Dental diseases are among the most important reasons for presenting guinea pigs (Cavia porcellus) and other rodents to veterinary clinics, but the aetiopathology of this disease complex is unclear. Clinicians tend to believe that the ever-growing teeth of rabbits and rodents have a constant growth that needs to be worn down by the mastication of an appropriate diet. In this study, we tested the effect of four different pelleted diets of increasing abrasiveness [due to both internal (phytoliths) and external abrasives (sand)] or whole grass hay fed for 2 weeks each in random order to 16 guinea pigs on incisor growth and wear, and tooth length of incisors and cheek teeth. There was a positive correlation between wear and growth of incisors. Tooth lengths depended both on internal and external abrasives, but only upper incisors were additionally affected by the feeding of whole hay. Diet effects were most prominent in anterior cheek teeth, in particular M1 and m1. Cheek tooth angle did not become shallower with decreasing diet abrasiveness, suggesting that a lack of dietary abrasiveness does not cause the typical ‘bridge formation’ of anterior cheek teeth frequently observed in guinea pigs. The findings suggest that other factors than diet abrasiveness, such as mineral imbalances and in particular hereditary malocclusion, are more likely causes for dental problems observed in this species.