Ball Python Teeth – Everything You Need to Know

In this article, we will explore various aspects of ball python teeth, such as their size, appearance, and the number of teeth they possess. Additionally, we’ll discuss the likelihood of bites, how to prevent them, and how to respond if you do get bitten.

Finally, we’ll touch on ball python oral health issues, such as broken teeth, oral abscesses, and stomatitis (mouth rot), as well as the rare instances of teeth removal.

Do Ball Pythons Have Teeth?

Yes, ball pythons do indeed have teeth. In fact, these fascinating creatures possess a unique set of teeth that play a vital role in their feeding habits and survival in the wild.

Ball pythons, like other snake species, have rows of sharp, recurved teeth lining their upper and lower jaws. The teeth are designed to angle backward, which helps them efficiently grab and hold onto their prey.

When a ball python strikes its prey, these small but effective teeth work together to secure the meal, making it nearly impossible for the captured animal to escape.

As a ball python keeper, I remember the first time I witnessed my beloved pet using its teeth during a feeding session. The efficiency and precision with which it struck and held onto the prey item were truly remarkable.

It gave me a newfound appreciation for the intricate design and function of ball python teeth, which are not only essential for their feeding habits but also serve as a testament to their adaptability and resilience in the wild.

How Many Teeth Does A Ball Python Have?


Ball pythons, like other snake species, have quite a few teeth – typically around 25 to 35 teeth in total. These teeth are not evenly distributed but are arranged in several rows along their upper and lower jaws. The teeth in each row are staggered, which helps the snake grasp and hold onto their prey more effectively.

How Big Are Ball Python Teeth?

Ball python teeth are relatively small, usually measuring between 1/8 and 1/4 of an inch in length. Despite their size, these tiny teeth are incredibly sharp and efficient for their purpose.

Ball python teeth are designed to penetrate the skin of their prey, allowing the snake to maintain a firm grip while they constrict and consume their meal.

What Do Ball Python Teeth Look Like?

The teeth of a ball python are curved and needle-like, pointing towards the back of their mouth. This unique shape helps the snake to easily hook onto their prey and prevent it from escaping.

The structure of ball python teeth is also quite impressive. They are hollow, which makes them lightweight yet strong, and they have a sharp tip for maximum effectiveness.

Baby Ball Python Teeth vs. Adult Teeth

Baby ball pythons have smaller teeth than adults, but they still share the same curved, needle-like structure. As the snake grows, its teeth will gradually be replaced with larger ones to accommodate their increasing size and the size of their prey.

This process of tooth replacement, known as “teeth shedding,” occurs continuously throughout a ball python’s life.

Do Ball Pythons Have Fangs?

Ball pythons do not have fangs. They are non-venomous constrictor snakes that use their bodies to suffocate their prey, rather than relying on venom for hunting.

How Ball Python Teeth Aid in Feeding?


Ball pythons have uniquely adapted teeth that serve an important purpose during feeding. Their teeth are curved and point backwards, which helps them grip and hold onto their prey securely.

This design ensures that once they’ve bitten their prey, it’s nearly impossible for the prey to escape. Ball pythons rely on this grip to subdue their prey while they prepare to swallow it whole.

Once the ball python has a firm grip on its prey, it begins the swallowing process. The python’s teeth work in tandem with its powerful jaw muscles to move the prey into its throat.

As the prey is swallowed, the python’s teeth continue to grip and guide it down the esophagus.

Ball pythons have the incredible ability to dislocate their jaw to accommodate prey that is larger than their head, allowing them to consume a wide variety of prey sizes.

Will My Ball Python Bite?

Yes, ball pythons do indeed bite. However, they are generally considered to be docile pets, and it’s quite rare for them to bite their owners.

As a ball python keeper myself, I’ve observed that my snakes prefer to curl up into a ball rather than act aggressively when they feel threatened. Their non-confrontational demeanor is one of the reasons they make great pets, especially for beginners.

Do Ball Python Bites Hurt?

Many owners are concerned that their pet snake might bite them. But don’t worry, it’s usually not a big deal – especially if you keep ball pythons. Ball pythons are relatively small snakes, and their bites usually only leave minor wounds.

Is it painful to be bitten by a ball python? They might puncture your skin and cause light bleeding, but they aren’t usually that painful.

The speed of that ball python will likely startle you more than his or her teeth or pain. It’s less painful if you’ve ever been scratched by a cat or dog. However, if you have a large ball python, it might hurt slightly more since they have larger teeth.

How to Prevent a Ball Python Bite

While ball pythons are not typically prone to biting, it’s essential to take precautions to minimize the risk. Here are some practical tips and techniques to prevent a ball python bite:

  1. Understand their body language: Learn to recognize the signs that your ball python is stressed or uncomfortable, such as hissing, striking, or tense body posture. This will help you avoid handling them during these times.
  2. Handle them calmly: Approach your ball python slowly and gently when picking them up, allowing them to become accustomed to your presence. Avoid sudden movements that may startle them.
  3. Avoid common stressors: Ensure that your ball python’s environment is clean, warm, and comfortable. Providing hiding spots and maintaining a regular feeding schedule can also help reduce stress.

What to Do If a Ball Python Bites You

If, despite your best efforts, your ball python does bite you, it’s important to know how to react and care for the wound. Here’s what to do:

  1. Stay calm: Panicking may cause the snake to hold on tighter or bite again. Gently support the snake’s body and wait for it to release its grip.
  2. Clean the bite wound: Once the snake has let go, wash the bite area with soap and water to reduce the risk of infection.
  3. Apply antiseptic ointment: Use an over-the-counter antiseptic ointment on the bite and cover it with a bandage.
  4. Monitor for signs of infection: Keep an eye on the wound for any signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, or discharge. If you notice any of these symptoms, consult a healthcare professional.

In my experience, I’ve only been bitten once by my ball python when I accidentally startled it during feeding. It was a valuable lesson that reinforced the importance of being cautious and observant when interacting with these fascinating creatures.

Remember, while ball pythons are not typically aggressive, it’s important to handle them with care and respect. By understanding their behavior and taking the necessary precautions, you can enjoy a safe and rewarding relationship with your ball python.

Ball Python Tooth and Oral Health


As a ball python keeper, it’s important to stay informed about the various dental health concerns that may affect your pet. By regularly monitoring your snake’s oral health and seeking prompt treatment when necessary, you can ensure the well-being and longevity of your scaly friend.

1. Broken Teeth

As a ball python enthusiast, I’ve come across my fair share of dental issues. Broken teeth are one such problem that can occur in ball pythons. They can be caused by various factors such as biting hard objects, struggling during feeding, or even accidents during handling.

To identify broken teeth, look for misaligned or missing teeth in your snake’s mouth. Leaving broken teeth untreated can lead to infections and discomfort for your pet.

It’s important to consult a reptile veterinarian for treatment options, which may include removing the broken tooth or treating the affected area. To prevent future incidents, ensure proper handling techniques and monitor your snake during feeding.

2. Oral Abscess

Oral abscesses in ball pythons can result from bacterial infections or injuries to the mouth. Signs of an oral abscess may include swelling, pus, or discharge in the mouth.

Prompt treatment is essential to prevent the infection from spreading or causing more severe health issues.

A reptile veterinarian can diagnose an oral abscess and recommend treatment options such as draining the abscess, administering antibiotics, or even surgery in more severe cases. Maintaining a clean and stress-free environment for your ball python can help prevent the development of oral abscesses.

3. Stomatitis (Mouth Rot)

Stomatitis, commonly known as mouth rot, is an inflammation of the mouth that can be caused by bacterial, fungal, or viral infections.

Signs of mouth rot in ball pythons include red or inflamed gums, excess saliva, and a foul smell. If left untreated, mouth rot can lead to tooth loss, systemic infections, or even death.

Treatment options for stomatitis may involve cleaning the affected area, administering antibiotics or antifungal medications, and ensuring proper husbandry.

To prevent future occurrences, maintain a clean enclosure, monitor temperature and humidity levels, and provide a nutritious diet for your ball python.

4. Ball Python Teeth Removal

You should never remove your ball python’s teeth simply to feel safe from their bite. No ethical, licensed veterinarian would perform this procedure, as it is both unnecessary and harmful to the snake.

Moreover, even if a ball python’s teeth were removed, they would just grow back, making the entire process pointless.

Ball python bites are typically not very painful, and they’re often compared to a cat scratch in terms of discomfort. Therefore, attempting to remove their teeth for safety reasons would be an uneducated and unethical practice.

But there are instances when tooth removal may be necessary for ball pythons, such as severe infections, broken teeth, or impacted teeth.

A qualified reptile veterinarian should perform the tooth removal process, which typically involves sedation and careful extraction of the affected tooth.


  • Ball pythons can bite, but they usually don’t.
  • Ball pythons may have 25 to 35 teeth in total.
  • Ball pythons are not venomous and thus don’t have fangs.
  • Their teeth are quite small, but they’re sharp and curved inward.
  • Ball pythons frequently lose and re-grow their teeth.

As we wrap up our exploration of ball python teeth, it’s clear that understanding the dental anatomy of these captivating creatures plays a significant role in providing proper care for them.

Thank you for joining me in this deep dive into the world of ball python teeth, and may your relationship with your scaly friend continue to grow stronger and more rewarding with each passing day.

Filled under: Snakes

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