7 Reasons Why Bearded Dragons Keep Their Mouths Open

Being a bearded dragon owner you may have observed something new daily. Remember if you notice that your beard opens its mouth wide without any reason, or there is some reason behind it that you’re unaware of. Well, it can be both concerning or normal, but for a loving owner, it’s crucial to know if it’s concerning or not.

It’s actually a common behavior most of the time. Bearded dragons are cold-blooded reptiles so they need to open their mouth to control the body temperature.

In this article, we’ll discuss thoroughly why the bearded dragon keep their mouths open frequently. So keep reading.

6 reasons why Bearded dragons open their mouth wide

Bearded dragons open their mouth wide for several reasons. Most of the time it’s normal, so there’s no need to panic. While it’s essential to consider its behavior, here are some reasons why your bearded dragon opens its mouth.

1. Body Temperature Regulation

Bearded dragons are reptiles and they can’t control their body temperature like humans. Human skin contains small pores that extract sweat and keep the body temperature cool.

On the other hand, the reptile body temperature control system doesn’t work like that. Bearded dragons don’t sweat, which is why they use a different trick to stay right.

If they’re exhausted and feel their body is too warm, they open their mouth wide to let out heat and cool down to the ideal temperature which is almost 95 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Taking cool breaths is like turning on a fan for them.

In case they feel a bit chilly, they simply close their mouth to keep themselves warm.
Opening and closing the mouth is a process for them to maintain their body temperature just like sweating is for humans.

Other than opening their mouth they also like taking the sun bath or the lamp’s heat if they feel cold. If you’re sure your Beardy is healthy and opens its mouth wide then it’s just getting cool down a bit.

2. Due to Stress and Anxiety

Bearded dragons too can feel the stress and anxiety. Mostly when they’re replaced with a new environment, meeting new people or feeling threatened. It’s a common problem for all beings, beardies, and humans alike.

A bearded dragon opens its mouth is like telling you that it’s scared and nervous. When they’re scared or stressed they open their mouth as a way to make themselves look bigger and tougher, hoping it might scare away whatever is bothering them.

If they keep their mouth open for long and look uncomfortable, then it’s important to make their surroundings safe and quiet. It may need a break to calm Down. Once they feel safe, happy and relaxed you can see the changes yourselves. If their behaviour persists then it’s better to take them to the vet once.

3. Communication

Bearded dragons use multiple ways to communicate with their fellow humans or with another Beardy or animal. In their unspoken language, the wide opening mouth is a sign that they don’t want a fight or threaten others. It’s a friendly way to say hello to other beings.

The opening mouth can be also described as they’re claiming to the in charge of their surroundings during social encounters. When you take another new bearded dragon near the first one you may observe this open-mouth behavior. They simply puff their beard on the chest and show the other one who’s the boss here.

They also use their mouth movements to express themselves, just like we humans do. It concludes that when a bearded dragon opens its mouth in the presence of a new newcomer then it’s trying to communicate to it.

4. Due to Respiratory issues

Like I mentioned before the opening mouth situation can also be a sign of something concerning and respiratory issues can be one of those reasons. If you are already aware that your bearded dragon is sick and opening its mouth wide for heavy breathing then it could be due to a stuffy nose or having problems catching breath.

A normal Beardy always breathes quietly and they don’t always need to open their mouth for that, but when they’re sick they might open their mouth to get more air.

Respiratory issues can occur in bearded dragons due to a number of reasons like infection or lung problems. The signs are if they breathe heavily by opening their mouth wide, making strange sounds, or acting lethargic. In this situation, it’s better to take it to the veterinarian.

5. During Digestive Processes

Opening mouth behavior after taking a heavy meal is common in bearded dragons. If Your Beardy is opening its mouth after eating a meal then it’s just considered as stretching to digest its meal just like an exercise.

Stretching and gaping can also be a way to align their jaws properly after eating something big. After eating the Insects and veggies that require a bit of effort to swallow opening the mouth helps them adjust their jaw muscles and get everything settled inside their stomach.

So, there’s nothing much to worry about if your dragon is opening its mouth after having a meal. Take it as a sign that it’s taking care of its digestive system.

6. For Exploration and environmental awareness

They open their mouths to taste the surroundings. It sounds a little unclear but yes, the bearded dragons use their mouth to capture the tiny particles in the air, so they can gather information about what’s happening around them. It’s like they open their mouth and use it as a tool to understand their surroundings.

It’s part of their natural curiosity. If you take them to a new place and observe their behavior then this might be the first thing you’ll encounter —opening of the mouth.

So yes these little detectives use their mouths to get an idea of their surroundings. These are some reasons why your Beardy keeps its mouth wide open.

Why is the bearded dragon sticking its tongue out?

If your bearded dragon has a habit of opening their mouth and you observe its tongue sticking out every time they do then this could be due to several reasons.

First, maybe it’s just exploring the environment as I’ve mentioned before. Tasting the air is their habit. They gather information about their surroundings.

Secondly, to drink the water from small water droplets. They love to play with moisture in the environment and they have a unique ability to hydrate themselves directly from the environment. That is drinking water from the moisture by sticking out the tongue.

That concludes that it is also a common behavior along with opening their mouth.

Is it harmful for bearded dragons to open their mouth?

Occasionally mouth opening in bearded dragons is common behavior, so no need to panic about but if it’s gaping much more frequently then it may indicate health issues.

Due to respiratory problems, bearded dragons may be facing breathing-related issues that can be observed by signs like lethargy or wheezing.

Continuous, mouth opening can lead to dehydration, difficulty in breathing, and impact their health. It’s up to their owner to observe their behavior and seek advice from the vet. Ignoring these prolonged mouth openings may result in serious health problems.

Tips to prevent the prolonged mouth opening in bearded dragons

If you can make your Beardy feel comfortable in its surroundings then it will be a lot easier to prevent unnecessary gaping.

  • Make sure you provide the right temperature and proper lighting in their habitat. This helps them to keep themselves warm.
  • Handle your Beardy gently and calmly. So they don’t stress much during the interactions.
  • A balanced diet and proper hydration will help in this situation. As if it doesn’t get very thirsty, it doesn’t have to open its mouth for droplets.
  • Most important is their routine check-ups. Make a schedule for routine check-ups with a reptile expert vet and monitor your bearded dragon’s health.

These tips will simply reduce the unnecessary gaping in the bearded dragons.


You know your Beardy much better than any other person and I’m sure you love your pet so much. Which makes it necessary for you to understand all its tiny behaviors, so you can make the right decision for him.

Opening the mouth is common behaviour in the bearded dragons but doing this for a long time can indicate or develop health issues. Keep your beardy on a proper diet and help it to maintain its body temperature. It will ease its life, and keep them happy and calm.

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