Do Crested Geckos Have Teeth?
As a new gecko owner, it’s natural for you to look for as much information about the reptile as possible.
Things like temperature, humidity, lighting requirements, necessary space, habitat layout, diet, etc., play a major role in determining the right setup for your pet.
But there’s another aspect that matters here as well, and that’s whether geckos are safe to handle.
Do they bite, do they have teeth, and can they hurt you? These are important questions, especially if you’re getting your gecko for your kids.
One question that many people have about these lizards is whether or not they have teeth. The answer is yes, cresties do have teeth! However, their teeth are very small and not very noticeable.
How Many Teeth Do Crested Geckos Have?
Most gecko species have between 50 and 100 tiny teeth, but crested geckos are not most.
They pack an impressive 177-teeth package that they will use to immobilize their prey and chew into fruits. If this sounds surprising, it’s understandable.
After all, these are tiny teeth, barely visible with the naked eye and only upon a close inspection. Their reduced size makes the teeth useless in terms of self-defense. So, you shouldn’t worry about your gecko causing too much damage when biting.
Its teeth won’t even pierce the skin since this little animal doesn’t have enough force or capabilities to inflict any serious wounds.
Geckos won’t bite too often either. This is a rather extreme behavior that some geckos will resort to when stressed, frightened, or in a threatening mood. Other than that, the reptile will rather attempt to escape and flee than attack.
So, if your gecko bites you, you should be more worried about its state of mind than the actual damage that it might inflict.
The biting behavior indicates that the gecko is dealing with some issues. In most cases, it’s the aversion towards being picked up and held, but, other times, more serious problems may be at hand.
These include parasites, bacterial infections, digestive problems, discomfort caused by improper habitat conditions, etc.
Fortunately, you can prevent a gecko bite by assessing the reptile’s body language prior to grabbing it. Geckos will often display several signs of discomfort, with biting being the last resort. They will also wave their tail, which, like cats, is a sign of distress or aggression.
Other signs include a distinct barking noise, a gaping mouth, and intensively following you with its gaze.
How Hard Does a Crested Gecko Bite?
I would worry about that. Geckos don’t have a powerful bite. It may be sufficient to immobilize or even kill its prey, but we’re talking about insects here.
Realistically speaking, geckos have no means to inflict pain via biting.
If anything, a gecko’s bite will feel more surprising than painful since these lizards can deliver their bites quite fast.
Do Crested Geckos Chew Their Food?
Geckos are reptiles, so, in true reptile fashion, they swallow their food whole. This brings us to an important point. Their food should be easy to consume, or they won’t be able to swallow it.
This goes for the fruits, live insects, or any other type of food they’re having. This is why geckos prefer to have overripe, soft, and moist fruits in the wild since they’re easier to eat.
The teeth are only there to provide some gripping for when the food is a bit too fidgety.
Do Crested Gecko Teeth Fall Out?
Yes, crested geckos will change their teeth occasionally, most likely once every 3-4 months. This is also similar to leopard geckos, who also lose and replace their teeth.
Unlike leopard geckos, though, crested geckos have their teeth on their mouth palates, while the former have them on their upper jaw.
So, crested geckos have no way of using their teeth when hunting their prey. Instead, they will use their sticky tongue to latch onto the prey and drag it closer.
This hunting technique is quite effective at trapping insects and dragging them into the mouth quickly.
If the insect is close enough, the gecko will simply bite into it and crush it directly. Once in the mouth, the internal teeth and sticky tongue will prevent the prey from escaping.
Crested geckos only use their teeth to immobilize and maneuver their food inside the mouth. They can’t use their teeth in self-defense, and they can’t cause any serious harm to humans. They also don’t have a particularly powerful bite, so they’re unlikely to cause any trauma at the biting site.
Even so, you should always avoid interacting with the gecko if it appears to be in a biting mood.
Not because of the risk of injuries to yourself, but to prevent causing your gecko additional distress. It’s probably already going through a lot if it’s ready to attack you.