Interesting Facts about the Teeth of Mouse and Rat

The mouse and the rats are both rodents with striking resemblance. Their similarities may include the type and the number of their teeth. It should be noted that their classification under the family of ‘Muroidea’ has been based on the formation of the lower part of their jaw. In this article, we will discuss some of the facts that you might find fascinating about the teeth of the rats and mice.

Dental Formula
Dental formula is basically a simple technique that is used to describe the amount of teeth of the animals. This will include bottom and the top section of the animal’s jaw. The first number will indicate half of the teeth on the upper jaw and the second number pertains to half of the teeth on the lower jaw. Both mice and rats will follow the same dental formula; their molars will have 3/3, premolars of 0/1, canine teeth 0/0, and incisors 1/1. These numbers should then be doubled to determine the total number of their teeth.

The Continuously Growing Incisors
The incisors or the two long teeth of the rats and mice have open roots. This means that the teeth will continuously grow as long as they are alive. In order to control the growth of their teeth, they will need to constantly gnaw tough materials. This will wear down the teeth and will prevent them from reaching an alarming length. If the rat or mouse has misaligned teeth, this will prevent them from keeping the length of their teeth in check. In some cases, this can be a problem and life threatening. This can even pierce their skull or prevent them from eating.

The Color
It is normal for the mice and the rats to have an orange or yellow incisor. Compared to human, the yellow color is not an indication of their improper dental health. This is caused by a special pigment which contains an elevated amount of iron. This pigment is mostly concentrated on the upper teeth but the lower teeth still have a decent amount of pigment. On mice, the yellowish shade will not be visible since their incisors will be less prominent compared to the rats.

Apart from the larger body of the rats, they also have larger teeth compared to the mice. It is quite easy to tell if an object has been chewed by the mice or rats through the bite marks. The rats will generally leave a teeth mark that is deep that measures an average of 1/8 inches in terms of length. On the contrary, the teeth mark of the mice will only appear like a scratch.

It is also essential to note that the mice and rats are considered monophyodont. This means that they will only receive the same set of teeth throughout their life time. Humans are known as polyphyodont which implies that we will have a set of milk teeth that will eventually be replaced with permanent teeth as we grow old.

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