Why Does My Ball Python Open His Mouth?

Ball python opens its mouth for many reasons. After observing the pet’s behavior one can tell the actual reason behind it. It could be before or after having their meals to do the job properly.

Outer influences like temperature, humidity or chemicals in the air can be felt by opening their mouth. It can also be a symptom of being sick.

Why is My Ball Python Opening His Mouth?

Ball python opening his mouth because of the python is trying to intimidate a potential predator or enemy. It can try to get a better view of its surroundings or intimidate its prey by opening mouth.

Sometimes it is open mouth for trying to cool down its body by panting. Also, if the python is feeling stressed or anxious it will open his mouth. Another reason is the python is experiencing respiratory problems.

Just check out if the pet is doing such a thing all of a sudden or it is used to it. If it is a habit of its own then there is nothing to worry about. Try to find out what other reasons could be.

It may be a symptom of some kind of illness. Maybe it is trying to feel the environment whether it is favorable to it or not. It can open his mouth to show that it is hungry.

There are a few reasons why a ball python might open its mouth. Here are some of the most common reasons:


One of the reasons why a ball python might open its mouth is to bask. Ball pythons are ectothermic, which means that they need external sources of heat to regulate their body temperature. When they bask, they open their mouths to allow their bodies to absorb heat from the air.

Regulating Body Temperature

Another reason why a ball python might open its mouth is to regulate its body temperature. If a ball python gets too hot, it will open its mouth to release heat. If a ball python gets too cold, it will open its mouth to warm up.

Defending Itself

If a ball python feels threatened, it might open its mouth as a form of defense. This is a way for the ball python to show the potential threat that it is not afraid and that it is capable of defending itself.


Ball pythons, like all snakes, yawn. Yawning is a way for snakes to stretch their jaws and clear their airways. If you see your ball python yawning, it is usually nothing to worry about.


Ball pythons breathe through their mouths. If you see your ball python opening its mouth and breathing heavily, it is usually a sign that the snake is stressed or unwell. If you see your ball python doing this, it is important to check the enclosure conditions and make sure that the snake is not sick.

What Does It Mean When a Ball Python Opens Its Mouth?

Like other animals, ball python cannot communicate with us smartly. That is why they express their feelings by opening their mouth. This habit can explain one or more emotions but owners need to understand that after observing the pet for a long time.

If it is feeding time, then you can understand that it is hungry. After finishing the meal, it also opens its mouth. Check about their illness and the way it is treated.

Why is My Ball Python’s Mouth Slightly Open?

Opening its mouth ball python’s mouth slightly is an act of detection. They can feel the environment by intaking air into their mouth so that chemicals from the air can get into its system.

They can smell by opening their mouth along with their own nose.

Also Read: How Can I Tell if My Ball Python Is Hungry?

Ball Python Keeps Opening Mouth After Eating

After having a meal, ball python adjusts its jaws again to their initial state as sometimes their prey is quite large to swallow. This will make it easier to get a calm position.

There is nothing to worry about. If the prey is too large, then it might be a sign to feel pain in their mouth.

Why Do Ball Pythons Open Their Mouths Randomly?

As we know, ball pythons have no limbs to express their feelings like mammals. They got their mouths to show some communication skill. They can go on their own in the wild. But in the case of raising them in your house, you need to learn about what they are saying to you.

They open their mouths randomly to feel the air of the environment about the suitability for their living. If it starts to do so suddenly, then it might be a sign of illness and it is time to consult with a vet.

How Wide Can a Ball Python Open Its Mouth?

Ball pythons can open their mouths by 150 degrees. That is quite large as a straight line makes 180 degrees. There is no bony joint to their two jaws. A strong ligament does this job at the time of swallowing food.

It begins to open their jaws as far as possible before the meal. After finishing, they move their jaws and thus they are placed to their original state.

Also Read: Why Your Ball Python Isn’t Pooping?

How Long Can a Python Open Its Mouth?

The length of time a python can open its mouth depends on the species of python and the size of the snake. Generally speaking, larger pythons can open their mouths wider and for longer periods of time than smaller pythons.

For example, a reticulated python can open its mouth up to 180 degrees and hold it open for several minutes. This allows the snake to swallow large prey items, such as deer or wild boar.

In contrast, a ball python can only open its mouth up to about 90 degrees and can only hold it open for a few seconds. This is because ball pythons are ambush predators that typically prey on small mammals, such as rats or mice.

The ability to open their mouths wide is an important adaptation for pythons. It allows them to swallow large prey items and also helps them to breathe when they are submerged in water.

However, it is important to note that pythons should not be forced to open their mouths for extended periods of time. This can damage their jaws and teeth. If you need to open your python’s mouth for a medical procedure, it is important to do so gently and carefully.

Here are some tips for safely opening a python’s mouth:

  • Use a pair of blunt-force forceps to gently pry open the snake’s jaws.
  • Be careful not to apply too much pressure, as this could damage the snake’s jaws or teeth.
  • If the snake is struggling, stop and try again later.

Once the snake’s mouth is open, you can perform the necessary procedure. When you are finished, close the snake’s mouth gently and carefully.


Your ball python can open his mouth for various reasons. Therefore, you need to learn about their habits and what they are trying to express.

You can check if you are using some new perfume or air fresheners or new paint at home that might bother the ball python. In that case you might need to go back to the old school style.

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