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Stomatitis Mouth Rot

common causes of turtle mouth rot

Tortoise and turtles may suffer from the unpleasant and sometimes life-threatening stomatitis, also called mouth rot, in their oral cavity. Some of the symptoms include red, inflamed gums, an increase in saliva production, and an unwillingness or inability to eat. These symptoms point to oral inflammation and infection, which is usually caused by bacteria.

Stomatitis in tortoise and turtles sometimes has its roots in poor oral hygiene or oral trauma. Bacterial infections are common in dirty surroundings because germs may multiply and enter the body via cuts and scrapes in the mouth. Stomatitis may be worsened when germs get access to a tortoise and turtle's mouth via wounds caused by sharp objects, hard handling, or hostile encounters with other tank mates.

Stomatitis may have a major negative effect on a tortoise and turtle's quality of life by making it difficult for them to feed, which in turn causes them to lose weight, become malnourished, and experience pain or discomfort. Effective diagnosis and treatment of stomatitis requires prompt veterinarian intervention.

Antibiotics are usually prescribed to fight the bacterial illness, and treatment usually includes cleaning and sanitizing the mouth. Any underlying reasons, such bad husbandry or accidents, are also addressed. To avoid stomatitis in tortoise and turtles, it is crucial to provide them with a stress-free environment and ensure they have good cleanliness.


  • Swollen gums
  • Discolored gums
  • Excessive saliva
  • Refusal to eat


Transmission is usually not an issue when it comes to Stomatitis (Mouth Rot) in tortoise and turtles since it is not a contagious illness that spreads between tortoise and turtles. Here, however, in bullet point form, are a few possible causes of the illness:

  • Bacterial growth caused by lack of proper hygiene.
  • Bacterial infections may develop in wounds to the mouth caused by sharp objects or violent encounters.
turtle mouth rot control and treatment
managing turtle stomatitis infestations


  • Oral and gum health assessment utilizing a visual approach.
  • Evaluating signs such as red, puffy gums, increased saliva production, and anorexia are part of the process.
  • Assessment of the tortoise and turtle's general well-being and action.
  • Recognizing possible danger signs, such uncleanliness or recent injuries.
  • Taking a sample of the patient's saliva or a swab of the afflicted region to culture microorganisms and test for allergies.
  • Radiographic imaging (X-rays) to screen for underlying dental disorders or bone involvement.
  • Meeting with a reptile doctor who specializes in turtle oral health for evaluation and treatment.


  • Undergo a full mouth cleaning, usually with local anesthetic, to eliminate plaque and germs.
  • To treat tooth decay, it is necessary to treat the underlying bacterial infection with antibiotics.
  • Give the patient pain medication so they may eat more easily and feel better. Make sure the tortoise and turtle stays hydrated by giving it drinks as needed.
  • While the mouth is healing, it is best to provide soft, tasty meals to stimulate eating.
  • It is important to keep your living space clean and appropriate in order to avoid reinfection.
  • Maintenance Visits: Make sure to bring your tortoise and turtle in for checkups at regular intervals so the doctor can track its development and make any necessary adjustments to its treatment plan.
  • Steps to Avoid: Take steps to avoid such incidents in the future, such as enhancing personal cleanliness and reducing the likelihood of oral injuries.
identifying turtle mouth rot symptoms