The Five Types of Tooth in Your Mouth

Your mouth is a complex system, evolved over millions of years to best suit the human diet. Over this time, it has developed five distinct types of tooth, each one with a specialized role. These teeth, and their purposes, are as follows:

  • Incisors: These are the eight flat feet found at the front of your mouth, four on the top and four on the bottom. Like a set of scissors, it is their job to bite off food into manageable chunks.
  • Canines: Easily recognized for their resemblance to dog-like fangs, these are the four sharp teeth next to your incisors. They are designed for ripping and tearing, an important part of eating meat.
  • Premolars: Bicuspids, or premolars, are the four teeth found on the outsides of your canines. It is their job to chew and grind.
  • Molars: These are bigger versions of your premolars. They do largely the same job, but are responsible for more of the work.
  • Third Molars: You may or may not have any third molars in your mouth. These are the teeth that are commonly known as wisdom teeth, and often need to be removed.

To learn more about your teeth and how to properly assure their long-term health, talk to our South Seattle dentist.