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  1. #1
    Registered User AR29's Avatar
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    Tooth went through upper lip

    Hi All,

    Unfortunately, I discovered one of my ball pythons has somehow gotten one of her upper teeth through her upper lip. It almost looks like if a person had curled one side of their lip into their mouth.

    At first I thought, could she have had a stroke or something, because there is no trauma in the area and I could not see the tooth. I would take a picture, but the teeth are so small I can't pick it up with my cellphone's camera. But I have confirmed it is indeed her tooth and it only appears to be one tooth through the lip.

    Has anyone here ever experienced this and if so, do you have any recommendations on how I could resolve it? I'm very happy to take her to a vet as well, but want to reduce the stress on her if possible. (Since she recently ate I want to be cautious about moving her around too much)

    She had a meal the night before last(I feed all of my gang F/T,) at which point I believe this happened to her. I first noticed it the morning after the feeding when I went to check on her but didn't want to move her around too much since she just ate, so today I got her out and was able to examine what happened.

    I have other various types of snakes and have never had something like this occur, so I really appreciate any insight you can lend. She's a sweetheart and I want to get her back to normal as soon as I can.

    Thank you for any insight you can offer!

  2. #2
    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Ouch! It happens now & then, mostly with snakes that have longer teeth. I'd bet it's a loose tooth (or maybe it is by now). It's been years since I had a snake do this -thankfully.

    First I'd try to uncurl her lip- gently but firmly with some implement that's tiny enough & reasonably safe to get in behind it to un-latch her curled lip. This has worked for me.

    Other option- if you can see the tooth sticking out & can grab it with small pliers, pull it straight out & then dab some antiseptic (Vetericyn or Betadine) on the tiny wound- it should heal up okay.

    Or, go the the vet & let them decide if you don't feel up to either option. One thing is for certain- you cannot leave her like this.

    (This is why snakes often yawn before or after they eat- to get all their pesky teeth back in alignment.)
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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  4. #3
    Registered User AR29's Avatar
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    Re: Tooth went through upper lip

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    Ouch! It happens now & then, mostly with snakes that have longer teeth. I'd bet it's a loose tooth (or maybe it is by now). It's been years since I had a snake do this -thankfully.

    First I'd try to uncurl her lip- gently but firmly with some implement that's tiny enough & reasonably safe to get in behind it to un-latch her curled lip. This has worked for me.

    Other option- if you can see the tooth sticking out & can grab it with small pliers, pull it straight out & then dab some antiseptic (Vetericyn or Betadine) on the tiny wound- it should heal up okay.

    Or, go the the vet & let them decide if you don't feel up to either option. One thing is for certain- you cannot leave her like this.

    (This is why snakes often yawn before or after they eat- to get all their pesky teeth back in alignment.)
    Thank you so much for the feedback and insight!

    I feel comfortable with both, so I will try later tonight to first uncurl and if that doesn't work, I'll proceed to the pulling method. I have some smaller surgical tweezers and smaller pliers that should work well if I need to go this route. I'll keep you posted on how it goes and if for some reason I'm unsuccessful I will take her to the vet.

    Also happy to hear you haven't experienced this in a while!

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    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    I'm just glad that OUR teeth don't do this! Hope it goes well- it shouldn't be a big deal, even though it sounds fairly awful.

    The one I remember doing this was a BP also- their "big mouths" get them in trouble, but boas can easily do it too, sometimes.
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 10-06-2021 at 05:51 PM.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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    Registered User AR29's Avatar
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    Re: Tooth went through upper lip

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    I'm just glad that OUR teeth don't do this! Hope it goes well- it shouldn't be a big deal, even though it sounds fairly awful.

    The one I remember doing this was a BP also- their "big mouths" get them in trouble, but boas can easily do it too, sometimes.
    I couldn't agree more!

    Thank you so much, your tips were very helpful and I got the tooth out! She seemed relieved afterwards and was really calm considering the situation.

    I tried the curl method first, gently using a cotton swob that I had removed the cotton from and I wasn't able to get the tooth out after a few attempts. I didn't want to risk cutting through her upper lip by putting too much pressure, so I went to the pull method and it came right out! I dabbed some betadine on after and it looks like nothing happened now.

    I'm going to continue to keep a close eye on her but I feel SO relieved and I am very grateful for your help!

    I do have boas as well, so while I hope this doesn't ever happen again, if it does, at least I'll have some experience with how to handle it.

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  10. #6
    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Great job! It's been a long while, but I think I've done it both ways. (I've lived with a lot of snakes, lol.) One way or the other usually works & I'm so glad it went well.

    I can bet she'd thank you if she could.

    I think the pull-thru method works because that tooth has already made a hole, so you're not really enlarging it by much at all when you pull it out- the minimal damage is pretty much already done anyway. Also, when a tooth goes crooked like that, it was likely in the process of coming out anyway, so it was already loose & just making trouble.

    I'm very glad that never happened when I kept rattlesnakes, at least. Funny thing is that they routinely shed their fangs for new ones, & most of the time the old fangs fall out when they sink their teeth into their dinner- I know because I found quite a few of them in their poo-pile! Talk about having a strong stomach, eh?
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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    Re: Tooth went through upper lip

    Quote Originally Posted by AR29 View Post
    ...She seemed relieved afterwards and was really calm considering the situation...
    Incidentally, I'm not at all surprised by this. I've helped various snakes out of various difficulties over the years, & I've never had one bite me for doing so, even when it certainly wasn't comfortable for them. It's almost as if, when I'm really focused on helping them, they somehow understand that I'm only there to help. Not saying it makes any sense, it's just my observation & gut feeling each time.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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