Bearded Dragon Care

Bearded Dragons Jaw-Clicking Issues & Care

Unfortunately, health issues can occur with your bearded dragon, and jaw-clicking is one of them.

Bearded dragon jaw-clicking issues include upper respiratory illnesses, impaction, dislocation, or potentially a broken jaw.

Continue reading to learn more about bearded dragon jaw-clicking issues, including upper respiratory infections, impaction, how you can help, what to do, and if your bearded dragon will be okay.

Why Is My Bearded Dragons Jaw Clicking?

Even though bearded dragons are known to communicate through clicking sounds, jaw clicking is not considered normal in these intricate lizards and can be a sign of a more severe illness. If you notice your bearded dragon’s jaw clicking, upper respiratory illnesses and impactions are the two main causes. 

Bearded dragon jaw clicking because of Respiratory Infection

An upper respiratory infection (URI) in your bearded dragon’s lungs is a bacterial illness that can be caused by many situations, with the most common resulting from excess moisture.

URIs can be fatal if left untreated, so it’s critical to understand the symptoms and seek treatment for your bearded dragon immediately.

What Causes Upper Respiratory Infections in Bearded Dragons?

Your bearded dragon’s jaw-clicking noises are likely due to an upper respiratory illness. URIs can occur for a variety of reasons. These illnesses, which include pneumonia, can strike beardies that are stressed, underfed, or confined in filthy, cold, or unsanitary environments.

Unfortunately, respiratory illnesses in bearded dragons are not uncommon. Call your veterinarian immediately if you believe your bearded dragon has this infection. However, owners can also note that you can do a few things to make them feel better before rushing them to the vet.

What Signs and Symptoms Can You Observe in A Bearded Dragon with An Upper Respiratory Infection?

Bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites can all cause respiratory tract infections. As a result, symptoms in affected bearded dragons can include sneezing, discharge from the eyes or nose, bubbles from the mouth or nose, excessively quick or shallow breathing, open-mouthed breathing, reduced appetite, and lethargy.

Impaction Causing Bearded Dragon Jaw Clicking

When a bearded dragon has an impaction, this implies that a hard mass is obstructing your lizard’s digestive path. Even in a normally healthy beardie, this is a dangerous problem that can lead to death.

This clog can prevent your bearded dragon from properly moving its bowels, which is why it’s so serious. When a reptile’s digestive system grinds to a halt in captivity, it’s an issue that must be addressed immediately.

What Causes Impaction in Bearded Dragons?

Below is a brief list of what can cause an impaction:

  1. Ingestion of loose substrates, such as sand or gravel
  2. Feeding inappropriate prey items or prey items that are too large
  3. Dehydration or lack of access to fresh water
  4. Feeding a diet that is too high in protein or too low in fiber
  5. Lack of exercise or activity
  6. Underlying health conditions that affect the digestive tract
  7. Swallowing foreign objects, such as rocks

What Signs and Symptoms Can You Observe in A Bearded Dragon with Impaction?

Since the most common causes of impactions are digested substrate or undigested food, symptoms manifest as movement difficulties, weight loss, and bulging along a bearded dragon’s spine.

Check out our complete guide on symptoms and treating impactions in bearded dragons.

What Other Jaw Clicking Issues Can Arise in a Bearded Dragon?

Jaw clicking can also indicate an injury or dislocation to your bearded dragon’s jaw. As an owner, if you hear or observe your bearded dragon’s jaw begin to click, it is best to determine the cause of the illness as soon as possible to make accommodations and rectify the situation to get your beardie back to its peak health.

If you are not sure if your bearded dragon’s jaw-clicking is caused by an upper respiratory illness, impaction, or dislocation, it is important to seek the advice of your local reptile vet. 

What Can Owners Do About Jaw Clicking?

Keeping your bearded dragon healthy requires a clean, well-heated cage with UVB and the necessary nutrition and fluids. Weighing your bearded dragon weekly and writing it down is one of the most dependable methods to keep track of their health.

If your bearded dragon is gaining weight, it develops eggs or needs to eat less. On the other hand, if they’re losing weight, you’ll either need to feed them more or visit your local vet to ensure your beardie is acquiring the proper and adequate nutrition.

Take Your Bearded Dragon to Your Local Veterinarian

If you’re worried about your bearded dragon’s jaw clicking, the first and most important step to get them better is to schedule an appointment with your local veterinarian. Your bearded dragon’s respiratory illness will be correctly diagnosed by the vet, and medications will be administered to aid in the healing process.

A dehumidifier can also be prescribed to remove moisture and raise the temperature in their enclosure, in addition to medicines.

How To Help Your Bearded Dragon Yourself, At Home

Bearded dragons are desert dwellers, meaning they can thrive in dry environments. As a result, temperature and humidity levels are important for your bearded dragon’s health. After all, these reptiles necessitate a tank with both a cold and a heated side. Therefore, to avoid jaw-clicking issues from arising, make sure the humidity levels in your beardies tank sit between 30 and 40 percent, but never higher.

Another key factor to consider when keeping your bearded dragon healthy is its stress level. Bearded dragons are easily agitated creatures, and as a result, stress can decrease their immune systems. Therefore, stress is typical if your bearded dragon is kept in improper circumstances or if their habitat is set up incorrectly. This, in turn, can result in jaw-clicking difficulties such as URIs and impactions.

Will My Bearded Dragon Be Okay If They Have Jaw Clicking Issues?

When caught and treated early enough, jaw-clicking issues in bearded dragons can typically be resolved. With the help of your local veterinarian, you first need to determine the cause of your lizard’s jaw clicking to resolve the problem. 

However, if left untreated, jaw-clicking issues like impaction or an upper respiratory illness can wreak havoc on your bearded dragon’s tiny body and, unfortunately, can result in death.

Final Thoughts

Upper respiratory illnesses, impactions, and other issues can all harm a bearded dragon’s jaw. Suppose you suspect your bearded dragon has an upper respiratory infection. In that case, you’ll want to discover how they got it so you can make the necessary changes to prevent it from happening again.

Although bearded dragons are known to communicate by clicking noises, jaw clicking is not considered normal in these complicated reptiles and can be a symptom of a more serious condition. As a result, if you detect your bearded dragon’s jaw clicking, the two most likely reasons are upper respiratory infections and impactions.

Jaw-clicking difficulties in bearded dragons can usually be corrected if detected and treated early enough. To fix the problem, you must first establish the source of your lizard’s jaw clicking with the assistance of your local veterinarian. However, if left untreated, jaw-clicking disorders such as impaction or an upper respiratory disease can cause havoc on your bearded dragon’s tiny body and, tragically, cause death in a worst-case scenario.


Chris is a reptile enthusiast, breeder, and blogger from the Milwaukee, WI area. After breeding hundreds of bearded dragons to supply local pet stores and owning many other types of reptiles, he is now focused on sharing knowledge to help owners properly care for their little reptiles friends.

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