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Do fish have teeth? The answer is yes. All fish on this planet have teeth. It is safe to say that there are as many different kinds of fish teeth as there are fish in the world.

Depending on their diet, fish have different tooth shapes. And the other question is “How many teeth?”, well that depends on the fish.

All Fish Have Teeth

All freshwater and saltwater fish have teeth, but depending on a species’ diet, the shape and location of those teeth may vary.

Carnivorous Fish Teeth

Carnivorous fish must consume protein to survive, which they obtain by consuming other fish species, insects, and other living creatures. They have teeth that resemble what we would anticipate from teeth as a result.

  • Canines for grabbing and holding prey and incisors for breaking down flesh would be examples of this.
  • A few species of carnivorous fish have broad, flat molar teeth that are used for crushing food with shells like snails and baby crabs.

Herbivorous Fish Teeth

Fish that eat plants and algae have teeth made specifically for tearing into and breaking down vegetation. These fish rely on incisors which can either be “individual” like a human’s or melded together as almost one unit, like a bird’s beak.

Herbivorous Fish Teeth

What Do You Call Fish Teeth?

Pharyngeal teeth are the name for fish teeth. Pharyngeal jaws are the term used to describe fish teeth and fish jaws.

Each species’ fish tooth shape and size is different. Some fish species have both incisors and molars. Some of them are equipped with incisors or molars. Fish species such as suckers, cyprinids, and other zooplankton have pharyngeal teeth in their throats. Pharyngeal teeth are found in aquarium fish such as goldfish, molas, and loaches. Few fish species have teeth on their lips near their mouth openings aside from that.

Common Pet Fish and Teeth

All fish have teeth, so the fish you have happily swimming in your home tanks all have a pair of chompers.

  • These can range from pharyngeal teeth like those in goldfish, minnows, and carp to sharper teeth along the jaw for fish like bettas and tetra fish.
  • In addition to pharyngeal teeth, some common fish, like small catfish species, also have cardiform teeth, which are a collection of numerous rows of tiny needle-like teeth.
  • Because most of the time the teeth on your pet fish are quite small and incapable of breaking your skin, you shouldn’t worry about being bitten just because they have teeth.

Large Carnivorous Fish Keeping

Small, frequently kept pet fish might not pose a threat to you in terms of a bite. You will need to exercise more caution around larger fish, like piranhas, because their teeth have the potential to cause harm. As demonstrated in the video below, piranha fish are not a breed for novice fish keepers because their teeth can draw blood.

Are Fish Teeth Like Human Teeth?

The scales on a fish’s lips are thought to have evolved into teeth over time. Based on their environment and diet, these scales developed into teeth. A fish’s teeth are like a human’s in that:

  • An enamel covering covers a pulp cavity with blood and nerves in both fish and human teeth.
  • Some fish, like sheepshead, have incisors and molars that uncannily resemble the teeth in a human mouth.

Fish and human teeth are different in that:

  • Fish do not have permanent teeth; throughout their lives, they will continually lose and regrow teeth.
  • Unlike humans, who only have teeth along the jawline, fish have teeth throughout the body.

Do Fish Have Tongues?

Fish do have tongues, though they are not similar to human tongues.

Diverse fish species lack a muscular tongue that develops from the lower base of the mouth rather than the upper. For the purpose of maintaining their hold on their prey, the tongues of bony fish species have teeth. Different species of glossanodon fish have teeth on their tongues that resemble those in the mouth.

unlike in humans, where the tongue can rise from the base level. Some fish species are known to simply hold their food in their hands while sucking the blood of their prey rather than grinding it. In tongue-biters, this is mainly noticeable.

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Do Goldfish Have Teeth?

Yes! Goldfish do have teeth. Goldfish, however, have teeth that are located directly behind their throats, not on their gums like human beings do.

Are Fish Bites Dangerous?

Small teeth are present in baby tank fish. They do bite, but it doesn’t hurt people. On the other hand, large fish like sharks and barracudas can inflict painful bite wounds. These fish can kill or dismember humans, though they are extremely rare.

What Happens If You Touch a Fish?

Fish have delicate gills. The correct way to lift a fish in your hands is to place one hand in front of the tail and the other under the gill latch. A fish should not be lifted out of the water by the belly.

Can a Catfish Kill You?

There was a case where a catfish’s spine pierced a man’s heart, despite the rarity of the event. The result was that the man passed away right away. This is an unusual occurrence because, while catfish spines can hurt, sometimes for days, they aren’t typically fatal to people.

Final Words

Finding teeth in your goldfish shouldn’t worry you because all fish have some sort of tooth.

Ask the aquarium store specialist for advice on how to handle larger, carnivorous fish if you decide to keep them to avoid getting bit.

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