Do Chameleons Have Teeth? 6 Clear Chameleon Teeth Care Steps

Do chameleons have teeth and how do they eat? These are questions often asked by children. I am always fascinated by their questions and go check my pet Chameleon to confirm before answering.

Do chameleons have teeth? Chameleons do have teeth and it is so small that sometimes people mistake it for jaws. Chameleons have acrodont teeth. Simply stated, they are fused to the top of their mouth bones.

We will see how Chameleon eats, what is the use of their teeth and how to protect chameleon teeth from falling in this article.

Do chameleons have teeth
Do chameleons have teeth?


Do Chameleons Have Teeth?

Yes, chameleons have teeth in their upper jaw. Actually the do not have teeth but they have small hooks in their jaw which are called acrodonts. These small hooks are present in both upper and lower jaws of chameleon.

The word “acrodont” is derived from Greek, Acro meaning ‘high’ and dont meaning ‘tooth’. Acrodont teeth in chameleons are not like the teeth in mammals and humans.

we can see Chameleon’s acrodont teeth in upper jaw.

The proper term for tongue in vertebrates is ‘Lexis’ but when it comes to lizards, they are called as ‘Tongue’. Chameleon’s tongue is very long and sticky to catch the insects.

Chameleon catches insect with its Lexis or Tongue.

A chameleons have a highly modified, fleshy, muscular organ in their mouth called laryngeal sac which creates a sound when it opens and closes. The size of Chameleon’s mouth cavity is approx. 3.5 times that of the size of its head!


Do Chameleon Teeth Fall Off?

Yes, Chameleon’s teeth may fall off in special cases but it is a bad situation for the pet Chameleon since they don’t regrow teeth. They have teeth which they have to live with for the whole life. If they lose them, there is no way getting it back.


Do Chameleon Teeth Regenerate Or Regrow?

Chameleon’s teeth are often compared to a parrot beak which are also fused to their upper jawbone. Unlike the mammals, chameleons have very small teeth which fall off without replacement or regeneration.

If a chameleon loses a tooth in the wild, they will simply die because they depend on these acrodonts to eat insects. The loss of tooth may make it impossible for them to latch onto insect or even eat.


Why Do Chameleons Teeth Fall Off?

There are many reasons why Chameleons teeth fall off. If any of these conditions occur, they may lose their tooth and get trouble eating:

Dental Disease

Chameleon’s mouth area may be affected by dental disease or infection if not taken care on time. Diseased chameleon often feels discomfort and loss of appetite, which lead to the loss of teeth.


Metabolic Bone Disease

A lack of calcium causes weak bones and may lead to broken jaw or abnormal wear on the teeth. In this case, you have to provide a good diet with proper calcium supplement to prevent tooth loss in Chameleons.



Infections, fever and certain diseases may lead to tooth loss. In this case, they may die if it is not taken care on time.



Stress from change in environment or lack of humidity can cause injury to the mouth area of chameleon which leads to tooth loss.


Reproductive Season

Chameleon’s conditions may be poor during reproductive season in the wild. They eat less and lose teeth in this time to save their energy.


What To Do When Chameleons Teeth Fall Off?

When a chameleon loses their tooth it is really bad to them, since they are obligate insectivores. In this case, you should consult a veterinarian for treatment to prevent further trouble with the chameleon’s health.


Chameleon Teeth Care

Since chameleon teeth do not regrow, you should take some precautions to protect them.

Here are some tips:

Provide a proper diet

You should provide a good and healthy diet for your pet chameleons which includes greens, crickets and other insects so they can get the calcium and nutrients required for their healthy teeth.


Provide proper humidity

As chameleons, they cannot go without humidity for a long time. They need more humidity during night since it is easier to lose their teeth due to lack of humid conditions during night time.


Keep a check on stress levels

If there are too many changes or stress in environment, chameleons may lose their teeth since it is very important for them to keep themselves safe.


Monitor the temperature

Provide a constant temperature and make sure it remains between 70-80 degrees during day time to prevent tooth loss.


Provide calcium supplement

A lack of calcium causes weak bones and may lead to broken jaw or abnormal wear on the teeth. In this case, you have to provide a good diet with proper calcium supplement to prevent tooth loss in Chameleons.


Get regular check-ups

If chameleon’s condition is deteriorating without any reasons, visit a veterinarian for further inspection.


Can Chameleons Bite With Their Teeth?

Some people think chameleons have venomous bite, but it is just a myth. They have to eat insects which are hard for them to digest, so they cannot chew food properly unlike other animals with proper teeth.

They use tongue to catch insects and swallow them whole to digest them through the digestive tract just like a snake. So, chameleon’s teeth are not essential for catching or taking food. They use their teeth only as defense against predators.


When Will Chameleon Bite With Their Teeth?

When a chameleon feels threatened they will bite since it is their only defense. If you touch them, pick them up or move them from where they are resting at that time, they may use their sharp teeth to defend themselves if they feel that human or any other predator is moving towards them.


Do Chameleons Teeth Hurt?

Do Chameleons have teeth? Yes, of course. Do Chameleons have teeth that hurt? Chameleons teeth are not sharp enough to hurt humans or other animals. Their jaws are not strong enough to cause harm even if they bit you with their teeth. However, when they feel threatened by any predator, they may bite in self-defense and use their very sharp teeth for it.

So, chameleon’s teeth do not hurt, but they use it to defend themselves.


Do Chameleons Use Teeth To Eat?

How do chameleons eat? Since it has teeth, you can believe that Chameleons like to chew. They use their tongues to catch prey and swallow it whole. It is not certain how long it takes for them to digest but after some time; Chameleons poop out the remains of their prey.

Chameleon’s teeth are not essential for eating since they do it basically without chewing. They swallow food whole and digest them later on with digestive tract. So, chameleon’s teeth are not used to eat food but only as a defense mechanism against predators.


How Many Teeth Do Chameleons Have?

Chameleons have 18 teeth. They are called maxillary and mandibular teeth that means they have 18 upper and lower teeth respectively.


How Long Do Chameleon’s Teeth Last?

Teeth last as long as a chameleon lives, but it depends on how well they take care of their teeth. If you provide proper diet and care, chameleon’s teeth may live up to 20 years.

Do chameleons have teeth
Do chameleons have teeth – Why do chameleons have teeth

Chameleons that consume insects with hard exoskeletons often wear their teeth out quickly since they do not have saliva like the other reptiles to soften food before fully digesting it.

As a Pet lover, make sure you properly learn about pet and take care of their teeth. Once it falls off, there is no regeneration process.

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The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. No material on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional veterinary advice, food recommendation, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or for pet food related questions.

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