Do goldfish have teeth? And could your goldfish bite you?

Yes! Goldfish do have teeth. However, instead of being on their gums, like human teeth, goldfish have teeth right at the back of their throats.

This means that, if you’re hoping to see them, you may be disappointed. Because the teeth are so far back, you won’t be able to spot any, no matter how hard you look.

The photo below shows what goldfish teeth look like and where they are located.

Close up of goldfish teeth and jaw
Teeth of a goldfish. Photo Credit: The original uploader was BiotopAG at German Wikipedia. [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Your best chance of seeing a set of goldfish gnashers in real life is actually after they have fallen out… 

Do goldfish lose their teeth? 

Goldfish continuously lose and re-grow their teeth throughout their lives. As old teeth fall out, new teeth are growing behind them, ready to replace the old ones.

If you have a bare-bottomed aquarium then you may spot your goldfish’s old teeth on the bottom of your tank (here’s a video of goldfish teeth that someone collected from their goldfish). If you happen to be watching your fish at the right time then you may even see them spit out an old tooth!

Can goldfish bite?

People are often surprised to hear that goldies have teeth. It may even make you a bit worried that your fish might bite your finger next time you try to feed them.

But there’s no need to worry. Goldfish teeth aren’t sharp and they can’t bite people. They’re actually very flat – a bit like human molars – and are used to crush and grind food.

Do other types of fish have teeth?

You might be surprised to learn than all fish actually have teeth of some description. 

However, not all fish teeth are the same. They vary in shape, size, sharpness, and location within the fish’s mouth.

As you probably know, shark teeth are sharp to cut through the flesh of their prey.

Tiger Shark teeth. Photo credit: Stefan Kühn [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

And you’re probably familiar with the sight of small pointy piranha teeth:

Andrewself at English Wikipedia [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

But did you know about the Sheephead fish, which has these human-like teeth spread all over its mouth?

Sheephead Fish teeth
Andrewself at English Wikipedia [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Now that you’ve seen these, you’re probably glad that goldies only have small, flat teeth, right at the back of their mouths!

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