Do Chameleons Really Have Teeth?

  • By: Reptilia Planet
  • Time to read: 7 min.

Many people think that chameleons don’t have teeth because they rely on their tongues to snag prey. However, this is not true! Chameleons actually tiny, teeth that aren’t visible to the naked eye! You can see a chameleon’s teeth by looking at its mouth up close.

Chameleons have what’s called (Acrodont Dentition) which basically means that their teeth sit vertically in the jaw bone. Their teeth are also triangular in shape and serrated, which helps them grip and chew their prey.

However, just as with any other pet, it’s important to know about the chameleon’s teeth! After all, they need their teeth to eat right!

So keeping them healthy is crucial for your chameleon’s wellbeing. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at chameleon teeth and answer some more related questions regarding their teeth.

How Many Teeth Do Chameleons Have?

So now that you know chameleons do have teeth at this point your properly wondering how many teeth do they have exactly?

Well, Chameleons have a total of 22 small teeth that sit vertically around their jaw. These teeth are very powerful and are able to crush and tear through their prey with ease!

Hatchlings, on the other hand, have only 10 small teeth in their jaw. Larger additional teeth are added to the back of the jaws when room is made available as they grow!

Their teeth also come in handy when chameleons need to climb! Sometimes they will bite on branches to give them a better grip.

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Are Chameleons Teeth Sharp?

There are different opinions about the sharpness of chameleon teeth. Some people say they don’t have sharp teeth yet they can chew through hardshell insects.

Research shows that chameleons have rows of tiny, sharp, and pointy teeth that exist on both jaws. Their sharp teeth actually resemble the teeth of sharks.

The sharp and pointy structure of the teeth enables them to chew their food fast and easily.

Because chameleons mostly eat insects, it’s no surprise that they have sharp and strong teeth. Their teeth work swiftly to catch the prey and crunch it without any problems.

Considering the firmness of the teeth, they do have stronger jaws that also play a key role in killing the prey.

As mentioned, in this article that your chameleon pet needs proper diet and nutrition. If you fail to maintain a proper diet, it can undergo various health conditions, including chameleon mouth disease that can affect its oral health.

Poor husbandry and lack of proper nutrition are the main causes of chameleon mouth disease. Calcium is important for teeth development and proper functioning.

This can affect the sharpness of the teeth due to vitamin A and vitamin C deficiency or improper calcium and phosphorus levels.

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Do Chameleons Lose Their Teeth Over Time?

No! The chameleon’s teeth should last for their entire life! However, if you have noticed that they are missing some then there are some reasons for this.

Why Chameleons Teeth Fall Out Or Get Damaged:

  • Fighting
  • Mouth Disease
  • Crunching Insects
  • Biting Hard Objects
  • To Much Sugar


One reason why a chameleon’s teeth would be missing or damaged is when it fights with other chameleons. They will often fight each other and use their teeth to protect themselves from one another.

When chameleons fight, they can significantly damage their teeth. It is because a chameleon uses its teeth to bite another chameleon. It tries to bite another chameleon with force, which can cause it to lose teeth.

Gum recession is a common phenomenon in most reptiles. A receded gum can’t replace itself, which leads to exposure of teeth that eventually become prone to damages.

Crunching Insects

Chameleons have strong and sharp teeth that they use for crunching insects. However, sometimes, when they try to crunch an insect it can damage their teeth and make the structure vulnerable to breaking.

That’s why, as a pet owner, you should ensure a proper habitat for your chameleon that allows your pet to eat properly in a safe environment. In simple words, you should remove any hard object so that your chameleon does not bite it.

Biting Hard Objects

When your chameleon rubs its teeth against the enclosure or bites a firm object, it can damage the teeth. The most common reason behind this is when you keep a wild chameleon as a pet.

Therefore, it will press through the lid or walls that can eventually lead to self-injury. So it is essential to keep a wild chameleon in proper cages and prevent your pet from getting into contact with a hard object.

To Much Sugar

The loss of teeth is also due to health conditions. For example, when you feed your pet with a fruit-based diet, it can cause damage to the structure of teeth and make them vulnerable.

Although fruits are a rich source of vitamins and minerals, some of them contain a high level of sugar that can lead to a condition called periodontal disease.

Do Chameleons Teeth Grow Back?

NO! Chameleon’s teeth do not regrow and if a chameleon does lose any teeth, then they can suffer from an oral health condition. If this happens to your chameleon then it’s essential to determine or diagnose the reasons why they are losing teeth.

Because these lizards rely on teeth to catch and crunch their prey it’s very important that you consult with a veterinarian as soon as possible if you notice that it is losing teeth or else they can not eat.

Unfortunately, Once your pet chameleon loses their teeth, it will live the rest of its life without them, and this can significantly affect your pet’s overall health and wellbeing.

As mentioned earlier, chameleons have acrodont teeth that don’t have roots. Their teeth are attached and ankylosed to the jawbones, which don’t allow chameleon to regrow its teeth.

Reptiles that have pleurodont dentition can easily replace their teeth. For example, many lizards and snakes can replace their teeth when they fall out.

On the other hand, reptiles that have endodontic dentition can’t replace their teeth because their teeth are loosely attached to the jaw and have no roots.

Such reptiles have teeth that are prone to fractures and infections.

For instance, some reptiles like chameleons and bearded dragons are captive lizards, which have acrodont dentition and can develop an oral disorder known as periodontal disease.

It is a common disorder in chameleons that can lead to substantial morbidity. That’s why it is essential to maintain a proper diet and avoid giving your pet a fruit-based diet to prevent the condition.

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Chameleon Tooth Care

There is no direct way to take care of your chameleon teeth. However, when you consider a few things like proper diet, calcium supplements, and habitat, your chameleon’s teeth will remain firm and functional.

If you want to keep their teeth strong and sharp, it is essential to focus on a proper diet. Because these reptiles teeth have higher calcium composition, you can give them food that is rich in calcium.

At the same time, there are calcium supplements available on the market. Buy a high-quality one and give an adequate amount of calcium to your chameleon according to the instructions and directions are given on the bottle or packaging.

If you want to keep more than one chameleon in the same terrarium, chances are that they will fight each other.

As mentioned above, chameleons use their teeth, horns, and other parts of the body to protect themselves, they can damage these organs in the fight.

In general, male chameleons often fight one another. So, it is better to keep them in a separate terrarium. Remember, a male chameleon can also fight or bite a female one.

If you want to avoid fighting from fighting each other, provide a comfortable environment so that they feel peaceful, relaxed, and calm.

Make sure you have a large cage or terrarium that will allow your pets to roam around. Fill the terrarium with ficus plants, which are non-toxic and safe plants for your chameleon.


So now you know that chameleons have teeth. However, the important thing you to make sure that you take care of their teeth and as mentioned above, this includes having a suitable habitat where they can’t chew on hard objects.

Also, avoiding fights with other chameleons is one of the main causes of tooth loss. Remember once they lose their teeth they never grow back and will live for the rest of their life without them.

Once this happens it will be very hard to care for the chameleon as they won’t be able to eat the food they enjoy like live insects and other food they need to survive.

Make sure you don’t feed them too much fruit that is acidic as again this can also cause tooth loss that can lead to other problems later on.

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