Bearded Dragon Opening and Closing Mouth {5 Important Factors to Consider}

Is my bearded dragons trying to catch flies? The sight of a bearded dragon opening and closing mouth could a docile or hostile act.

Could this be due to illness or is it a natural thing to witness beardies with their mouths open?

This article will also open and shut the case of bearded dragon gaping.

Bearded Dragon Opening and Closing Mouth

Bearded Dragon gaping and the opening, closing of their mouths are due to:

  • regulating tempruatre
  • stretching
  • shedding
  • attracting mates
  • showing aggression
  • displaying a symptoms of respiratory infection

My bearded dragons uses his jaw muscles a lot when he’s going to shed. Opening and shutting his mouth helps him relax the skin that he will eventually lose.

Allow me to explain all the other reasons below in this article.

Bearded Dragon Gaping

A bearded dragon will frequently sit with its jaws open when it achieves its thermal maximum. This activity, known as gaping, indicates that the lizard is at its maximum basking temperature.

This opening allows a bearded dragon to expel excess body heat. Because lizards do not sweat, this is a good technique for them to keep their body temperature stable.

They may also use gaping as a way to communicate. This is usually a sign of aggression or mating behavior.

5 Reasons Why Bearded Dragon Mouth Is Open

1. Thermodynamics

Bearded dragons require a lot of heat. They require it for digestion and immune system maintenance. Because lizards have chilly blood, they must get heat from outside sources by basking.

Lizards do not sweat, thus they keep their mouth open to cool themselves.

Bearded dragons maintain a temperature of 94 to 97.3 degrees Fahrenheit and open their lips to release excess heat to avoid overheating.

This is known as gsping, and it is fairly common among bearded dragons.

2. Extending and shedding

Bearded dragons, like many other creatures, require stretching. You may note that when beardies stretch their jaw muscles, they move their mouth in shorter intervals than while gaping.

Bearded dragons also use their jaw muscles especially hard as they are about to shed.

3. Aggressiveness

When threatened, bearded dragons may also keep their jaws open. In a stressed environment, a bearded dragon may hiss and inflate its beard while expanding its jaws.

If they are under strain, they can also turn their beard black.

When your bearded dragon opens its mouth and hisses or exhibits other signs of stress, it may want some alone time.

4. Infection of the Respiratory Tract

If you see your bearded dragon opening their lips for prolonged periods of time and producing a light clicking sound while breathing, your reptile may have a respiratory illness.

Because bearded dragons cannot cough, they must breathe through their mouths when their respiratory tracts are obstructed.

When they are trying to remove mucus from their lungs, you may hear them make a high-pitched sound similar to a sneeze.

5. It’s Mating Season!

During certain periods of the year, your reptile may become very aggressive and disturbed. Bearded dragons open and shut their lips to impress possible mates during these weeks.

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Why Does My Bearded Dragon Open His Mouth?

There are several reasons why a bearded dragon might open its mouth, and it can indicate different behaviors or physiological needs. Here are a few possible reasons for a bearded dragon opening its mouth:

  • Thermoregulation: Bearded dragons regulate their body temperature by basking under a heat source. When they become too warm, they might open their mouths to help dissipate excess heat. This behavior is known as “gular gaping” or “mouth gaping” and allows for increased airflow to cool down.
  • Stress or Anxiety: If a bearded dragon is feeling stressed, threatened, or anxious, it may open its mouth as a defensive display. This behavior is often accompanied by inflating their beard (hence the name “bearded” dragon). It’s their way of trying to appear larger and ward off potential threats.
  • Respiratory Distress: In some cases, a bearded dragon may open its mouth and appear to be breathing heavily or gasping. This could be a sign of respiratory distress or an underlying health issue. If you observe this behavior consistently or notice other signs of illness, such as lethargy, loss of appetite, or wheezing, it is crucial to consult a reptile veterinarian for a proper evaluation and potential treatment.
  • Normal Behavior: Bearded dragons may occasionally open their mouths as part of their natural behavior, especially during yawning or stretching. It is typically nothing to worry about if it occurs infrequently and is not accompanied by other concerning symptoms.

Why Is My Bearded Dragon Opening His Mouth at Me

When a bearded dragon opens its mouth at you, it can have different meanings depending on the context and accompanying behaviors. Here are a few possible reasons why your bearded dragon might be opening its mouth:

  • Temperature Regulation: Bearded dragons regulate their body temperature through a process called thermoregulation. Opening their mouth and extending their neck is a common behavior to release excess heat and cool down. If your bearded dragon is basking under a heat source or has been in a warm environment, they may open their mouth to dissipate heat.
  • Threat Display: When a bearded dragon feels threatened or stressed, they may display defensive behaviors, including opening their mouth wide. This can be accompanied by hissing, puffing up their beard (hence the name “bearded” dragon), and even lunging. It’s their way of warning potential predators or perceived threats to back off.
  • Respiratory Distress: In some cases, opening the mouth and gasping for air can indicate respiratory distress or difficulty breathing. If your bearded dragon is consistently opening its mouth and appears to be struggling to breathe, it could be a sign of a respiratory infection or other respiratory issue. In such cases, it is crucial to seek veterinary attention promptly.

Do Bearded Dragons Die With Mouth Open?

Yes, in many cases bearded dragons may die with their mouths open when they grow exceedingly dehydrated and die if not given adequate water. Another possible reason is famine.

If a bearded dragon does not have enough food, it might die of starvation. Infection is a third possible reason.

If a bearded dragon becomes infected, it can weaken and finally kill the animal with the mouth poswhy is my bearded dragon opening his mouth at mesibly open.

Does My Bearded Dragons Have a Respiratory Infection?

Indications of respiratory tract illnesses in bearded dragons include:

  • a lack of appetite
  • less active
  • discharges or bubbles from their eyes or nostrils
  • unusually quick breathing

Respiratory infections can be viral, bacterial, parasitic, or fungal, although bacteria are the most common.

High humidity might cause bacterial infections in your bearded dragon’s lungs. To avoid them, maintain the tank’s humidity level below 40%.

A hygrometer can let you check the humidity levels in the tank and keep your lizard healthy.

If you believe your bearded dragon has a respiratory illness, take it to a veterinarian to determine the severity of the ailment and provide proper medication.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. What Does It Mean When a Bearded Dragon Opens Its Mouth at You?

It’s an aggressive sign. Bearded dragons are often peaceful and placid reptiles. They may, however, open their jaws as part of an aggressive attitude if they feel threatened, furious, or terrified.

When this animal feels threatened or terrified, it will either fight or flee.

2. Why Is My Bearded Dragon Opening Mouth and Making Noise?

Your reptile could be suffering from a respiratory condition if you see your bearded dragon opening its lips for extended periods of time and making a faint clicking sound while breathing.

Since bearded dragons cannot cough, they must breathe through their mouths when their respiratory systems get clogged.

3. Bearded Dragon Open Mouth After Eating

A bearded dragon opens its mouth most of the time to regulate its body temperature. They could be gaping to show aggression if more food is being protected. They could also open their mouths to stretch after eating.


Your bearded dragon’s enclosure tank may occasionally overheat significantly, and your the beardie has nowhere to go, their mouth will remain open.

Ideally, you should position your beardie’s basking light on one of the tank’s far sides. You may buy imitation reptile caves and place them on the cool side of the aquarium. When it becomes too hot, your beardie may hide in them.

They do, however, require sheltered locations to keep cool. Now that you know why your bearded dragon opens its mouth now and again, you should provide some shade for your scale baby. Set up a chilly zone distant from the basking area and keep the temperature between 80 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you think your bearded dragon’s mouth open is due to a respiratory infection, please visit the vet.


Thank you for visiting for the best information to help you enjoy the life of your pocket pet companion in a fun, safe & healthy way.


My name is Anna and I work full time in my local pet shop where we sell many animals that I write about on this site. I love all animals and love writing about them.