-up of a bearded dragon with its mouth open, showing signs of dehydration, discoloration, and sores

Mouth Rot In Bearded Dragons: Causes, Symptoms, And Treatment

Mouth rot is an infectious disease that affects bearded dragons, causing lesions in the mouth that can lead to severe pain and difficulty eating.

In this article, causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mouth rot in bearded dragons will be discussed.

An understanding of these aspects is important for providing proper care and preventing serious complications associated with the condition.

Key Takeaways

  • Mouth rot in bearded dragons can be caused by poor husbandry practices, bacterial or fungal infections, trauma to the mouth, and dietary deficiencies.
  • Symptoms of mouth rot in bearded dragons include swelling around the mouth, discoloration of the mouth, presence of pus or discharge, reluctance to eat, and difficulty breathing.
  • Diagnosis of mouth rot in bearded dragons involves a physical examination, laboratory tests such as culture swabs and biopsies, identification of bacterial infection, consideration of environment and diet, and early detection and medical care.
  • Treatment of mouth rot in bearded dragons includes improved nutrition, antibiotic therapy, good hygiene practices, regular check-ups, and stress reduction measures.

Causes of Mouth Rot

Mouth rot in bearded dragons is typically caused by poor husbandry practices, bacterial or fungal infections, or trauma to the mouth. Dietary deficiencies and environmental stressors can weaken a dragon’s immune system making them more susceptible to such infections. Poor sanitation, inadequate nutrition, and insufficient humidity are common causes of mouth rot among these reptiles.

In addition, physical trauma from biting or aggressive tank mates can lead to infection and develop into mouth rot if left untreated.

Symptoms of Mouth Rot

Signs of mouth rot in bearded dragons include swelling, discoloration, and the presence of pus or discharge around the mouth. Poor oral hygiene, incorrect diet changes, and inadequate husbandry can all contribute to this condition.

Additionally, it is important to look out for signs of pain such as an unwillingness to eat or open their mouths wide when breathing. If the infection persists without treatment, it may lead to difficulty in swallowing food as well as excessive salivation or drooling.

Early detection and proper medical care are key in treating this condition and preventing serious complications from arising.

Diagnosis of Mouth Rot

Diagnosis of mouth rot typically involves a physical examination and laboratory tests, such as culture swabs or biopsies to confirm the presence of infection. These tests help determine if a bacterial infection is present, which can be identified by symptoms such as watery mouth.

A veterinarian may also take into account the bearded dragon’s environment and dietary habits to identify potential causes or triggers for the condition.

Treatment options will vary depending on both the severity of the infection and underlying cause of the mouth rot.

Treatment of Mouth Rot

Once the presence of an infection has been confirmed, treatment for mouth rot may be necessary. Generally, improved nutrition and antibiotics therapy are recommended to help clear up the infection.

Good hygiene and preventive measures like regular check-ups should also be employed in order to prevent further outbreaks of this disease. While there is no ‘cure’ for mouth rot, taking these steps can help keep it at bay and improve a bearded dragon’s overall health.

Additionally, keeping water dishes clean and providing ample space to roam around can help reduce stress that might exacerbate existing infections.

Prevention of Mouth Rot

It is important to take preventive measures to avoid the onset of mouth rot in bearded dragons. Such measures include:

  • Regular Checkups:
  • Scheduling regular checkups with a qualified veterinarian
  • Detecting signs and symptoms of mouth rot early on
  • Proper Hygiene:
  • Creating an optimal environment for your dragon (temperature, humidity etc.)
  • Ensuring a balanced diet and access to clean water
  • Monitoring Behavior:
  • Observing behavior changes such as decreased activity or appetite.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Should I Do if I Suspect My Bearded Dragon Has Mouth Rot?

If you suspect your bearded dragon has mouth rot, it is important to take preventive measures and maintain proper oral hygiene. Regularly check for symptoms such as swelling, discoloration, or bad breath and contact a veterinarian if any of these are present. Prompt treatment is necessary to prevent further complications.

Is Mouth Rot Contagious to Other Animals or Humans?

Mouth rot is not contagious to other animals or humans, however it can be spread through contact with saliva, nasal secretions and shedding skin. Effective treatment options include antibiotics, antifungals and topical medications.

Are There Any Dietary Changes I Should Make if My Bearded Dragon Has Mouth Rot?

If your bearded dragon has mouth rot, it is important to ensure that their diet is supplemented with appropriate vitamins and minerals. Additionally, proper hygiene should be observed in order to prevent the spread of infection.

Are There Any Home Remedies I Can Use to Treat Mouth Rot?

Preventive measures and awareness of potential risk factors are important for avoiding mouth rot in reptiles. Home remedies include cleaning the affected area with an antiseptic solution or swabbing it with a cotton ball soaked in diluted hydrogen peroxide. However, professional veterinary care is recommended to ensure proper treatment and full recovery.

What Kind of Vet Should I Take My Bearded Dragon to for Mouth Rot Treatment?

For diagnosis and treatment of mouth rot, it is recommended to take your bearded dragon to an experienced reptile veterinarian. They will provide the necessary care and preventative measures to identify symptoms and treat them effectively.


Mouth rot in bearded dragons, also known as infectious stomatitis, is a serious condition that can be fatal if left untreated. Proper diagnosis and treatment are essential for successful recovery.

The most common causes of mouth rot include poor husbandry practices such as inadequate nutrition, environmental stressors, and compromised immune systems. Symptoms may include discolored or swollen gums, excessive salivation, lack of appetite and lethargy.

Diagnosis is usually made through visual examination or biopsy of the affected tissue. Treatment typically includes antibiotics and other medications to manage symptoms while providing supportive care such as proper nutrition and hydration.

Preventative measures should focus on reducing stress levels by providing an optimal environment with good hygiene practices in order to minimize the risk of infection.

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