Why Is My Chinchilla Grinding His Teeth? [Explanation & Tips]

Chinchillas are fascinating creatures with all their quirks.

You must have noticed some of their strange behaviors if you’ve got a soft spot for these furballs. One of their curious actions is teeth grinding.

But it must make you wonder, “Why is my chinchilla grinding his teeth?”

In this article, we’ll explore everything about chinchillas grinding their chompers. We’ll provide you with valuable tips on how to interpret and respond to this behavior.

Key Takeaway:

Chinchillas grind their teeth due to a range of factors. These include communication, contentment, dental problems, discomfort, and stress. Excessive teeth grinding leads to dental problems for chinchillas, including misalignment, dental pain, and difficulty eating.

Is all this talk of teeth grinding making you worried?

Well, fear not!

Let’s get straight to learning more about our furry friends ensuring their health and wellness. So, keep reading!

chinchilla teeth

Why Is My Chinchilla Grinding His Teeth?

Chinchillas grind and chatter their teeth for a variety of reasons.

Some do it all the time, while others never do it. And here’s the twist – a chinchilla that never chattered or ground its teeth before might start doing so out of the blue.

One common reason for this behavior is contentment. When chinchillas are feeling relaxed in their environment, they may grind their teeth. It’s like a cat’s purring when she’s happy. But chinchilla teeth grinding can also signal underlying issues.

Dental problems are a frequent cause. Chinchillas have continuously growing teeth that can lead to overgrowth and discomfort.

Additionally, chinchillas may grind their teeth in response to other forms of discomfort. This can include digestive problems, illness, or stress. Social interaction with other chinchillas can also trigger teeth grinding as a form of communication or play.

To get to the bottom of it, keep an eye on your little friend’s behavior. Look out for signs that could tell you what’s going on – whether they are in pain or relaxed.

Reasons Why Chinchillas Grind Their Teeth

Let’s look at some common reasons why your furball won’t give up grinding those teeth!

They’re Bored 

Chinchillas are small but mighty! These little balls of energy love being active. But that means they can easily get bored too! 

When your chin pal feels like there’s not much excitement around, they might resort to teeth grinding. It’s like foot tapping for humans – they’re waiting for something interesting to happen. 

Thankfully, this issue is easy to resolve. You can get your furry friend their own friend! Get them a cage mate, so that they can hang out with other chinchillas. You could also buy a bigger enclosure or give them some fun toys to cure their boredom.

Your Furbaby’s Stressed Out! 

One of the main reasons that makes chinchillas grind their teeth is stress. Chinchillas are sensitive creatures, and stress can take a toll on them. 

Even a small change in their environment can upset your furry fellow. They may start to feel anxious, scared, annoyed, or overwhelmed. And this might trigger them to grind their teeth to cope with their emotions.

He Just Wants To Talk 

Chinchillas are social butterflies. They love to communicate with each other. So, teeth grinding can also be a way of chatting with their fellow chinchillas. So, the next time you see your pet chinchilla chattering away around other chinchillas, he’s probably having a chat.

On the flip side, chinchillas' teeth grinding can be a means of connecting with the pet owner. To interpret what they're saying, be attentive to when your chinchilla grinds his teeth during your interactions.

Are you holding them too tight?

Is your frequent hugging bothering them?

Maybe you’re interfering too much with their playtime?

Observe your chinchilla’s body language while he grinds his teeth. Watching their behavior will help you understand your tiny pet better.

Dental Issues 

Now, this is a crucial one. Dental problems are a common occurrence for chinchillas. Chinchillas have open-rooted teeth that never stop growing.

If their teeth aren't wearing down properly, it can lead to several dental issues, such as excessively-grown teeth, misalignment, and oral pain. When their dental health is off, they might grind their teeth to deal with the discomfort.

They’re Seriously Ill Or In Pain 

Is your chinchilla grinding his teeth persistently? And you’ve ruled out boredom, stress, or dental issues?

Then, consider the possibility of illness or pain.

Dental problems aren’t the only health issue that causes teeth grinding. Sometimes, it can be a signal that something’s seriously wrong.

Teeth grinding can also occur if a chinchilla is experiencing other forms of discomfort, such as digestive issues. Chinchillas are masters at hiding their discomfort. So, any unusual behavior should be taken seriously.

Teeth Grinding Chinchilla = A Happy Chinchilla 

To end on a positive note, some chinchillas grind their teeth because they’re simply happy.

While it may seem like it, not all teeth chattering and grinding is a bad sign. Sometimes, your chinchilla might grind their teeth when comfortable and relaxed. It’s their way of saying, “I’m feeling pretty good right now!”

The weird thing about chinchillas is that they grind their teeth the same way when happy or anxious. But why they do it is anyone’s guess.

All we know is if your chinchilla is teeth grinding along with other signs of contentment, rest assured. Your little friend is having a great time!

Tips To Help With Chinchillas Grinding Their Teeth

chinchillas grindteeth

Here are some ways to create a comfortable and happy environment for your chinchilla. These tips will help reduce teeth grinding and ensure your pet’s overall health and contentment.

Help Them Relax 

Chinchillas, like people, can have stressful moments.

Maybe you’ve just brought your fur baby home or introduced new cage mates. Whatever the change is, don’t try rushing it. Take things slow and let your chinchilla adjust to the new environment at their own pace.

Additionally, to alleviate stress-related teeth grinding, you can create a tranquil environment for them.

Make sure their cage is in a quiet, low-traffic area of your home. Offer them plenty of hideaways, toys, a dust bath, and cozy spots in their enclosure. These will provide a sense of security, helping them relax.

Spend Quality Time With Them

Chinchillas thrive on social interaction. So, don’t ignore them!

Spend time with your chinny each day. This can reduce boredom and loneliness, potentially curbing their teeth chattering and grinding. Gentle petting, supervised playtime outside the cage, and talking to your chinchilla can all contribute to a happier, less stressed pet.

Provide A Better Diet

Eating a balanced and nutritious diet is essential for chinchilla health. Chewing naturally wears down their teeth. But if their food lacks sufficient roughage and fiber, it reduces the chewing motion, resulting in dental issues.

Ensure your fluffy pet has access to fresh grass and hay, along with high-quality chinchilla pellets and treats. Proper nutrition can contribute to overall well-being and reduce teeth grinding due to dental problems.

Take Care of Their Teeth

Because of the nonstop growth, chinchillas’ teeth need regular maintenance. Thus, their dental hygiene should be a high priority for every pet parent.

Safe gnawing blocks and chew toys made from wood or pumice stones are good solutions to prevent dental problems. Your chin can rub his teeth on these to wear them naturally.

Moreover, remember to schedule regular tooth-trimmings for your little pal. They will help keep your chinchilla’s teeth in top shape.

Pay The Exotic Vet A Visit

Still scratching your head about why your chinchilla’s acting this way?

If you’ve done everything but nothing seems to work, then it’s time to knock on your local exotic vet’s door.

An exotic veterinarian experienced in chinchilla care can diagnose any underlying issues, be it dental problems or other health concerns. They are your best bet to appropriately and timely treat your chinchilla, improving their chances of recovery.

What Does It Sound Like When Chinchillas Grind Their Teeth?

chinchilla chewing
Chinchillas grinding their teeth can be a pretty distinctive sound. It’s a repetitive gnashing of the teeth. Your pet rubs his upper and lower front teeth together. It almost sounds like two pebbles rubbing together.

Most of the time, it’s not a harsh or disturbing grinding noise. Instead, it’s a subtle, continuous sound distinct to chinchillas. Yet, it may vary in volume depending on why your chinchilla is grinding his teeth.

What Is The Difference Between Teeth Chattering And Grinding Sounds?

Some can’t tell them apart, but chattering and grinding are different sounds.


Chattering is a chinchilla sound for showing excitement, anxiousness, or agitation. It is a series of rapid, high-pitched squeaking noises.

When a chinchilla chatters his teeth, he usually shows other signs of excitement using his body language. These may include running around their cage or being alert with their ears perked up. It’s a vocal expression of their emotions.


As already discussed, grinding is the repetitive rubbing of teeth. This may indicate different things, including contentment, stress, dental problems, or discomfort.

To differentiate these chinchilla sounds, pay attention to your pet’s overall behavior. This can help you determine whether they are chattering or grinding their teeth.

Is Grinding Bad For Chinchilla’s Teeth?

Chinchilla teeth grinding can indeed be bad for their health. Chinchillas have constantly growing teeth. So, their incisors must wear down to maintain the right length and alignment.

For whatever reason, your chinny friend may grind his teeth too much. The excessive gnashing can lead to uneven wear or overgrowth of the teeth. This can cause malocclusion and other problems, including:
  1. Dental Pain: Overgrown teeth can be painful for chinchillas. They make it difficult for them to eat, causing discomfort.
  2. Difficulty Eating: Misaligned teeth can make it challenging for chinchillas to chew their normal diet. This causes weight loss and malnutrition.
  3. Infections: Large teeth can create pockets where food gets trapped, leading to infection.
  4. Oral Sores: Misaligned teeth can rub against the gums or cheeks, turning into cuts and sores.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Know If My Chinchilla Is Grinding His Teeth Because Of Pain? 

Figuring out if your chinchilla is grinding his teeth due to pain can be tricky.

But you can start by looking for signs in their body language. Decreased appetite, weight loss, or drooling are all pointers there’s something wrong with your pet. Plus, if your chinchilla is avoiding hard foods or exhibits changes in behavior like lethargy or irritability, it may be in pain.

You may examine their teeth for overgrowth or misalignment. However, consulting an experienced veterinarian is essential for a proper diagnosis. Not all teeth grinding means your pet is in pain. But quick action is necessary to guarantee your chinchilla’s health. 

Is It Necessary For Chinchillas To Grind Their Teeth? 

Excessively grinding and rubbing front teeth together is not normal. But gnawing is essential for chinchillas to keep their teeth in optimal shape. 

Wearing down their continuously growing teeth is a must to prevent dental problems. It helps maintain the proper length and alignment of their incisors. Without this natural grinding action, their teeth become overgrown and misaligned, leading to various dental issues, including pain and difficulty eating. 

Do Chinchillas Grind Their Teeth When They’re Sad? 

Chinchillas don’t typically grind their teeth when they’re sad.

It is more commonly associated with other factors, such as dental issues, discomfort, or communication. If a chinchilla is sad or in distress, they will exhibit changes like reduced activity, withdrawal, or changes in appetite. So, teeth gnashing is not an expression of emotional states like sadness. It’s rather a response to physical discomfort or pain.

Your Chinchilla’s Teeth Grinding Might Be A Cry For Help!

So why is my chin grinding his teeth?

In this article, we’ve delved into the world of chinchilla teeth grinding, looking at the various reasons behind this behavior.

From contentment to dental problems, we’ve explored why chinchillas grind their teeth. The takeaway here is that some teeth grinding is normal. But prolonged or odd grinding behavior may point to a problem that needs your attention.

We hope this article was helpful in gaining insight into your furry friend’s behavior.

If you found this information valuable, do share it with other chinchilla lovers. And if you’d like to explore more pet care-related topics, check out the articles on our website, Oddly Cute Pets. Your chinchilla will thank you for it!

Thanks for reading!

Leave a Comment