Mouth Rot in Bearded Dragons {Vet’s Advice}

I could smell the stench. Mouth rot in bearded dragon could be noticed with the power of your nose. What to do about it may be the most important future steps to solving this issue before it gets worse.

This article will help to shed light on the topic of mouth issues in bearded dragons and whether or not you should require a vet’s help right away.

I’ve got a story to share at the end of this article which includes a vet’s expert advice.

Mouth Rot in Bearded Dragons

Mouth rot, sometimes referred to as infectious stomatitis, is a typical bacterial infection in bearded dragons that, if left untreated, can have major health repercussions. Symptoms include:

  • trouble opening their mouths or not opening them at all
  • red or swollen tongue and gums
  • odd growths or discolorations in the mouth
  • a lack of appetite or trouble eating
  • more saliva in the mouth or drooling
  • mouth emitting a bad odor
  • weakness or sluggishness

A course of antibiotics, oral washing and disinfection, and supportive care are frequently used as treatments.

Make sure your bearded dragon’s home is sanitary and clean, and offer a balanced food and lots of water to prevent mouth rot.

How Do I Know if My Bearded Dragon Has Mouth Rot?

There are a few indicators to watch out for if you think your bearded dragon may have mouth rot:

  1. Discoloration: Mouth rot may be present if your bearded dragon’s mouth seems discolored. The lips and surrounding skin may seem red, puffy, or even black.
  2. Bad breath: Another indicator of mouth rot is bad breath, which comes from your bearded dragon’s mouth.
  3. Eating difficulties: If your bearded dragon has mouth rot, it may find it challenging to consume food or may reject it completely.
  4. Drooling excessively: If you observe that your bearded dragon is drooling more than normal, mouth rot may be the cause.
  5. Visible pus or discharge: If you notice pus or discharge around the mouth of your bearded dragon, this is unmistakably a symptom of mouth rot.

It’s critical to get veterinarian care as soon as you believe your bearded dragon has mouth rot.

How Does a Bearded Dragon Get Mouth Rot?

Bacteria, fungus, or other microbes enter a bearded dragon’s mouth, often through open wounds or scratches brought on by hard handling or poor feeding techniques. It could be due to:

  • stress
  • poor living circumstances
  • poor cleanliness
  • compromised immune system

The following are some typical reasons why bearded dragons have mouth rot:

  • eating food that is polluted or unclean
  • dental problems or poor dental hygiene
  • consuming or residing around sick reptiles
  • improper humidity and temperature conditions within the enclosure
  • mouth-related wounds or injuries

Bearded dragons should be fed fresh, uncontaminated food, kept in a clean and well-maintained habitat, and given adequate hygienic care.

How Do You Treat Reptile Mouth Rot?

Take your bearded dragon to a vet that specializes in reptiles if you feel that they have mouth rot. The following are some typical remedies for reptile mouth rot:

1. Antibiotics

If bacteria are to blame for the mouth rot, these can aid in the infection’s eradication. Antibiotics may be prescribed orally or topically by your veterinarian.

2. Antifungal medicine

If a fungal infection is the root cause of the mouth rot, your veterinarian may recommend an antifungal prescription.

3. Cleaning the mouth

To get rid of any debris or diseased tissue, your veterinarian may need to clean the afflicted region.

4. Better Husbandry

If your bearded dragon’s mouth rot is the result of poor husbandry, such as unclean or crowded living circumstances, it’s critical to upgrade its care.

5. Surgery

This could be necessary in some circumstances to remove contaminated tissue. To get the greatest outcome for your bearded dragon, it is crucial to adhere to your veterinarian’s treatment and care recommendations.

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What Does Mouth Rot Look Like?

Infectious stomatitis, sometimes known as mouth rot, affects many bearded dragons and other reptiles. It is a bacterial infection that results in oral tissue infection and inflammation.

Here’s what it may resemble:

  • irritation and redness near the mouth.
  • gums, the tongue, or the roof of the mouth may have white or yellow spots.
  • the gums and mouth becoming swollen
  • mouth bleeding or a pus-like discharge
  • appetite loss and fatigue

Take your bearded dragon to a veterinarian right once for a diagnosis and treatment if you observe any of these signs in them. Serious consequences from untreated mouth rot can result in abscesses, bone infections, and even death.

Why Do Reptiles Get Mouth Rot?

Mouth rot, or infectious stomatitis, can affect reptiles for a number of causes, including:

  • inadequate diet
  • stress
  • poor cleanliness
  • impaired immune systems

Through tiny scrapes or abrasions, bacteria can get into the mouth and infect it. A poor diet, especially one lacking in vitamin A, can exacerbate mouth rot by weakening the immune system and making the reptile more susceptible to infections.

Poor living circumstances, such as filthy water or a substrate, can also foster the development of dangerous germs. Additionally, stress may contribute to the occurrence of mouth rot.

Due to a compromised immune system, agitated or badly handled reptiles may be more prone to mouth rot.

How Do You Clean a Bearded Dragon’s Mouth?

Observe these four methods to clean a bearded dragon’s mouth:

  1. Prepare a bath with warm water: Make sure the water is not too hot and fill a small container with it. The bearded dragon should be gently placed in the water and allowed to soak for 15 to 20 minutes.
  2. Utilize a cotton swab: After soaking, carefully wipe the inside of the mouth with a cotton swab, taking care not to damage the bearded dragon.
  3. As necessary, completely clean the mouth, you might need to repeat this procedure a few times if there is a lot of buildup.
  4. Give your bearded dragon the care it needs: To avoid more mouth rot cases, give your bearded dragon the care it needs, including a clean enclosure, a healthy food, and frequent doctor visits.

To help the illness clean up, a vet could suggest antibiotics or other therapies.

Does Mouth Rot Stink?

Yes, a bearded dragon’s mouth can smell bad due to mouth rot. This is due to the possibility of pus, which has a characteristic scent when an infection occurs.

If your bearded dragon’s mouth has a noticeable stench, mouth rot or another ailment may be the cause. Untreated mouth rot can have catastrophic consequences, including the spread of infection to other body areas and, in extreme circumstances, death.

Can You Use Betadine on Reptiles?

Povidone-iodine, sometimes known as betadine, is a topical antiseptic solution that may be used to reptiles to cure mouth rot and other ailments.

Due to the potential for toxicity if consumed or administered incorrectly, it should be used with care and under the supervision of a veterinarian.

Before applying Betadine to a reptile, appropriately dilute it because administering it at full strength might result in chemical burns or other damage. I wouldn’t recommend this without a vet’s approval and initial diagnosis.

What Is the Yellow Fungus in My Bearded Dragon’s Mouth?

A fungal illness known as yellow fungus, often referred to as canary fungus or Chrysosporium anamorph of Nannizziopsis vriesii (CANV), can afflict reptiles including bearded dragons. If untreated, this disorder has the potential to be lethal.

The following are possible signs of yellow fungus in a bearded dragon’s mouth:

  • On the tongue, mouth’s roof, or gums, there are nodules or plaques that are yellow or white.
  • In the mouth, there are thick or discolored tissues.
  • Reduced appetite
  • Loss of weight
  • Lethargy
  • Having trouble breathing

Antifungal medications, surgery to remove affected tissue, and supportive care to help the dragon regain strength and appetite are all possible treatments for yellow fungus.

How to Treat Mouth Rot in Bearded Dragons at Home

Here are some broad actions that might assist in treating bearded dragon mouth rot at home:

  1. Boost hygiene by keeping the dragon’s habitat clean and well-kept and by routinely cleaning the food and water dishes.
  2. Use a mouthwash recommended by your veterinarian to help kill germs and encourage oral healing.
  3. Administer medications such antibiotics or antifungal agents as directed by your veterinarian.
  4. Improve nutrition by offering a balanced diet that includes the right nutrients and fluids.
  5. Watch out for any changes in your dragon’s behavior or health by keeping a careful check on them.
  6. Consult a veterinarian right once if the situation persists or gets worse.

Bearded Dragon Mouth Problems

A variety of oral issues that bearded dragons might acquire can be bothersome for them as well as worrying for their owners. The following are some typical issues that bearded dragons may have with their mouths:

  • Mouth rot is a bacterial illness that can make your mouth red, swollen, and discharge. Additionally, it may cause the gums and teeth to become black.
  • The dragon may find it difficult to eat if they have ulcers, which are painful sores that can appear on the tongue, gums, or roof of the mouth.
  • Also referred to as mouth inflammation, stomatitis can make the mouth red, swollen, and uncomfortable.
  • Abscesses are pus-filled pockets that can appear anywhere in the mouth. They may need to be treated by a veterinarian to be drained.

Although professional care is frequently required to accurately diagnose and treat the problem, home remedies may occasionally be suggested.

Vet’s Advice

As the owner of a bearded dragon, I observed that my pet’s mouth was not shutting correctly and that it was emitting an unpleasant stench. I did some investigating and found that mouth rot, a bacterial condition prevalent in reptiles, may be the cause.

When I brought my bearded dragon to the doctor, the prognosis was verified. The veterinarian advised me to regularly wipe my bearded dragon’s mouth with saline solution in addition to prescribing medication to cure the illness.

To strengthen its immune system, I also changed my bearded dragon’s food to include additional calcium and vitamin pills. My bearded dragon’s mouth was back to normal and the bad smell was gone after a few weeks of therapy.

I discovered that bearded dragons may avoid mouth rot and other oral issues with frequent checkups and good maintenance, including dental hygiene.

Final Thought

Mouth rot is a terrible ailment that can cause your bearded dragon considerable health issues. Early detection of mouth rot symptoms is critical, as is rapid veterinarian care to stop the condition from spreading.

Bearded dragons are more likely to develop mouth rot when preventative steps like keeping their cage dry and clean, giving them the right nourishment and water, and giving them regular dental treatment are taken.

Do not hesitate to get your bearded dragon checked out by a veterinarian if you think it may have mouth rot. Most bearded dragons may recover from this disease and go on to live healthy, happy lives with the right care and treatment.

A better outcome and higher quality of life for your cherished pet can be achieved via regular monitoring of your bearded dragon’s general health and behavior.


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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.