Different Types of Teeth Explained

When we think about our tooth sometimes is good to have a look at what are the types of teeth that we, human been  have in our mouth, and what are the functions that they perform when we use them. It is true that most of us don’t think too much about it, but they are basic part of our daily life and thus we should dedicate a little time to learn the effect that the care of them imply for our oral health ,and a good way to do it is to check the tooth number chart.

A good way to start is to review what kind of teeth we have and which features make them different of the others. We cannot avoid saying that there are several opinions about the number of types of teeth that we have, but the consensus is that we have 3, being molars, canines and incisors the generally accepted, no matter that for many scholars the third molar and premolars can be treated like a different category by themselves.

Before to know about the teeth varieties lets examine the chewing function that they perform.

Chewing can be portrayed like the act of grounding food to convert it in small pieces that can be easily digested. This process make that enzymes to work more efficiently, helping the body to assimilate the food properly. Different teeth interact in the grinding of the food, and the tongue and the cheek facilitate the positioning of it for the process to be completed successfully.

Sometimes premastication is necessary to help the Child that have mastication disabilities to finish the process, transforming big chunks of food in small balls that can be chewed in an easier manner by them.

So lets go to the point and learn about our types of teeth.

Canine or Cuspids

Even though could be more identified with predatory animals like wolves or big felines, these teeth that are located in both sides of our incisors and are characterized for its sharpness, which is the feature that achieve the goal that these dental pieces are intended to complete, meaning tear food apart especially meat, to make it digestible.

The age in which these teeth appears is around 10 years old, being the lower jaw the first to display them.

The pieces show a pointed end, that is attached by a single root that together with the fact that are the longest teeth inside the human been, are the main features that distinguish them.


One of the singularities of these teeth is that regularly is the first dental piece that appears after the primary tooth.

The teeth also known by the term front teeth are in the middle of our mouth between the canines, and are greatly associated with the people smile. We have 4 incisors in each jaw, for a total of 8.  The function of them, is to start the chewing of our food, and are characterized for their uniform fine shape.

The amount of incisors has variations, depending on the species, and for example the armadillo is known for being an animal that doesn’t have any incisor and on the flip side, opossums have 18 pieces of these teeth. Many of our most close animals, like dogs, cats and pigs have 16 incisors and rodents show 4.


Molars are the source of the different opinions about how many types of teeth we have. These teeth can be divided in 3 kinds of dental pieces.

Chewing is the main job of the molars, and without them, it would be very difficult to digest several meats that require a good deal of mastication. To put it simple, molars are plane bigger teeth that help to transformation of big pieces of very solid foods in smaller digestible food.

The aforementioned different kinds of molar can be classified as follow:




A special mention is required for the bicuspids that popularly are known as premolars, these teeth regularly are seen the first time at the beginning of our second decade of life, and the main visible feature is that are the first molar in our mouth, being located on the side of the canines.

They can be considered part of the molar group, but many people think about them like an individual type of teeth. Also they considered temporary teeth in the process of mastication, which are located after the canine and before the molar. Even though they have 2 cuspids, they also have similarities with their 2 neighbors and they intermediate crushing the food in the transition of it from the canines to the molars. We have 8 pieces of these teeth, four in each quarter of our mouth.

Another fact that worth to take in account is that these kind of dental pieces are the most removed teeth in our mouth, reaching the not minor figure of 48% of the teeth that are commonly removed by the dentists around the world, making notoriously necessary to give them individual care in the oral hygiene and prevention of possible complications.

Wisdom Teeth:

These are the last dental piece that we human been having in our mouth. It is also common to be called third molar, and is not rare to get removed, as many times erupt in a complicated position, and beyond that its location made not indispensable for the normal function of the mastication process.

The eruption of these molars happens at the end of the teen years or at the beginning of the 20th .At the end of the eruption process people can remain with 1 or with a maximum of 4, and is very common to don’t have the complete set of 4 wisdom dental pieces. The extra pieces are very rare and known for the name of supernumerary teeth.


As we have seen, the amount of types of teeth is some kind of controversial, because it depends of the specialist this amount varies depending the molar teeth are treated individually or as a group.

We think that it is not so important the approach that people have, but the most important is the functions and characteristics of the different kinds of pieces that we as a human been we have.

The research that we have done shows that this is the right way to understand the importance of each tooth that we have in our mouth.