Mouth rot? Opinions please!

Yeet982

New member
Hey everyone!

I'm looking for opinions on if my little guy looks to have mouth rot. (See pics with/without flash).

About my dragon:
-He's about 8-9 years old
-His appetite is actually the best and most balanced it's been in months.
He does prefer his salad in baby food form (I blend collared greens/dandelion greens/butternut squash with water to form a thick babyfood), but crunches on bugs no problem.
- I believe he's well hydrated. I often mix water with his food and remind him of his water dish often (he drinks if I tap the surface). He drank lots of water in the bath yesterday.
-He's been much more social/active since spring started. He asks to come out of his tank daily so he can roam around and hops back into his tank when he's ready to warm up.

About my concern:
I've finally finished school this for the semester and have been able to actually spend all day with him lately, so all of this could be completely typical for him and maybe I'm just paranoid/noticing his less common habits again.

Yesterday I noticed that he was basking with his mouth open, which is uncommon for him but thought he had just reached the perfect basking temperature. He continued to do it off and on throughout the evening, even outside of his tank, so I became concerned about a respiratory infection, however his breathing sounds good, he's not black bearded, etc. I was checking his mouth yesterday and he drooled a little which was also surprising to me but he has not done so since.

This morning he was basking with his mouth open again so I snapped some pics. The ow inside his mouth is worrying me (though I can't say I've analyzed the inside of his mouth to this extent). I did swab it with a damp Q-tip and nothing moved/came off.

He's acting completely normal today, very alert and interactive with a high interest in food.

Should I be concerned about the state of his mouth? Or is a typical mouth?
 

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KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 6 and Blaze is 4
Hey everyone!

I'm looking for opinions on if my little guy looks to have mouth rot. (See pics with/without flash).

About my dragon:
-He's about 8-9 years old
-His appetite is actually the best and most balanced it's been in months.
He does prefer his salad in baby food form (I blend collared greens/dandelion greens/butternut squash with water to form a thick babyfood), but crunches on bugs no problem.
- I believe he's well hydrated. I often mix water with his food and remind him of his water dish often (he drinks if I tap the surface). He drank lots of water in the bath yesterday.
-He's been much more social/active since spring started. He asks to come out of his tank daily so he can roam around and hops back into his tank when he's ready to warm up.

About my concern:
I've finally finished school this for the semester and have been able to actually spend all day with him lately, so all of this could be completely typical for him and maybe I'm just paranoid/noticing his less common habits again.

Yesterday I noticed that he was basking with his mouth open, which is uncommon for him but thought he had just reached the perfect basking temperature. He continued to do it off and on throughout the evening, even outside of his tank, so I became concerned about a respiratory infection, however his breathing sounds good, he's not black bearded, etc. I was checking his mouth yesterday and he drooled a little which was also surprising to me but he has not done so since.

This morning he was basking with his mouth open again so I snapped some pics. The ow inside his mouth is worrying me (though I can't say I've analyzed the inside of his mouth to this extent). I did swab it with a damp Q-tip and nothing moved/came off.

He's acting completely normal today, very alert and interactive with a high interest in food.

Should I be concerned about the state of his mouth? Or is a typical mouth?
I am gonna have Cooper Dragon look at him
@CooperDragon
 

CooperDragon

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Based on the pictures I can see a bit of buildup along his gums, but I'd say his teeth look really good for a dragon his age. His soft food diet may be contributing to the buildup, so if he's eating bugs without issue, I'd offer some crunchy shelled bugs. Dubia, morio/superworms, and even some cleaner crew (morio beetles, buffalo beetles etc) can provide an abrasiveness that helps clean teeth as they chew. I'd keep offering these occasionally and it should help. I probably wouldn't mess with it much more than that unless he's OK with you rubbing his gums with a q-tip. You can put a little maxiguard gel on the q-tip which will act as an oral cleanser and help limit bacterial buildup.
 

Yeet982

New member
Original Poster
Based on the pictures I can see a bit of buildup along his gums, but I'd say his teeth look really good for a dragon his age. His soft food diet may be contributing to the buildup, so if he's eating bugs without issue, I'd offer some crunchy shelled bugs. Dubia, morio/superworms, and even some cleaner crew (morio beetles, buffalo beetles etc) can provide an abrasiveness that helps clean teeth as they chew. I'd keep offering these occasionally and it should help. I probably wouldn't mess with it much more than that unless he's OK with you rubbing his gums with a q-tip. You can put a little maxiguard gel on the q-tip which will act as an oral cleanser and help limit bacterial buildup.
Thank you so much for this response! I can't get dubia in Canada but superworms are his primary bug, I'll try to offer them a little more often (I blend them into his babyfood mixture as well - he's a bug addict and can become very picky if he gets too many live ones haha).

I can also try to offer more crunchy veg. He goes nuts for the soft version so I found it much easier than fighting him to eat one bite of salad but I can see what I can do

I'll look into the maxiguard gel! He tolerates me touching his gums relatively well.

Thank you again, I've been so worried!
 

Drache613

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Hello,

Bless him, he is doing great for is age! This is very common when they get a little older, but, I
don't think it is mouth rot, either, just some build up. As Cooper suggested, the Maxiguard gel is a
good product & easy to use & apply also.

Let us know how he is doing.
Tracie
 

Yeet982

New member
Original Poster
Update... We transitioned to just solid food but I fortunately it still progressed. Baby boy is 10 years old and went for surgery today to clean this up! The dental disease ultimately caused a severe soft tissue infection. The vet said that this is very common in beardies that outlive their wild life expectancy. When we went to the vet for it I thought it was cancer and was planning to pass on any type of surgical since he's so old, but the vet was truly impressed by his health and that his overall conditions was that of a younger dragon, and he'd tolerate surgery well.

The infection came to my attention last week when I noticed his chin and cheek (below his eye) inflamed (ill attach a photo, don't mind the bugs on his chin) and he was black bearding a bit more often. It's likely been brewing since before my first post though, as it was actually nearly to the bone and the puss pocket even extended to go behind his eye.

My options were surgery to clean it up and then he'd be good for life, or do painkillers + antibiotics for the remainder of his life, but the infection would eventually destroy his jaw bones. Since he's in such good health I couldn't justify just drugging him and letting him deteriorate slowly, or euthanizing an otherwise healthy boy with a lot more life left.

They cleaned it up and he did great! I'll attach a before and after pic that the vet provided as well as a pic of his puffiness. Note under the eye on the right!

Very thankful for how accessible exotic pet medicine is becoming, and that I was able to afford doing this for my little man.
1000013624.jpg
 

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Drache613

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Hello,

Wow, bless him. At least the vet was knowledgeable & did the teeth cleaning so well. I am sure he
feels better now. l hope he is able to continue eating solid foods too. It appears he tolerated the surgery
very well!
I totally understand not wanting to medicate him like that, especially since there was an option to try & get
it all taken care of. I think he will be just fine!

Tracie
 

Yeet982

New member
Original Poster
He's really doing better than I'd expect! Still groggy but curious, and feisty enough to fight the syringe like crazy at med time. I'm thankful that it was treatable and that he was healthy enough to tolerate the surgery as a senior dragon.

Just thought it would be interesting and/or educational to post the update + photos!
 

Drache613

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Hello,

It is such a great news, he is doing so well! At least he is fighting you some on the meds then he must
be feeling pretty good then. I'm glad the vet was able to help get his issue straightened out for him. I
hope he is having a great week.
Any procedures are always an excellent learning tool for us all.

Tracie
 

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