The incisors, premolars, and molars of rabbits grow throughout life. The normal length is maintained by the wearing action of opposing teeth. Malocclusion (mandibular prognathism, brachygnathism) probably is the most common inherited disease in rabbits and leads to overgrowth of incisors with resultant difficulty in eating and drinking.
Temporary correction can be effected by cutting the overgrown teeth from time to time with bone or wire cutters. Because malocclusion is generally considered to be inherited, rabbits with this condition should not be bred. However, young rabbits can damage their incisor teeth by pulling on the cage wire, which results in misalignment and possibly malocclusion as the teeth grow.
This condition is difficult to differentiate from genetic malocclusion, and these rabbits should also be culled. Genetic malocclusion generally can be detected in young rabbits 3-8 wk old.
Very often now, more and more vets are seeing cases where the cheek teeth overgrow and cause severe tongue or buccal lesions.This is mainly sue to the feeding of mixed content commercial rabbit diets .These diets are devoid of silica which is present in the rabbits natural diet grass .Silica is responsible for the constant wearing down of the rabbits cheek teeth. If this wearing process is curtailed the growing tooth has nowhere to go but to grow into the substance of the bone of the facial region below the eye.
Very often, as well as causing infection, damage to the bone and abscess formation, this process will cause damage to the delicate tear duct apparatus with resultant chronic tear overflow and conjunctivitus.
We at Vetontheweb recommend feeding homogenous foods containing silica, and preferably a good quality meadow hay. After all this is what rabbits eat in the wild.