A Degu’s Teeth Should be Orange

Published in Degu Data, Featured  |  7 Comments

A healthy degu’s teeth are always a yellowish-orange color. If you degu’s teeth are white it’s a sure sign of illness and means you should get your Degu to a veterinarian as soon as you can.

Why are Degu’s Teeth Orange or Yellow?

Fact: Degu's Teeth are Supposed to be Yellow or Orange!

Sometimes people ask me, what makes a degu’s teeth turn that orange color? Degu teeth are orange and yellow because of a chemical reaction between their saliva and the chlorophyll in the plants they eat in a healthy diet. This chemical reaction causes their saliva to turn orange which stains the teeth.

The top edges, sides and the back of the teeth are sometimes white – that’s okay! The enamel on the front which is most vulnerable to be stained to a yellow to dark orange color. The degree of the stain’s color completely depends on the degu’s diet. A degu with a healthy, well balanced diet with plenty of vitamins and minerals will be a fairly deep or dark hue of orange. A degu with a poor diet, suffering from malnutrition will often have pale yellow teeth.

A nutritionally balanced diet for degus consists of good quality feed, hay and fresh or dried veggies (depending on your degu’s taste.) As a rule of thumb it’s best to make sure vegetables, edible leaves, plants and a grass don’t make up more than 10-20% of your degu’s diet.

Having trouble checking your degu’s teeth? Try checking by holding a treat in between your fingers and giving you degu a little tug of war to get it. While they are trying to take the treat or piece of food from you, you can usually see their teeth’s color that way. You can try to hold them and train them to let you lift up their lips to inspect but that takes a lot of time, patience, trust and training. It’s important to check their teeth early and often.

My Degu had babies and their teeth a white? What does that mean? Are they Sick

No the babies are not sick. Baby degus are born with white teeth, it often takes a couple weeks for a degu’s teeth to stain orange. For the first couple weeks after birth a baby degu’s teeth will be white and unless there are other signs of illness this shouldn’t worry you.

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  1. Michelle
    December 1st

    i got a Degu from a guy my friend knows, i knotest she has white teeth i relized this the second day i got her she is acting fine eating and drinking reguarly shes 2months old I was told and the only thing that i can see that i think is odd is she wont deshell sunflower seeds but my other degu will an he has orange teeth but i got him from the petstore I am concerned conserding they are saposta have orange teeth does anyone have any info that could help me

  2. ciara
    July 1st

    i really need some help i recently got 2 male degus and since getting them around their eyes and ears have gone a white colour !!!i dont know what to do but i cant seem to find anything on the web so plz HELP ME !!!! also my most boystress degu has only one yellow-ish white tooth and all the rest are a darkish orange (but still not as dark as my other goo !!)i am not quite sure what is happening or why becuase they both eat exactly the same things!! plz help me if you do noe something or have had any experience on degus and can seriously help me
    thank you , ciara aged 15

  3. Michelle
    July 1st

    I would take your degu with the white teeth and eyes to the vet asap and the
    one degu with the one yellow and one orange teeth…

    The degu with the yellowish teeth I wouldnt worrie about it I have four
    degus and my breeding pair the male has bright orange teeth my female has
    yellowish teeth and my two degu brothers have dark orange teeth

  4. @Ciara

    Sorry about the delay, we were away for the holiday this weekend! I agree with Michelle’s response. Take the degu with the white teeth and eyes to the vet ASAP to have them looked at by a professional. Try and find a vet in your area that specializes in small animals or exotic animals and be sure to call ahead to make sure there’s someone in that facility who is knowledgeable about degus and that the facility treats them.

    While white teeth, in my research and experience, tends to mean an imbalanced diet, if none of your other boys are suffering the same symptoms it would lead me to believe that this one degu is ill or has some medical condition.

  5. emma
    May 18th

    I need your help right away My degu shmoo has a black ring over both of his top 2 teeth is this normal or something wrong?! I’m really worried and if there is something I can do to help him?

  6. Hello, my degu has orange teeth which I know is normal,but around the gum line (where plaque on humans usually is) it is dark brown… I don’t know whether this is normal or something to be worried about… If any of you have any ideas it would be extremely helpful and appreciated.

  7. michelle frantz
    March 27th

    Your Degus teeth might just have decay on it or tarter like how some dogs teeth look, as long as he or she is drinking and eating normal i wouldn’t be concerned. I also had 1 of my 4 degus have a bit of brownish on his teeth. If his teeth or gums go white or he stops eating and or drinking normal take him to the vet soon as possible.