone safe and someone they can trust.

Over time, they’ll get used to your presence. They won’t necessarily feel the need to bond with you, but they will recognize you as someone who cares for them and feeds them. 

Does A Chameleon Bite Hurt?

Unfortunately, yes. Chameleon bites do hurt. Their teeth are so tiny and sharp that it certainly stings.

However, they’re not toxic to humans, and the pain will go away on its own soon enough.

If the bite breaks the skin or you pull your hand away quickly and get a cut, the pain might last a little longer but will still go away on its own. 

Signs A Chameleon Might Bite You

Luckily, a Chameleon won’t bite you without warning you first. These warning signs are relatively obvious, too. So, you should be able to avoid getting bitten if your Chameleon seems ready to strike.

One warning sign is that your Chameleon will change color. They’ll often turn a darker color or turn black. When this happens, you can be sure they’re feeling threatened and might be about to bite.

Another sign is that they’ll stare at you and follow your every move. Some Chameleons can learn your routine, and if they know that feeding time is coming up, they could be watching you for another reason.

However, it’s better to be safe than sorry. So, if you notice them staring at you, it could signify that they’re being cautious around you.

Finally, if your Chameleon is feeling in danger, they might hiss at you.

How To Calm A Chameleon

Should you notice any of these signs from your Chameleon, back away from them to give them space. If you need to feed them or mist them, move slowly to show that you are not a threat.

In some cases, a Chameleon could act this way not because they feel like you’re a threat but because something is wrong or their environment.

So, if you notice your Chameleon acting this way often, check to ensure their tank is correct. For example, make sure the temperature is correct, there’s enough humidity and water in the tank, and that they’re eating well enough. 

What To Do If You Are Bitten By A Chameleon

If your pet Chameleon happens to catch your finger within its teeth, there’s no need to panic. Chameleons are not poisonous or have venom. So, you don’t need to worry about getting ill from their bite.

You can learn more about whether Chameleons are dangerous or not here.

Also, try not to move your finger out of the way once they bite. Your Chameleon will let go on their own, and if you move, you’ll end up with a small cut.

Whether you get a cut or not, wash your hands well with soap and warm water.

On the other hand, if you happen to get bitten by a wild Chameleon, then you’ll want to call your doctor right away. Even though they’re not poisonous, you don’t know where the wild Chameleon has been or what diseases they might carry.

Conclusion

Overall, Chameleons do have teeth, and they have a good amount of teeth for a smaller reptile.

A Chameleon’s teeth are tiny and sharp, perfect for munching on prey and other smaller mammals. The teeth are also part of your Chameleon, so taking care of them is essential so that your Chameleon can eat well and thrive. 

Learn more about Chameleons here. You can also click here to find out if Chameleons are dangerous and here for how long they live. Want to know if Chameleons have ears? Click here.

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Jason Williamson

By Jason Williamson

Jason is a huge animal lover with many pets of his own. He loves sharing all his knowledge of all creatures here and learning more whenever he can.