Bear Teeth Everything To Know

Bear teeth: everything you need to know (size, shape and sharpness)

Bears have four different types of teeth: incisors, canines, molars and premolars. They are used to eating, chewing and grinding meat or plants. Their teeth are several centimeters long and very sharp.

Did you know that bears are heterodonts? This means they have different types of teeth.

But what do they use their teeth for? How big are they? And how sharp?

I have discussed some of the very basic questions in this particular article. We will review what types of teeth bears have, what the different teeth are used for and how big and sharp they are.

bear teeth
Bear teeth: everything you need to know (size, shape and sharpness)


  • What kind of teeth do bears have?
  • How many teeth do bears have?
  • How do bear teeth work?
  • How big are bear teeth?
  • How strong are bear teeth?
  • What do bears use their teeth for?
  • Common questions

What kind of teeth do bears have?

Bears are heterodonts, meaning they have different types of teeth: incisors, fangs, molars and premolars.

Bears use their teeth for a variety of tasks, but mainly to chew, grind and grind food to eat. They also use them to kill and catch things.

They have a total of 42 teeth:

  1. 12 cutters
  2. 4 Canines
  3. 16 premolars
  4. 10 molars
  5. The incisors are the front teeth used to cut food and tear the meat from prey.

The canines are the sharp, pointed teeth in the upper and lower jaw that carry prey when bears kill their food.

Premolars are flat teeth located behind the canine teeth and in front of the molars. They help in grinding food.

And finally, the molars are large, sharp back teeth that crush and grind food.

Bear Teeth
Bear Teeth Closeup

How many teeth do bears have?

Most bears have a total of 42 teeth: 12 incisors, 4 canines, 16 premolars and 10 molars.

Bears have very diverse teeth. They use their teeth to crush and break apart nuts, seeds and other plant foods. They also use them to tear the flesh of animals they have killed.

They will often bite into food at a 45 degree angle rather than the 90 degree that most carnivores do.

This is because the bears' saliva contains enzymes that help them digest plants better than other animals can manage on their own.

How do bear teeth work?

Bears' teeth serve different purposes. Like so many other omnivores, they also use teeth to eat, cut, grab, crush and grind food or other things.

As mentioned, bears have different types of teeth, each with its own purpose. Depending on their type and location, they serve different purposes.

Bear Teeth
Bear Teeth and skull 


Canines are a type of teeth found in many different animals. They are Specialized by their sharp edges, that's why they are for cutting and biting. In humans they are used to tear food.

They come in different shapes and sizes, depending on the animal they are in.

Bears, for example, have sharp canines that are used to kill prey and catch things. These are also used to tear apart other things, such as logs to find insects.

Incisors (Cutters)

Incisors are sharp, chisel-like teeth used for cutting meat and chewing plants. Incisors are located in the front of the bear's mouth, and there are a total of twelve of them.

Grizzly bears are incisors are slightly different from incisors of the black bears. A grizzly bear's incisors are curved inward and are used to break open prey items.

Black bear cutters are straighter and less curved, and are more suitable for cutting vegetation.

Molars (Grinders)

Bears have molars on each side, three up and two down. These are wide and flat teeth.

Molars are the largest and most important teeth in a bear's mouth. They are used to grind food and are shaped differently depending on the type of bear.


Bears have four premolars between each of their canines and molars. Bears have 16 premolars in all. They are used in cutting the foods in many parts and for grinding the food in smaller pieces. Bears usually have a gap between their premolars. This is called a diastema and is seen in many herbivores.

This gap is useful for catching stems or twigs.

bear teeth
Panda bear eating bamboo

How big are bear teeth?

Bears have relatively short teeth, ranging from one centimeter to several centimeters. Their teeth are however incredibly sharp and strong, and they also have an incredibly strong bite that compensates for the lack of tooth size.

When it comes to teeth, they are all different sizes. The biggest bear teeth belong to the polar bear. among bear the Polar bear is the one which has longest teeth and they can really grow up to the length of 2 inches now you can imagine the size of teeth of polar bear.

Black bear teeth are much smaller in comparison and usually only grow about 1 inch long.

Their teeth are relatively small, although they are very sharp and strong. Their lack of tooth size is compensated by their strong bite

bear teeth
grizzly bear teeth

How Strong are bear teeth?

Bears have strong teeth, but they are not very long. To make up for it, they have an incredibly strong bite, reaching up to 1,200 PSI for polar bears.

It's not the bear's teeth themselves that are strong, but their jaw muscles. It takes a lot of strength to tear through tough animal hides or slice through bone.

Polar bears have the strongest bite of about 1,200 PSI, while grizzly bears can bite with a force of about 1,100 PSI.

Bear Bite is very Powerful and hence crushes its prey swiftly.

What do bears use their teeth for?

Bears, like all other animals, use their teeth for a variety of things, including eating, killing, objects, and grinding plants. They are very versatile and have developed different teeth for different purposes, due to their versatile nature.


Bears are omnivores, which means they eat both meat and plants. They use their incisors to bite the food, their canines to tear the food, their jaws to cut it into smaller pieces, and their jaws to grind the food.

bear teeth
Bear Teeth eating fish


Bears have large fangs and incisors, which are usually used to kill prey. They are not there just to help the bear chew its food; Those incisors are razor sharp and the cutting dogs can kill prey in an instant.

And if that's not enough, bears use their claws and claws to crush bones - a feat no other animal can boast


Bear teeth are great for catching things, especially if they want to bring them back to their bear den. The gap in their lower mouth, the diastema, is used to grasp twigs and stems.

Bears make a very good use of their very strong paws and very sharp needle like paws for grabbing preys and for performing different tasks.

Common Questions:

How do you identify bear teeth?

Bears are heterodonts, meaning they have different types of teeth: incisors, fangs, molars and premolars. Usually, the bear's incisors are small; The bear's canine is longer than the bear's other teeth with a sharp edge to it; The bear's premolars are smaller than the bear molars; The bear molars are in different shapes.

Does a bear have fangs?

Yes, bears have fangs. This is another term for the dogs. However, a bear's tusks are not very long, compared to the large size of the bear itself. Their fangs are usually 2-3 inches.

Can you sell bear teeth?

You can sell bear teeth in some states and countries. There are different regulations on the subject depending on the country.

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