Do Pigs Have Teeth? (How Many, Wild Boar Teeth Facts)

Do Pigs Have Teeth

Pigs have teeth. When born as piglets, they have baby teeth that look more like elongated needles. Typically, these teeth are clipped. As the pig matures, it starts losing its baby teeth, growing permanent teeth in its place. Ultimately, the mature pig has 44 permanent teeth.

Of course, a pig’s dentition is an exciting topic. More than learning that pigs have teeth, you want to specifically know how many canines, molars, and premolars they have. You also want to know why a pig’s teeth keep growing, why piglets have their teeth clipped, and how boar’s tusk develops.

How Many Teeth Do Pigs Have?

Baby Teeth

Baby pigs (piglets) are born toothless!

Their first set of baby teeth starts coming in at 2-4 weeks old. Piglets have a total of 28 deciduous (baby) teeth.

These include:

  • 12 incisors (front teeth)
  • 4 canines
  • 8 premolars
  • 4 molars (back teeth)

Piglets use these temporary chompers to nibble milk from mom and start experimenting with solid foods.

Adult Teeth

Around 6-12 months old, pigs start to lose those baby teeth as their permanent adult teeth grow in.

By 18 months, the full set of 44 adult teeth has usually finished developing.

These include:

  • 16 incisors
  • 8 canines
  • 12 premolars
  • 8 molars

So in total, adult pigs have 44 teeth – quite a few more than humans!

Pig Dental Anatomy: Understanding the Parts of a Pig’s Mouth

Pigs use their specialized teeth to munch through all sorts of foods.

Types of Teeth

A pig’s mouth contains 4 different types of teeth, each with its own important role:


  • Location: Front of the mouth
  • Purpose: Biting off and cutting up food

The incisors are the front teeth that pigs use like scissors to bite into food. The incisors have a sharp, chisel-like shape for cutting. Pigs grip food with their bottom incisors and then slice off pieces using their top incisors.


  • Location: Behind incisors
  • Purpose: Tearing and grabbing food

The canines are located just behind the incisors. They have a single cusp that allows them to pierce and tear food. Using their canines, pigs grip and tear food, then move it back towards their cheek teeth。


  • Location: Behind canines
  • Purpose: Crushing, grinding and chewing food

Behind the canines, further back in the mouth, are the premolars. Premolars have widened surfaces with cusps adapted for grinding. Premolars help pigs chew and break down food after biting and tearing it.


  • Location: Rear of mouth
  • Purpose: Flattening, crushing, and pulverizing food

The molars, located at the very back of the mouth, are the strongest teeth for crushing. They have broad surfaces and blunt cusps designed for maximum crushing force. Pigs use their molars to flatten and grind food into small digestible particles.

The Purpose Behind Those Strong Choppers

The pig’s dental anatomy is specialized to bite, tear, crush, chew, and grind various foods. These different teeth in pigs work together to break down hard and soft meals efficiently.

For example, pigs use incisors to cut food, canines to grip and tear it, premolars to grind it, and molars to flatten and pulverize the particles.

The large, blunt molars in pigs can generate a huge chewing force, up to 100 pounds. This gives pigs the ability to crush extremely hard foods like nuts and acorns found in the wild.

Domestic pigs also utilize their specialized teeth to chew through grains, fruits, vegetables, meat, and more. Pigs’ teeth process food similarly to how human teeth work with our omnivorous diets.

Do Pigs’ Teeth Keep Growing?

A pig’s teeth naturally grow all through its lifespan. This explains why a pig, when born, has its teeth trimmed

These sharp teeth, if not clipped, can seriously injure the nursing mother, especially as the piglet suckles on her breast. Untrimmed teeth (on a piglet) also pose a danger to its fellow litter as the jostle for their mother’s milk can lead to injuries. 

By the time the pig clocks a year in age, the teeth should be trimmed again. After this procedure, an annual teeth trimming regimen needs to be adopted. This is to prevent the pig’s canine from becoming excessively elongated. 

Aside from the increased risks of unintended injuries, significantly elongated canine (consequent to the constant growth of the pig’s teeth) can result in the pig drooling excessively. Such long teeth also trigger destructive behaviors in your pig, like constant chewing. 

Is It Normal for Pigs to Grind Their Teeth?

Pigs do grind their teeth. However, most of the time, there is a message behind the teeth grinding. Commonly, pigs experiencing physical discomfort can grind their teeth. 

Such teeth grinds – triggered by pain – are typically demonstrated alongside a clenching of its jaw. When you see these two signals, inspect your pig for pain and if you can’t decipher the pain source (and the teeth grinding continues), promptly visit the vet.

A pig could also grind its teeth when striving to get rid of an item stuck in its teeth. When a pig grinds its teeth continuously, it could be stressed or in a highly nervous state. 

Unsettled pigs – typical of pigs whose routines have been perpetually disrupted – would grind their teeth to show their uneasy state. Teeth grinding can then be a coping mechanism (to get the stress out) for such a pig in a tantrum. 

Some notorious pigs would grind their teeth deliberately just to transmit their disapproval with a previous action you had executed. In such situations, the pig may ramp it up from just teeth grinding to teeth clattering.

Yes, this sound is not the most melodious music you want to listen to. In such a situation, you would need to “bribe” your pig with some treats to pacify it and stop the teeth grinding. 

Stimulating your pig with some treats would also assuage teeth grindings caused by boredom. Other than treats, a bored pig can be stimulated (to stop the teeth grinding) if you introduce some exciting activity into the scenery. Throwing in some pig toys would do.

Pigs grind their teeth when bad stuff happens. There are also instances where pigs grind their teeth to show satisfaction and happiness. 

This doesn’t sound like the menacing teeth grinding but more like emotional purrs from your pig, synchronized and more soothing to the ears.  

When Do Pigs Lose Their Baby Teeth?

Commonly, a newly delivered piglet has eight needle teeth. By the sixth month of age, the milk teeth start getting replaced by the permanent set. 

There are cases where the premolars and incisors (of the permanent teeth set) start forming as early as the twelfth week of age. 

The permanent teeth could have formed fully in some pigs as early as the eighth month. In some cases, the set of permanent teeth wouldn’t fully form until the pig is a year and six months old. 

Do Pigs Have Upper Teeth?

Yes, pigs have upper teeth. A mature pig has a canine and three incisors (in addition to the molars and premolars) in the upper and lower sections of the mouth. This is not easily noticeable, however, as they are not prominently formed.

You may only see the upper teeth upon keener and closer inspection of the pig’s teeth. The premolars and molars are more readily conspicuous at first sight. 

How Many Teeth Does a Wild Boar Have?

Mature wild boars have identical dentition as fully mature domestic pigs. Therefore, they have the same dental formula of 3/3, 1/1, 4/4, 3/3.

The only major exception here is that a wild boar – being that it doesn’t enjoy the periodic teeth trimming regimen of the domestic pig – may have relatively elongated canines.

Comparison of Domestic Pig Teeth vs. Wild Pig Teeth

Domestic pigs and wild boars have similar teeth structures, but there are some key differences between them.

Dental Differences

Both domestic and wild pigs have the same 4 types of teeth (incisors, canines, premolars, and molars). However, the teeth of both have adapted differently, depending on their diets.

  • Incisors – In wild boars, incisors are longer and more pointed, suitable for slashing through thick plant material. Domestic pigs have shorter incisors, adapted for eating mostly soft, processed food.
  • Canines – Wild boars have large, protruding canine tusks, used for defense and rooting in the ground. The canines in domestic pigs are much smaller and are often removed.
  • Premolars – Wild boar premolars are wider, making them suitable for crushing coarser foods. In domestic pigs, the premolars are more compact.
  • Molars – Wild and domestic molars are similarly large and blunt for heavy grinding. However, wild boar molars show more wear due to chewing gritty foods.

Impact on Jaw Shape

The differences in tooth size and wear contribute to distinct jaw shapes between the two:

  • Since domestic pigs don’t chew fibrous foods, they have shorter and more compact skulls and snouts. The jaws of domestic pigs are weaker compared to those of wild boars.
  • Wild boars have much larger and elongated skulls and snouts. In wild boars, strong jaw muscles attach further back on the skull, powering their heavyweight teeth.

So, although the basic dental structure of wild and domestic pigs is similar, their teeth and jaws have adapted differently to meet the demands of their lifestyle and diet. The wild boar needed to adapt for survival in the woods, while the domestic pig thrived on the farm.

Are Wild Boar Tusks Ivory?

Just like walruses, sperm whales, and hippopotamuses, wild boars teeth contains ivory. However, the ivory tusks of wild boars have comparatively lesser commercial value because they are not big enough.

Are Wild Boar Tusks Hollow?

Yes, wild boars have significantly hollowed tusks. These tusks are enhanced with thin walls. 

The tooth socket in the wild boar’s lower jaw houses an estimated two-thirds of the entire length of its lower tusks. The front-facing section of the tooth is plated in enamel. However, the back section is plated in cementum.

What are Wild Boar Tusks Used for?

What are Wild Boar Tusks Used for

Commercially, there is not much you can do with a wild boar’s tusk given its smaller size and structural built. But for the wild boar itself, its tusks are a massive tool for self-defense.

A wild boar would dutifully deploy its tusk in stabbing and slashing. Periodically, wild boars sharpen their lower tusk by grinding it against its upper tusks.

How Long are Wild Boar Tusks?

For a wild boar, the average length of its tusk is about 7 inches. This is not definitive as some wild boar’s tusks can be as long as 18 inches while some could be as short as 5 inches.

Traditionally, for a boar in the wild, its teeth would grow by a quarter of an inch in 4 weeks. This explains why wild boars are diligent with their teeth grinding, leveraging the consequent abrasion to check the excessive growth of their tusk.

Do All Wild Boars Have Tusks?

Conventionally, all boars in the wild have tusks being that their teeth are rarely clipped when they were newborn piglets.

Pig Teeth and Human Teeth Comparison

Tooth Type Breakdown

Pigs and humans both have 4 main tooth types but with some notable differences:

Incisors – Pigs have 16, and humans have 8. Human incisors are flat for shearing, while pig incisors are chisel-shaped for biting off chunks.

Canines – Pigs have 8, and humans have 4. Human canines are shorter with a single pointy cusp, while pig canines are longer with a single long cusp for stabbing food.

Premolars – Pigs have 12, and humans have 8. Human premolars have 2-3 blunted cusps for mashing, compared to pigs’ 3-4 sharper cusps for crushing.

Molars – Pigs have 8, and humans have 12. Pig molars generate extreme crushing force, while human molars are smaller but have heavy cusps for grinding.

Pigs have more front teeth and humans have more back teeth, but both types are optimized for chewing.

Different Diets, Different Needs

Our dental differences reflect our contrasting diets:

  • As omnivores, humans eat a variety of foods including meat, vegetables, and grains. Our incisors, canines, premolars, and molars enable us to bite, tear, mash, and grind these foods.
  • Pigs are omnivores too, but have a wider range of food preferences. Their dental toolkit lets them bite off chunks, pierce, tear, crush, and pulverize everything from roots, fruits, nuts, grain, meat, and more!

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